While the Los Angeles Lakers won’t have any representatives in the NBA All-Star game itself – Lonzo Ball was snubbed – the Lakers will be represented during All-Star Weekend.
A trio of Lakers – Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma – were named to the Rising Stars Challenge on Team USA.
The game will take place on Friday, Feb. 16 during All-Star Weekend.
Ingram’s selection comes in the middle of a breakout season that has seen him average 15.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists while shooting 45.1 percent from the field and 34.3 percent beyond the arc.
His jump, though, can be seen even more beyond the stats as he’s accepted his role as the Lakers’ late-game shot-taker and, in most cases this season, shot-maker. With Ball stealing most of the headlines, Ingram’s development has been arguably the best thing about the Lakers this season.
Speaking of Ball, the rookie is averaging 10.2 points, 7.1 rebounds and 7.1 assists with 1.5 steals while shooting 35.6 percent from the field and 30.3 percent from beyond the arc. Ball’s shooting splits stick out and was a talking point for much of the season, but he has shot 41.5 percent from the field and 35.6 percent from three-point territory since the start of December.
Ball has also notched a pair of triple-doubles already this season and nearly had a third in the team’s second game of the year when he exploded for 29 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists in a win over Phoenix.
The most surprising rookie this season, though, has been Kuzma. The 27th pick in the NBA Draft, Kuzma leads the Lakers in scoring this season with an average of 16.7 points per game.
Kuzma is shooting a team-best 38.2 percent from beyond the arc while shooting 46.3 percent from the field. He is also averaging 6.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists per season.
The wingman has had three 30-point games this season, led by his 38-point explosion in a win over Houston. Most recently, Kuzma poured in 28 points in a win against the Celtics, scoring 14 of those points in the fourth quarter.
Last season, Ingram and D’Angelo Russell took part in the Rising Stars Challenge.
The game will start at 9 p.m. Eastern and will be broadcast on TNT.