Rising Stars: Luka Has His Moments As USA Tops World 151-131

Mike Fisher

Luka Doncic offered proof throughout Friday night’s “Rising Stars” game as part of NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago that this exhibition isn’t as much about “numbers” as it is about “moments.”

“It was fun,” the 20-year-old Dallas Mavericks sensation said after his World Team lost the USA team 151-131. "In (these types of) games, fans want to see a lot of dunks, a lot of long threes and fun stuff.''

This game is designed to showcase young talent - maybe future standouts who will develop into being All-Star Game participants in Sunday’s marquee game. Luke, of course, is already there; he started this game and he’s a starter on Sunday, too.

Doncic scored 16, offered up five assists and contributed two rebounds in the contest. His most electric highlight? It came at the expense - but also at the behest - of Atlanta's Trae Young, who dared/encouraged Luke to try a half-court 3 before the halftime buzzer.

“The half-court shot - you can ask Deandre Ayton. He will tell you. I called it before the timeout, so you can ask him,'' Luka said, grinning.

Luka was also showy as a passer from half-court ...

But the big numbers? Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges took home the MVP award as he finished the victory with 20 points, five rebounds and five assists. And yet that didn't really out-do the "moments,'' as Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson made his bid for Highlight of the Night while damaging the United Center rim just before halftime after catching a pass from Young. 

The show is over now for most of the kids but Luka will move up to the varsity after the start to the weekend that included a gathering with Bill Murray ("He's a funny guy,'' Luka said) and included a meeting with President Barack Obama and will include a session with the legendary Michael Jordan as well.

“It was a pleasure,” Doncic said of the greeting by the President. “It was very nice meeting him. I hope to hang out with him soon, so it was a pleasure.”

It was also a moment. Which is what this is all about.