Notes from TNT’s NBA Coverage of the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge – Friday, February 15, 2013

nba-all-starTNT’s NBA All-Star 2013 coverage continues from Houston with State Farm All-Star Saturday Night,

Feb. 16, at 8 p.m. ET and the 2013 NBA All-Star Game presented by Kia Motors, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m.

Team Shaq (135) @ Team Chuck (163)

Announcers: Matt Winer (play-by-play), Mike Fratello and Chris Webber (analysts) and Craig Sager (reporter)

Fratello on the approach he took as coach in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge: “Play hard, share the ball, have fun but don’t embarrass the game by trying to do things that aren’t really a part of winning basketball.”

Webber on the style of play in All-Star games: “All-Star games are a little man’s game.”

Sager interviewed Cleveland Cavaliers Rising Star Tyler Zeller on what it means having three of his Cavaliers teammates playing Friday night: “It means a lot. We have a lot of potential in the future to be a very good team.”

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Sprint Halftime Report

Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith and Karl Malone

Barkley on playing against Karl Malone: “Any time me and Karl played against each other we both thought we were the best power forward. It was always an intense competition.”

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Webber on Minnesota Timberwolves Ricky Rubio coming back from his ACL injury: “If I’m a Minnesota fan I’m happy to see [Ricky] Rubio out here having fun, playing hard without thinking.”

Fratello on Minnesota Timberwolves guard Alexey Shved: “If you don’t know [Alexey] Shved…he’s a terrific point guard.”

Webber on how a player’s level of play elevates in the second half of the season for players chosen as All-Stars or Rising Stars: “Usually, guys come back and have a better season if they were selected to an All-Star [game] for their first or second time.”

Sager interviewed Cleveland Cavaliers Rising Star Kyrie Irving who put on a masterful ball handling display in the game and explained how he has become so good: “I started when I was young. I used to dribble with a plastic bag on the ball.”

Sager interviewed Denver Nuggets Rising Star MVP Kenneth Faried: “We wanted to get the win. I have fun. I enjoy this game. I love playing this game and hope to play it for a long time.”

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Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai                                     

Johnson, Barkley, O’Neal and Malone

Barkley on Minnesota Timberwolves Rising Star Alexey Shved: “This guy – [Alexey] Shved…he’s a terrific young player.”

Barkley on Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star Kyrie Irving: “Speaking of terrific young players – Kyrie Irving is the real deal America.”

Malone on the Minnesota Timberwolves prospects in the second half of the season: “If [Ricky] Rubio [stays] healthy and they get Kevin Love back, they’re going to be good.”

O’Neal describing Minnesota Timberwolves Rising Star Ricky Rubio: “Ricky Rubio – The Spanish Pistol Pete.”

Malone on Kobe vs. LeBron: “I love to watch LeBron but you have to go with the championships. You have to go with the five championships. But, if you’re starting a team now you have to go with LeBron. Early on, you coulda said Kobe without a doubt.”

Barkley on Kobe vs. LeBron: “I never thought I would ever compare anyone with Michael Jordan but this guy [LeBron James] – even when Kobe won five I never said he was as good as Michael Jordan. This guy – LeBron James…. What we’re seeing in the NBA today, we should appreciate it. This guy is just scary.”

O’Neal on Kobe vs. LeBron: “Unfortunately, in this game, when we become great we will be judged by how many championships we have won. The great Bill Russell has 11, Sam Jones has 10, Michael Jordan has six, Magic Johnson has five, Kobe Bryant has five. Until LeBron James gets four or five [championships], I don’t think you can compare him to Kobe Bryant.”

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