Dario Saric and Ben Simmons join Embiid to give the 76ers three players in Rising Stars, tied for the most among any team. The Los Angeles Lakers also earned three selections, with Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma set to play at their home arena. The game will air on TNT and ESPN Radio.
The three Philadelphia players will compete for the World Team. Joining Embiid (Cameroon), Simmons (Australia) and Saric (Croatia) are the Sacramento Kings’ Bogdan Bogdanovic (Serbia) and Buddy Hield (Bahamas), the Memphis Grizzlies’ Dillon Brooks (Canada), the Chicago Bulls’ Lauri Markkanen (Finland), the Denver Nuggets’ Jamal Murray (Canada), the New York Knicks’ Frank Ntilikina (France) and the Indiana Pacers’ Domantas Sabonis (Lithuania).
In addition to Ball, Ingram and Kuzma, the U.S. Team features reigning Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon of the Milwaukee Bucks, the Boston Celtics’ Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, the Atlanta Hawks’ John Collins, the Bulls’ Kris Dunn, the Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell and the Dallas Mavericks’ Dennis Smith Jr.
Roster highlights include:
- The World Team’s 10 players hail from nine different countries.
- Embiid, who will make his NBA All-Star Game debut in his second season, leads all first- and second-year NBA players in scoring (23.8 ppg), rebounding (11.0 rpg) and blocked shots (1.88 bpg). He is set to become the first 76ers player to start an All-Star Game since Allen Iverson in 2006.
- Simmons, the Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for October/November, is on pace to become the first rookie to average at least 16.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists in a season since Magic Johnson in 1979-80.
- Chicago’s Markkanen (15.5 ppg, 7.7 rpg) is the fastest player to 100 career three-pointers in NBA history (41 games).
- Denver’s Murray was the MVP of last year’s Mtn Dew Kickstart Rising Stars, finishing with game highs of 36 points and 11 assists to lift the World Team past the U.S. Team 150-141. This season, Murray has increased his scoring average to 16.2 points from 9.9 as a rookie.
- Kuzma, the 27th pick in the NBA Draft 2017 presented by State Farm and the Kia NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month for October/November, leads the Lakers in scoring with 16.7 points per game. The last rookie to lead the team in scoring in a season was the Minneapolis Lakers’ Elgin Baylor in 1958-59.
- Utah’s Mitchell, who earned the Kia NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month award for December, is averaging a team-high and rookie-best 19.2 points. The Jazz has never had a rookie lead the team in scoring for a season.
- Boston’s Brown (14.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg) and Tatum (13.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg), the Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for December, have started all season for the East-leading Celtics.
- Chicago’s Dunn ranks third in the NBA in steals (2.05 spg), leads all second-year players in assists (6.4 apg) and has raised his scoring average nearly 10 points from last season (3.8 to 13.7 ppg).
- Simmons (four), Ball (two) and Dallas’ Smith (one) have combined for seven triple-doubles, which is one more than produced by rookies in the previous five seasons combined.
- The World Team features five players who participated as campers in Basketball without Borders (BWB), the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program: Embiid (BWB Africa 2011), Markkanen (BWB Europe 2014; BWB Global 2015), Murray (BWB Global 2015), Ntilikina (BWB Europe 2015; BWB Global 2016) and Saric (BWB Europe 2010).
The head coaches for the Mtn Dew Kickstart Rising Stars will be the lead assistant coaches from the 2018 NBA All-Star Game coaching staffs. The All-Star coaching staffs are determined by the best record in each conference through games played on Sunday, Feb. 4 among teams with eligible head coaches. Boston head coach Brad Stevens and Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr are ineligible to coach in the NBA All-Star Game because they did so last year.
NBA opening-night rosters for the 2017-18 season featured 108 international players from a record 42 countries and territories. This marked the fourth consecutive season that opening-night rosters included at least 100 international players and that all 30 teams had at least one international player.
Below are the rosters for the 2018 Mtn Dew Kickstart Rising Stars and a list of past results.
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About NBA All-Star 2018
NBA All-Star 2018 in Los Angeles will bring together some of the most talented and passionate players in the league’s history for a global celebration of the game. The 67th NBA All-Star Game, which will take place on Sunday, Feb. 18 at Staples Center, will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages. TNT will televise the All-Star Game for the 16th consecutive year, marking Turner Sports’ 33rd year of NBA All-Star coverage. Staples Center will also host Mtn Dew Kickstart Rising Stars on Friday, Feb. 16 and State Farm All-Star Saturday Night on Saturday, Feb. 17. The NBA All-Star Practice, NBA All-Star Celebrity Game presented by Ruffles, Mtn Dew Kickstart Rising Stars Practice and NBA G League International Challenge presented by Kumho Tire will take place at Verizon Up Arena at Los Angeles Convention Center.