For the second straight year, the NBA’s newcomers prevailed over the Sophomore Team in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge. Led by former Kentucky teammates John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins, the Rookie Team pulled away late to lock up a 148-140.
Wall, who walked away with MVP honors, racked up 12 points and 22 assists on the night. The 22 assists surpass Chris Paul’s old Rookie Challenge record of 17. Sacramento big man DeMarcus Cousins, the recipient of many of Wall’s dimes, contributed a monster 33-point, 14-rebound game. Ironically, one of the game’s biggest highlights came when Wall put home a Cousins backboard pass with 13 seconds left to play.
All eyes were on Clippers high flyer Blake Griffin, who played reduced minutes due to his participation in the Slam Dunk Contest and All-Star Game. The new “Human Highlight Reel” still had a couple crowd pleasers, including a reverse jam on a John Wall bounce pass. Blake finished with 14 points in 14 minutes of play.
Other big performances came from DeJuan Blair of the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma’s James Harden. Blair recorded 28 points and 15 rebounds, while Harden lit the scoreboard up for 30 points.
While the game itself was fun to watch, seeing the kicks on the court was a joy in itself. Nike represented most of the players with their brand new Air Max Fly By. Brandon Jennings made an in-game switch, rocking two colorways of his Under Armour Micro G Black Ice Low. However, the talk of the night came from the adidas camp, which made a bold impression with their vibrant “Sun” adiPures.
Let’s take a closer look at what some of the Rookie Challenge hoopers were wearing along with those NBA Digi Socks on Friday night.
John Wall having a little fun in his fan-designed Reebok Zig Slash.
Another look at Wall’s All-Star Zig Slash.
Blake Griffin throws down the reverse dunk in an All-Star colorway of the Nike Air Max Fly By.
Another look at the Blake Show’s Air Max Fly By PE.
Brandon Jennings drops a scoop layup in the Under Armour Micro G Black Ice Low.
No ACLs? No Problem. DeJuan Blair had a big game in a Player Exclusive colorway of the Nike Air Max Fly By
DeMarcus Cousins puts Steph Curry on a poster in the Nike Air Max Fly By
DeMar Derozan dunks in an iD colorway of the Nike Zoom Kobe VI.
Derrick Favors and Serge Ibaka compete against each other in the “Sun” adidas adiPure.
Spurs rookie Gary Neal closes in on Steph Curry wearing the Nike Air Max Fly By.
brings the ball up the court in an Air Max Fly By PE.
James Harden had a couple of big highlight plays in the “Orange County” Nike Zoom Kobe VI.
Jrue Holiday dunks in the adiPure by adidas.
Landry Fields look on in an iD colorway of the Zoom Kobe VI.
Stephen Curry attempts a floater in his Air Max Fly By PE.
A great look at Taj Gibson throwing it down in the Nike Air Max Fly By.
Wesley Matthews gets tangled up with Jrue Holiday, both wearing the “Sun” adiPure.
Wesley Matthews drops a reverse layup wearing the Nike Air Max Fly By.
images via ESPN