Two Old Friends Will Coach a Team in the NBA’s Rising Stars Game at All-Star Weekend

The NBA announced the player pool for the Rising Stars event at All-Star Weekend, but something tells me you’ll care way more about who’s coaching.

In a brand new format, four teams will participate for a chance at the final crown. Four former players will serve as head coaches and draft their respective teams before the event. And it turns out that two of those coaches will be very familiar faces.

Former Bulls Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol will each serve as a head coach during the Feb. 17 festivities in Salt Lake City. Deron Williams – another well-known name in the state of Illinois – and Jason Terry make up the other two coaches.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to tune in just to watch Noah screaming on the sidelines. If there is anyone who can motivate his team all the way to the championship round, my money would be on him. To Gasol’s credit, though, he’ll undoubtedly be the most successful former player on the sideline, and I can only imagine how excited his roster will be to pick his brain.

The presence of Noah and Gasol feels especially noteworthy when we consider the Bulls will not have any representatives on the actual court. Excluding when Patrick Williams was left off the 2020-21 Rising Stars roster – the game was never played due to the pandemic – this will mark the first time since 2017 that a Bull will not be featured in the contest. Both Ayo Dosunmu – who participated as a rookie last year – and Dalen Terry were eligible.

Anyway, I’ll drop the complete roster for the event below. You can always catch up on all the new rules here.

Rookies: Paolo Banchero, Jabari Smith Jr., Jaden Ivey, Keegan Murray, Bennedict Mathurin, AJ Griffin, Walker Kessler, Jeremy Sochan, Jalen Williams, Andrew Nembhard

Sophomores: Scottie Barnes, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley, Josh Giddey, Quentin Grimes, Bones Hyland, Trey Murphy III, Alperen Sengun, Franz Wagner, Jose Alvarado

G-League: Scoot Henderson (projected No. 2 pick in the draft), Kenneth Lofton Jr., Sidy Cissoko, Mojave King, Leonard Miller, Bulls Legend Mac McClung (who will also participate in the dunk contest), Scottie Pippen Jr.

written by

Elias Schuster is the Lead Chicago Bulls writer at Bleacher Nation. He started with BN full-time in 2019 immediately after graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with a degree in Journalism (yes, he started with the Jim Boylen Era). Since joining, Elias has been the driving force behind Bulls and NBA content for both the site and social accounts. You can follow him on Twitter/X @Schuster_Elias.

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