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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Michael Carter-Williams makes roster for Rising Stars Challenge; Tony Wroten does not

(Associated Press)

BOSTON Michael Carter-Williams can add another accomplishment to his ever-expanding resume. 

Wednesday, Carter-Williams was named to the roster for the league’s Rising Star Challenge, a rookie-sophomore showcase game that will be played Feb. 14 of All-Star weekend in New Orleans.

The 76ers’ point guard is one of nine rookies on the roster of first-year players. As for the nine second-year players chosen, Sixers guard did not make the cut.
Tony Wroten

Carter-Williams entered Wednesday averaging 17.4 points, 6.7 assists, 5.6 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game. If he maintains those numbers, he’d join Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson and Steve Francis as the league’s fourth rookie to average those numbers.

“I think his numbers confirm he’s special,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said.

Only 45 games into his pro career, Carter-Williams has achieved plenty. He was the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for the first week of the regular season. He was the East’s Rookie of the Month in November. And he’s leading all rookies in scoring, rebounds and assists.

Now comes the challenge of juggling a weekend of rest versus invaluable experience. Carter-Williams, who averages 35 minutes per game, would have had six days between games over All-Star break. Instead, he will be in New Orleans for a weekend of league-wide festivities.

“It’s a Mardi Gras. It’s a circus. It’s no time for rest,” Brown said, “and Michael won’t experience any rest. I wish he could. But on the flipside, I’m proud of him and I want him to enjoy this experience.”

Evan Turner played in the Rising Stars Challenge in 2012, though rest wasn’t a premium for him. Back then, he was averaging 26 minutes per game.

“You’ve got to think, man. I had nothing but rest. I was part-time,” Turner said. “I took full advantage of playing freely (in the Rising Stars game). I needed that. I would’ve played three more games if they would’ve let me.

“But you want to experience that. You’re young. It gets you excited and intrigued to experience something like that. Then you have a (Kevin Garnett) in that, and after the 13th All-Star Game, it gets a little tiring. MCW will be fine. I’m sad Tony couldn’t make it, but (Carter-Williams) will represent well.”

Speaking of Wroten, the Sixers’ sixth man felt let out when he learned he didn’t make the cut.

“Politics. I know I should’ve made it. It is what it is, you know? Just adds fuel to the fire.”

Wroten is averaging 12.7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists through 38 games.

“Check the stats, man. I definitely should’ve played in it,” Wroten said. “Nothing against the people who made it. Congrats to everybody who did make it. I definitely got snubbed, but (it’s) just motivation.”

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