Thursday, January 30th, 2014 at 11:30 am  |  46 responses

Anthony Bennett Second Top Pick Not Invited to Rising Stars Challenge Since Kwame Brown

Whenever a player’s name is associated with the immortal Kwame Brown, it’s generally never good news. Anthony Bennett, the number one pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, joins Kwame as the only other top pick not to be invited to play in the Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star weekend since the event was created. Per the Akron Beacon Journal:

Bennett played 31 minutes in Tuesday’s loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, easily his most extensive time this season. He set a career high with 15 points (his first time in double figures) and tied a career high with eight rebounds. But it’s been a miserable rookie season for Bennett, who is averaging 2.8 points and 2.4 rebounds.

“I give the kid a lot of credit. He’s had a tough start, a really tough start,” Cavs General Manager Chris Grant said Wednesday. “Obviously, we all want all of our players to have success the first day they walk onto the court. But he didn’t. He’s handled it very well and continues to progress and hopefully he can put some more performances like last night together going forward.”

Brown was drafted first overall in 2001, ahead of Tyson Chandler and Pau Gasol. He played for seven teams over 12 indistinguishable seasons. He is now out of the league.

Other top picks, such as Yao Ming and Tim Duncan, have skipped the Rising Stars game because they were invited to play in the actual All-Star Game. Bennett and Brown are the only top picks not to be invited to All-Star weekend in the 20-year history of the rookie/sophomore game.

Seven of the top 10 picks from last summer’s historically weak draft were excluded this season.

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  • http://signup.divinerenergy.com/ Anthony Dixon

    I hope Bennett rebounds and builds off that 15 point game. I don’t really understand why he’s struggling but hopefully he can get it together.

  • spit hot fiyah

    on the bright side, kwame ended up making loads of money

  • anon

    Seven of the top 10 were picks weren’t selected?? Wow, that’s a crazy draft class.

  • LP @ThisisEther

    This upcoming class won’t be like this…. Seeing and hearing A lot of talk about “overrated 14-15′ class” but all that will disappear when this season is over and these draft workouts begin….You’re gonna want 1 of these next top 10 players….

  • kwamepooh

    i guess it has different reasons. his shoulder injury is one. and the fact hes playing for a team that looks totally lost on both ends of the floor. he needs leadership but coach brown is obviously not the right one for that. i think he has the tools to become a solid player but his mind is definitely not nba ready yet

  • The Seed

    Victor should have been number one. Period, This Bennett cat will suck the rest of his career. He does not have the killer instinct. Who gets pick number one and can’t get 6 to 10pts a game on pure effort. Brown at least tried in games. BOOK IT!!

  • bike

    Don’t sweat it Anthony. Royce White is in the running for the worst 1st-round pick ever. And Kwame wasn’t that bad of a player career-wise. He simply wasn’t worthy of being drafted # 1.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    the thing about Kwame is that he wasn’t a terrible player. he was actually a very good defender, poor offensively, but he was still an NBA caliber big man for years.

  • Drig

    His man to man post D was well worth what LA paid for him. However, I’m not sure if he was that great a help defender. Memory failing me already lol,

    Definitely NBA caliber though. IMO, he would’ve been the perfect backup big on a contender.

  • BEZ

    Great points…also he’s on a young team who’s really gonna teach him anything zeller? Thompson? Cleveland is basically the blind leading the blind…Irving isn’t exactly who they thought he would be…Your second best player is probably Anderson who can’t score outside 3 feet..And Mike Brown is basically proving without Kobe or Lebron he can’t coach on this level & BTW don’t forget Cleveland for some reason thinks this will get Lebron back to Cleveland YFR

  • patrick

    Giannis Antetokounmpo should have gone #1 imo. And he’s my pick for rookie of the year.

  • Felonious Drunk

    For sure. Sometimes public perception is based on where you get drafted at. He wouldn’t have received half the scorn he’s received in his career if he was drafted 29th instead of 1. A good post defender with limited offensive skills? Sounds like Kendrick Perkins or Joel Anthony. All pretty terrible NBA players, but neither of them caught half the flak that Kwame Brown did.

  • Felonious Drunk

    Oh man, that kid is going to be amazing once he figures out the game. He’s going to be a taller Batum at the very LEAST.

  • spit hot fiyah

    yeah off course, they didn’t give him all that money because he sold tickets. he had skills that teams valued

  • Barbara J. Kuester


    ♞♞♞ ♞♞♞⃽ ♞♞♞⃽♞ ♞♞♞He’s going to be a taller Batum at the very LEAST.

