Rubio, Shved thrilled to be at All-Star show

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 15, 2013 - 12:41 AM

The two young Wolves guards will play in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday in Houston.

hide

Tyson Chandler defended as Ricky Rubio drove to the basket at Target Center.

Photo: Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Ricky Rubio's invitation to NBA All-Star Weekend as a rookie last year was more than a sign of affirmation.

It was an opportunity to see stars -- up close and personal -- he had watched all his life on television.

"Shaquille O'Neal," Rubio said, "it was great to see how huge he was."

Rubio returned to play in the Rising Stars Challenge again this year, this time accompanied by rookie teammate Alexey Shved. They took a flight together to Houston for Friday night's game that kicks off the All-Star Weekend festivities.

He hasn't earned his way to Sunday's big game yet, but being chosen twice to play in a game that features the league's up-and-coming rookies and sophomores is a stepping stone along the way.

This time, Rubio was a "commissioner's pick," a late addition to the game by TNT analyst Kenny Smith.

He and Shved will play on Team Chuck, the team chosen by Charles Barkley in a TNT Thursday Night draft last week with O'Neal's Team Shaq.

"Being there, an All-Star, you realize you are in the NBA," Rubio said. "You're around all the stars. Even if we're not playing the All-Star Game, we are around all the show. You know, it's good to be there."

Wolves forward Andrei Kirilenko played alongside Pau Gasol, Tony Parker, Joe Johnson and Shane Battier on the rookie team in 2002, just like Shved will play with Rubio, Kenneth Faried, Anthony Davis and Bradley Beal, among others, on Team Chuck this year.

Like it did for him a decade ago, Kirilenko predicts Shved's participation will provide further confirmation that a kid raised in Russia belongs in the NBA.

"It kind of gets you more welcome to the league," Kirilenko said. "I think he's well deserved that reputation. He's playing on that level, not a rookie level but solid-player level. He still makes some mistakes, some room for improvement, but already he's establish himself at some kind of level. He can't drop now. The only way now is up."

Shved will be accompanied by his girlfriend, brother and agent -- his parents visited him in Minnesota last month and can't get away from work again. He had thought about visiting an American city during the five-day break but is glad to change plans.

"This is good," he said. "I'm second Russian player to do this, just A.K. before me. We will see. I have only seen it on TV. I don't know what I can tell right now. I need to see this. It is much better than sit and do nothing."

A year ago, Rubio showed off his playmaking panache in a game suited for such a thing by dribbling the ball through the legs of Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins and then lobbing it to the Clippers' Blake Griffin for a slam.

Rubio said Cousins has never mentioned that play to him since then, but ...

"I think he actually did something like that after I did that to him," Rubio said. "He did it in a game, an NBA game."

He dribbled through Cousins' legs, visited with O'Neal, a full weekend.

"I met a lot of people," Rubio said. "Shaq, he was funny. All those guys were there. They're legends. I watched all of them on the TV and it's amazing to say hi to them."

  • related content

  • Chart: NBA All-Star weekend

    Thursday February 14, 2013

    Friday: Rising Stars Challenge, 8 p.m., TNT

  • KG: 'My last All-Star Game'

    Friday February 15, 2013

    Boston forward Kevin Garnett said this weekend "is definitely my last All-Star Game," although he would not elaborate on why he wouldn't be back after playing in the midseason exhibition...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Pittsburgh 0 Bottom 7th Inning
Cincinnati 3
Tampa Bay 0 Top 6th Inning
Baltimore 3
Chicago Cubs 0 Top 5th Inning
NY Yankees 2
St. Louis 0 Bottom 5th Inning
Milwaukee 1
NY Mets - D. Gee 2:40 PM
Arizona - B. McCarthy
Atlanta - J. Teheran 6:05 PM
Philadelphia - C. Lee
Chicago Cubs - T. Wood 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - M. Pineda
Cleveland - Z. McAllister 6:08 PM
Detroit - A. Sanchez
Washington - T. Roark 6:10 PM
Miami - J. Fernandez
Seattle - F. Hernandez 7:05 PM
Texas - Y. Darvish
Boston - C. Buchholz 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - J. Danks
Kansas City - J. Guthrie 7:10 PM
Houston - D. Keuchel
Toronto 0 Postponed
Minnesota 0
Oakland - T. Milone 9:05 PM
LA Angels - T. Skaggs
Colorado - J. De La Rosa 9:10 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Los Angeles - P. Maholm 9:15 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
Chicago 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Indiana 6:00 PM
Orlando
Atlanta 7:00 PM
Milwaukee
Dallas 7:00 PM
Memphis
Detroit 7:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Houston 7:00 PM
New Orleans
LA Lakers 7:00 PM
San Antonio
Brooklyn 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Miami
Utah 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Washington 7:00 PM
Boston
Toronto 7:00 PM
New York
Golden State 9:30 PM
Denver
LA Clippers 9:30 PM
Portland
Phoenix 9:30 PM
Sacramento
Montreal 6:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Columbus 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Dallas 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Red Bull New York
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Timberwolves season

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close