Timberwolves guards Ricky Rubio and Alexey Shved both participated on Charles Barkley’s team, Team Chuck, in Friday night’s BBVA Rising Stars Challenge. Barkley’s crew defeated Shaquille O’Neal’s, 163-135, in a high-scoring and completely unrealistic game that eventually devolved into a dunk exhibition.
Rubio, who started the game, played just under 16 minutes, logging 10 assists and 5 points on 50 percent shooting. Shved came of the bench, and in 18 minutes he scored 12 points and dished 4 assists. Highlights of the game included a Rubio pass off the backboard that Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried slammed for a putback dunk. Shved’s reverse dunk in the second half was arguably his most memorable move of the night.
Faried won the MVP award for the game, scoring 40 points in 22 minutes for Team Chuck. Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving led Team Shaq with 32 points, and Rubio’s 10 assists tied him with Sacramento’s Isaiah Thomas for the most of any player in the game. (Thomas played nearly six more minutes than did Rubio, however.)
Rubio competed in the Rising Stars game during last February’s All-Star weekend, and he spoke earlier in the week in Minneapolis about the benefits of mingling with the league’s best during the festivities.
“Being an All-Star in the NBA, you realize that you are in the NBA,” Rubio said. “You are around all the stars, and even if… we are not playing in the All-Star Game, we are around all the show. It’s good to be there.”
Rubio was a last-minute selection to the game, along with Thomas. Both were added to the roster on Feb. 7, when O’Neal and Barkley “drafted” their teams on TNT. Shved was among the initial 18 players selected. The two guards were the only Timberwolves competing in All-Star weekend, and both have concluded their activities in Houston.