NEW ORLEANS – Rookie Michael Carter-Williams got his first taste of All-Star Weekend Friday. He participated in an open practice in the morning with his teammates for the Rising Stars Challenge, did some community service with players at a New Orleans school, helping to build a playground, then played in the Rising Stars game Friday night at Smoothie King Arena.
If he had his druthers, this would become an annual thing. The Sixers point guard appeared to thoroughly enjoy himself, even though his Team (Chris) Webber lost a 142-136 decision to Team (Grant) Hill.
“It was a lot of fun, I had a lot of fun out there,” said Carter-Williams, who finished with 17 points nine assists and six rebounds. Even as important as the game was the bonding that MCW did with his peers.
“That’s important to me,” he said. “These are the guys I got drafted with and even the guys a year ahead of me, it’s important to bond.”
The game was close throughout, but became a shootout late between Webber’s Tim Hardaway, Jr. and Hill’s Dion Waiters. Hardaway finished with 36 points, while Waiters ended up with 31. But it was Detroit Piston Andre Drummond who got the MVP nod after collecting 30 points and 25 rebounds to lead Team Hill.
“That was fun to watch,” said Carter-Williams. “I’ve played a lot of one-one-one against Dion (as Syracuse teammates). When he gets it going…”
All-Star notes: Oklahoma City assistant coach Rex Kalamian and center Steven Adams looked quite spry at the team’s early morning practice. That was a bit surprising as both took a red-eye flight from Los Angeles after the team had beaten the Lakers the night before…Portland’s Damian Lillard is participating in five events this weekend. Asked how he thought he’d do, he said: “I want to win all five, but that’s almost impossible.”…Dirk Nowtizki on being the oldest player to compete on Sunday. “I remember my first All-Star game in Philadelphia, with Kobe and Shaq (who didn’t play due to injury), Tim Duncan. I was the young guy and now I’m the old one. Maybe this is my last one, who knows? I’m just going to have fun.” Nowitzki scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds in 24 minutes in the West’s 135-120 win