Isaiah Thomas, Jimmer Fredette and Thomas Robinson shut out from NBA’s rookie/sophomore game

Jimmer Fredette, Isaiah Thomas, Thomas Robinson (Photo: Steven Chea)

Isaiah Thomas, Jimmer Fredette and Thomas Robinson won’t be playing in the NBA’s annual Rookie/Sophomore Game at All-Star Weekend in Houston.

The league announced Wednesday the list of first and second year players who will play in this year’s BBVA Rising Stars Challenge. And for the first time since 2009, the Sacramento Kings won’t be represented.

“It would be a great thing to play in the game,” said Robinson last week of the chances of participating in the rookie/sophomore game. “Like I said, my situation is a little different than what I expected. But like I said, I’m making the best of it and if I get rewarded for that, then that’s a blessing.”

Spotty per game numbers probably didn’t help the three Kings’ cases in the eyes of the selection committee. Thomas, Sacramento’s starting point guard, is playing just 23.5 minutes while averaging 11.3 points and 3.2 assists per game. Fredette plays just 14.1 minutes and averages only 7.7 points per game.  Robinson, the Kings’ lone rookie this season, is playing just 16 minutes a game and averaging 4.9 points and 4.7 rebounds.

“Hopefully, they notice that I make the best of my situation like I said and hopefully I make the game,” Robinson said when asked last Thursday if his recent play over the last month, which includes three double-doubles, might sway the game’s decision-makers. “If not, then life goes on.”

The Kings’ final hope for any representation during All-Star Weekend would be Fredette.  The second-year guard out of BYU is presumably a candidate for the 3-Point Contest.  Fredette is currently ranked 13th in the NBA in 3-point percentage.  However, his chances might be hampered considering he doesn’t crack the top 50 in long-range makes and attempts.

Over the last three years, the Kings have had at least one representative playing in the Rising Stars game. From 2010 to 2012, DeMarcus Cousins, Tyreke Evans and Omri Casspi were the last three Kings to play in the annual game that pits the league’s young up-and-comers.  As a team that’s failed to make the playoffs since 2006, Sacramento has been afforded the opportunity to participate in the lottery and be in good position to draft some of the NBA’s best young talent.

Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard headline the pool of rookies and sophomores eligible to play in the Rising Stars Challenge. Here is the complete list:



This is the second-straight year that rookies and sophomores will be mixed together on teams. Turner Sports analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal will serve as general managers of the respective squads and will select their teams live on TNT tomorrow, Feb. 7 at 4 p.m. PT. After the teams are selected, fans will be able to vote online for their starting lineups, which will be announced the night of the game taking place Friday, Feb. 15 in Houston, TX.

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