NBA All-Star 2013: Charles Barkley picks Kawhi Leonard for Rising Stars team

By Joe Buettner

Jan 21, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) celebrates with guard Gary Neal (14) during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. The Spurs defeated the Sixers 90-85. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Team Chuck got the job done last season, and they will try to duplicate that victory this year in the 2013 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge. Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal once again drafted teams in the new format of the Rookie-Sophomore game that has now integrated rookies and second year players on the same teams.

Kawhi Leonard was the lone Spur on the big board, but was selected sixth overall in the Rising Stars Draft to Team Chuck.

Shaquille O’Neal passed up on Leonard to form a cast of some of the best young guards in the game, taking Damian Lillard and Kyrie Irving with his first and second pick respectively.

However, Barkley assembled his front court early with Anthony Davis first, and then picking up two small fowards in Kenneth Faried and Kawhi with his second and third choice.

As you may know, Chuck has struggled to pronounce Kawhi Leonard’s name in the past, but last night, Barkley finally nailed Kawhi’s name when he selected him to his team, which will be coached by San Antonio’s own Mike Budenholzer.

Both squads are stacked with young talent that should provide another fun, high scoring game.

Team Shaq’s full roster includes: Damian Lillard (Portland), Kyrie Irving (Cleveland), Andre Drummond (Detroit), Klay Thompson (Golden State), Harrison Barnes (Golden State), Chandler Parsons (Houston), Dion Waiters (Cleveland), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Charlotte), Tyler Zeller (Cleveland), and Kemba Walker (Charlotte).

While Team Chuck’s roster features: Anthony Davis (New Orleans), Kenneth Faried (Denver), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio), Bradley Beal (Washington), Ricky Rubio (Minnesota), Tristan Thompson (Cleveland), Nikola Vucevic (Orlando), Brandon Knight (Detroit), Isaiah Thomas (Sacramento), and Alexey Shved (Minnesota).

The 2013 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge will tip-off at 8 p.m. CST Friday, Feb. 15. The game will be televised on TNT and broadcasted on ESPN Radio as well.