Jose Alvarado shines brightest among NBA’s Rising Stars

Pau Gasol hugs Jose Alvarado after he made the game-winning shot during an NBA Rising Stars final.
Coach Pau Gasol hugs guard Jose Alvarado after he made the game-winning shot during the NBA Rising Stars final. Alvarado was selected MVP of the tournament.
(Rick Bowmer / Associated Press)

New Orleans guard Jose Alvarado’s drifting three-pointer clinched a 25-20 win for Team Pau (Gasol) over Team Joakim (Noah) in the title game of the Rising Stars event Friday at All-Star weekend.

Alvarado, who was named the most valuable player, had five points in the title game.

The win capped a memorable day for Gasol, who was named a Basketball Hall of Fame finalist earlier Friday.

“I’m going out on top. It may be one and done for me,” Gasol said of his coaching debut.

New York’s Quentin Grimes scored 14 points in the final but was wrapped up — literally held at times — by Alvarado down the stretch.


“I didn’t know you could do that in the Rising Stars game. I should have alerted the refs to call a technical or something,” Grimes said. “It was all fun but I was going for the win tonight.”

Pau Gasol a likely cinch to enter Hall of Fame in 2023 class along with Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade, Tony Parker and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.

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Said Alvarado: “It might not have been [legal], but he was doing good.“

The four teams, comprised of 21 first- and second-year NBA players along with seven G League players, competed in semifinals games to a target score of 40.

Draft’s ‘last pick’

The “last pick” of Sunday night’s All-Star Draft will be a starter.

The NBA has changed the format of the draft, and LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo — the captains — will make their picks from the pool of reserve players first.

They’ll then choose their starting lineups, from the pool of eight other starters. The switch will ensure that no player will have to deal with the stigma of being picked last, even though that hasn’t been too much of an issue in the past.

LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo will be captains for the 72nd NBA All-Star Game this weekend in Salt Lake City. Here’s what you need to know.

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This is the sixth year of the format where captains — determined by fan voting — choose their own All-Star rosters, but the first year in which those captains will do so on game night and basically right in front of the other All-Stars.

Celebs hold court

Team Dwyane rallied in the fourth quarter to beat Team Ryan 81-78 in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game. Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith and Basketball Hall of Fame finalist Dwyane Wade served as honorary captains of the celebrity teams.


Seattle Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf paced Team Dwyane with 20 points and 10 rebounds — but he’ll be best remembered for an array of dunks. Actor Everett Osbourne led Team Ryan with 23 points, 12 rebounds and three assists. Metcalf was named the game’s MVP.

Each celebrity team included a WNBA All-Star. Phoenix Mercury guard Diamond DeShields played for Team Ryan. Dallas Wings guard Arike Ogunbowale played for Team Dwyane. Other notable athletes participating included former NFL player Calvin Johnson and former MLB player Albert Pujols.

Wade added former NBA player Carlos Boozer to his team in the second half. Smith countered by adding former NBA player Richard Jefferson. Jefferson served as part of the officiating crew during the first half.

Between the game, and a three-point shootout between Smith and Wade, $142,000 was raised for 5 for the Fight, a charitable foundation devoted to funding cancer research.