Bob Donnan/USA TODAY
Victor Oladipo was picked with Chris Webber's seventh pick in the BBVA Compass Rising Stars draft.
The fans voted him a starter. And Thunder assistant coach Rex Kalamian drew up a play for Victor Oladipo to throw a lob to the hometown Anthony Davis.
And that is how the wide-open BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge started and kicked off All-Star Weekend. The game, featuring the top rookies and sophomores in the league, is never a defensive masterpiece. In fact there is not much defense being played at all — I caught you Victor Oladipo jogging back in transition — and that increases the entertainment.
Oladipo took a while to get his feet wet and did what he could when he had the ball. He scored 13 points on 6-for-10 shooting, adding a couple of dunks and an alley-oop to Davis in transition after Davis had a clean swat on Toronto's Jonas Valanciunas.
Dion Waiters and Tim Hardaway Jr. put on a show, trading 3-pointers for a five-minute stretch of the second half. Waiters and Andre Drummond anchored Team Hill to a 142-136 win in the game. Not that it mattered.
Drummond took advantage of every missed shot, scoring 30 points and grabbing 25 rebounds to bring home MVP honors. Hardaway had 36 points to lead Team Webber, the team Oladipo played for, and Waiters had 31 points going against him.
For Oladipo, it was just an easygoing experience. He was not asked to do a ton. Trey Burke and Michael Carter-Williams took care of the point guard duties and Jared Sullinger decided to jack up every 3-pointer he could get. This was not a game where it was easy to get into a rhythm or get involved if you did not have the ball in your hands or were able to go out and get offensive rebounds.
Oladipo was playing off the ball and there was never a reason to put his pedal to the medal except on a few occasions. That is what an All-Star Game is about.
Oladipo seemed to have a good time and enjoy the experience. Most importantly, he did not get hurt and showed the nation what he could do, albeit very briefly.
Oladipo returns Saturday night for the Taco Bell Skills Challenge. Another great experience for the rookie guard.