The NBA All-Star Weekend got off to a hot start Friday morning in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge practice when Evan Turner, the Philadelphia 76ers’ second-year swingman, shattered the Guinness World Record for most behind the back the backboard shots in a minute, finishing with 14 made shots. Turner, who was assigned to Charles Barkley’s team after not being selected by either Charles Barkley or Shaq despite being the number two overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft, will play with Kyrie Irving, DeMarcus Cousins, Derrick Williams, Paul George, MarShon Brooks, John Wall, Tiago Splitter, Gordon Hayward, and Kawhi Leonard in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge tonight at 9 PM.
But the friendly shoot-around and media event immediately took on an air of friendly competition after Turner’s recording-breaking feat, as other NBA rookies and sophomores attempted to overtake his lead. Eventually Rick Rubio, the Timberwolves rookie point guard and passing sensation, was able to do so crushing Turner’s 14 behind the background shots by sinking 18 of his own. Rubio, who will be able to hang the Guinness World Record plaque next to his Olympic silver medal from 2008, will take the court for Team Shaq alongside Blake Griffin, Jeremy Lin, Markieff Morris, Kemba Walker, Landry Fields, Norris Cole, Brandon Knight, Tristan Thompson, and Greg Monroe.
We’ll see if the competitive fever carries over to the BBVA Rising Stars game.