Luka Doncic and Dirk Nowitzki will both be part of the Rising Stars game during All-Star weekend in February, with Doncic to play and Nowitzki to serve as the honorary coach of the World Team, Mavericks PR confirmed in an email sent out Tuesday night.
The game will be Friday, Feb. 15 at 8 p.m. CT on TNT. The Rising Stars game has always been about the league’s best rookies and sophomores going head-to-head but back in 2015, they changed the format a tad to make it Team USA vs Team World, with rookies and sophomores on mixed on each squad. This is the second-straight year the Mavericks have had a participant, with Dennis Smith Jr. playing on Team USA last year during his rookie season.
Smith won’t be returning as a sophomore, as the field was particularly stacked — especially on Team USA. In the older format, Smith probably would have been selected. Doncic was of course a no-brainer, the leading candidate for Rookie of the Year.
What makes it fun for Doncic is that his teammate Dirk will be his coach. Dirk participated in the 2000 Rising Stars game back in his second-season.
This also means the Mavericks will be well represented this All-Star weekend — Smith will be in the dunk contest, Doncic in the skill contest and Dirk in the three-point shootout, in addition to their Rising Stars game duties. That’s not even counting the very real possibility that Doncic will be named an All-Star.