The 2023 Jordan Rising Stars championship game was a nail-biting affair that came down to the final shot.
In a game played to a Final Target Score of 25, Team Pau emerged victorious with a 25-20 win over Team Joakim at the Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah Saturday (Philippine time).
The winning shot came from New Orleans Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado, who hit a 3-pointer from the right wing. Alvarado finished the game with five points and was named the game’s MVP.
The championship game featured a balanced effort from Team Pau, with Bennedict Mathurin of the Indiana Pacers (seven), Scottie Barnes (six points) of the Toronto Raptors, and Paolo Banchero (four points) of the Orlando Magic all chipping in.
Second-year guard Quentin Grimes of Team Joakim was the top scorer of the championship game, registering 14 points on 5-for-8 shooting. Grimes’ hot hand propelled his team to an 18-16 lead at one point, but the balanced scoring of Team Pau ultimately proved to be the difference.
Earlier in the night, the two semifinal games were played to a Final Target Score of 40.
In Game 1, Team Pau beat Team Deron 40-25 thanks to a clutch 3-pointer from Sacramento Kings rookie Keegan Murray. Alvarado provided a spark off the bench with 13 points in just 10 minutes of play.
In Game 2 of the semifinals, Team Joakim topped Team Jason 40-32. Grimes once again came up big, hitting the game-winning 3-pointer and finishing with a game-high 13 points. Evan Mobley, Jeremy Sochan, and Josh Giddey also made solid contributions to Team Joakim.
The Jordan Rising Stars championship game featured a Final Target Score, which means that each game would end on a made basket or free throw, rather than time expiring.
The semifinal games, Game 1 and Game 2, were played to a Final Target Score of 40, while the championship game was played to a Final Target Score of 25.
This format provided an exciting and dramatic finish to each game.
The 2023 Jordan Rising Stars rosters were announced following a player pool draft conducted by NBA legends and Rising Stars coaches Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, Deron Williams, and Jason Terry.
The game was a showcase of some of the NBA’s top up-and-coming talent, with players from the Sacramento Kings, Orlando Magic, Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors, Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, and Oklahoma City Thunder all making an impact.
The Jordan Rising Stars game is one of the most exciting events of the NBA season, giving fans a glimpse of the league’s future stars. The game showcased the top rookies and sophomores in the NBA, and it was led by legendary NBA players who served as honorary head coaches. This year’s coaches included some of the biggest names in NBA history, including Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, and Deron Williams.
Gasol is a six-time NBA All-Star and two-time NBA champion who played for the Memphis Grizzlies, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Chicago Bulls, the San Antonio Spurs, and the Milwaukee Bucks during his illustrious NBA career. He is known for his versatile game, which includes strong post-play, a soft shooting touch, and excellent court vision.
Joakim Noah is a two-time NBA All-Star and the 2013-14 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year. He played for the Chicago Bulls, the New York Knicks, and the Memphis Grizzlies during his NBA career. Noah was known for his high-energy play, strong rebounding, and excellent defensive skills.
Deron Williams is a three-time NBA All-Star and a two-time All-NBA Second Team member.
He played for the Utah Jazz, the Brooklyn Nets, the Dallas Mavericks, and the Cleveland Cavaliers during his NBA career. Williams was known for his excellent ball-handling skills, his ability to shoot from long range, and his strong court vision.
In addition to the honorary head coaches, the team of NBA G League players was led by Jason Terry, a former NBA player who won the 2008-09 Kia NBA Sixth Man of the Year award and the 2011 NBA championship with the Dallas Mavericks.
Terry is currently an assistant coach for the Utah Jazz and was the head coach of the NBA G League’s Grand Rapids Gold during the 2021-22 season.
To provide additional coaching expertise, assistant coaches from the NBA All-Star Game coaching staff will join the legends in coaching the teams during the Jordan Rising Stars games.
This ensured that the young players received the best possible coaching and guidance from some of the best basketball minds in the game.