  • idk

    I try to give Perkins as much flak as possible every thunder home game

  • davidR

    perkins might be the worst starter in the league

  • Max

    Lets hope his name and Kwame’s don’t show up in many more headlines together..

  • GrizzGnG

    tayshaun prince

  • LakeShow

    Lets see:

    GA: 7ppg 5rpg 2 apg .7 stls .8 blks
    MCW: 17ppg 7apg 5.5rpg 2.4stls .6blks
    Oladipo:14ppg 4rpg 4apg 1.6stls .7 blks


    Maybe he can get most improved next year though.

  • Jack

    Why don’t you look deeper at minutes played, field goal percentage, PER to see how good GA is already and remember he is the youngest player in the NBA who is barely 19

  • davidR

    hopefully he figures it out. there have been way too many players like him with unlimited potential, but not the drive or mental strength.

    he seems like a good kid tho

  • Ryan

    It’s all Confidence. Cav’s announcer told Tommy Heinsohn that Bennett is a PROBLEM in practice. Literally Unguardable. I know it’s against his teammates and it’s just practice but that’s got to mean something. He’s more dominate in practice than Kyrie is

  • LakeShow

    Because no one cares that he could be the best rookie if he got the minutes. What matters is what minutes he has been given.

    GA has a far smaller PER than the other two mentioned.

    FG% hardly matters when you score 7ppg.

    What does being the youngest player in the L have to do with probability of winning ROY?

  • Respect

    Stop tryna be different, he obviously doesnt deserve it

  • LP @ThisisEther

    Jonny FLynn

  • Caboose

    Seven of the top 10 were excluded. What the hell are NBA scouts paid for, exactly?

  • TV63

    This is on Brown. He wouldn’t play him until last game. He doesn’t like rooks and has said during Lebron era he doesn’t even think they should play. So why in the hell would Cavs hire this coach who has such impatience and disdain for young players? Cavs is the 2nd youngest team in the league. How completely stupid to be this arrogant to NOT develop your rooks. Anyone see Jeremy Lamb last night? Case closed. OKC knows how to develop young players; Brown doesn’t want to.

  • TV63

    He seriously never tried until last game to play him.

  • TV63

    This draft class stinks.

  • TV63

    Well Yeah. He’s 259 pounds!!

  • Ugh

    The truth is that most teams don’t have their own scouts anymore. They rely on video scouting, advanced metrics and outsourcing to freelance scouts now. And it shows. Big time.

  • Ugh

    True. Davis’ numbers were better than Lillard’s on a per minute basis, but Lillard got the minutes and the award.

  • LakeShow

    Yes, that is a perfect recent analogy.

  • http://triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    On the plus side of the ledger if A. BENNETT can come in averaging 11ppg and 5rpg next season he would have MIP award sown up… I just hope he doesn’t let this stop himself from moving on and just his rookie season be that…. a rookie season….

  • Caboose

    Could be the next Darko…

  • http://triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Hmmm. Good comparison. Darko was never the player he was expected to he after his Piston days…. I was say to myself, imagine if that was Melo….

  • Adam Webber

    This is beyond a false statement. Every team still has scouts. Where do you get your info because its wrong. This is the funniest thing ive ever heard someone try to claim

  • JL

    Cuz they are the Cavs. They like to draft players way earlier than they should be. That’s why the Cavs are performing like a team that was drafting 15-20 for the last few years. Except for Irving of course.

  • Evan Boland

    Yo, do the Lakers have their first round pick this year??

  • Jnasty

    Don’t just watch moneyball on Netflix and come in here like you know everything

  • ATL dynamite

    Lamb isn’t a rook, and he rarely played last year.

  • JoeMaMa

    1. He shouldn’t have been picked first.
    2. He had a shoulder injury that put him way behind, athletically and for experience, as he missed summer league.
    3. He’s on a team that thought it could make the playoffs, and didn’t see it fit to play him ‘developmental’ minutes.
    4. He was diagnosed with asthma this year, which hasn’t helped his stamina.

    I still think he can be a real player. He just needs to work on his conditioning and get his reps in. Come summer league, get that confidence going, and next year he could get double digits in points…IF the Cavs want to properly develop him and give him minutes. I’m still a believe in Bennett. Just a rough first year.

  • LakeShow


  • Evan Boland

    Really eh, awesome. I can’t believe I find myself rooting against my own team sometimes :( I keep playing the prediction lotto draft and landing Gordon on Lakers I got him like 6/7 times

  • LakeShow

    I feel ya. It’s weird wanting them to lose lol.