By Ray Boyd
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There never seems to be a shortage of debate when it comes to all-star exhibitions throughout the sports world. Several of the major sports leagues have tried adding little twists to their all-star festivities to stir interest.READ MORE: Pennsylvania US Senate Race Between Republicans Mehmet Oz, Dave McCormick Too Close To Call
Major League Baseball adopted the idea of making the all-star game determine home-field advantage for the World Series. The NHL and the NFL have gone to draft structures for their all-star games.
This year, the NBA is once again revamping one of their events. There will be a new global format for the NBA Rising Stars Challenge.
The Rising Stars game has traditionally included rookies and sophomores pitted against each other as a precursor to the all-star game. In past years they have done rookies vs. sophomores and recently they switched to a draft format taken from a pool of the leagues best first and second year players.
They are mixing it up once again.READ MORE: Parties Pick State Lawmakers To Be Lieutenant Gov Candidates
On February 13th, the Rising Stars Challenge will feature the NBA’s 10 best international rookies and sophomores against the 10 best US-born rookies and sophomores.
There are a few Sixers that are eligible to compete in the game and that could feasibly warrant invites. Michael Carter-Williams, the reigning rookie of the year, competed in the game last season and could be invited back again to represent the United States team. Robert Covington has been an impressive find for the Sixers and the sophomore sharpshooter could also warrant an invite.
Nerlens Noel and K.J. McDaniels have both impressed as rookies and will also have an opportunity to make the United States team.
With all four of those players representing the United States, and with only ten spots on the U.S. team, it is all but certain they will not all get invited.
The move is a smart one on the league’s part. The NBA has made a clear effort to brand itself as a global game. They have sustained and increased that initiative dating all the way back to the creation of the Dream Team.MORE NEWS: Average Gas Price In Philadelphia 5 County Region Approaches $5 Per Gallon Overnight
Having a display of the league’s best young international talent will add another element to the league that will appeal to nations all over the world and it should give the game a competitive edge that it has never had before.