All-Star notebook: Calf strain keeps Leonard out of Rising Stars game

ORLANDO, Fla. — Kawhi Leonard’s first trip to All-Star weekend was barely worth the flight.

The Spurs rookie forward was a late scratch in Friday’s BBVA Rising Stars Challenge game at the Amway Center after suffering a strained right calf in a 114-99 victory at Denver the night before.

Leonard played just 2:05 against the Nuggets before being sidelined. He does not know if he’ll be able to take the floor when the Spurs resume the season Wednesday against Chicago.

“I’m still a little tight,” Leonard said. “I couldn’t move out there. I’m just going to see how time goes on, get some treatment over the next few days.”

The Rising Stars team drafted by NBA Hall of Famer and TNT analyst Charles Barkley — aka “Team Chuck” — was also without Spurs center Tiago Splitter, who like Leonard is dealing with a calf strain.

Splitter, who was replaced by Utah’s Derrick Favors, did not make the trip to Orlando. Leonard, meanwhile, watched from the bench as Team Chuck ripped Team Shaq — drafted by Shaquille O’Neal — 146-133.

Cleveland rookie guard Kyrie Irving, who scored 34 points to lead Team Chuck, was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.

Even though he was inactive, Leonard said he enjoyed his night.

“I wanted to play,” he said. “Unfortunately, I’ve got a little injury. I couldn’t go out and compete.

“It’s just a great feeling being selected and being here with these guys. Some of them I’ve been through the draft process with. To know a few of us made it, it was fun.”

Leonard promised to be back as a sophomore next year in Houston.

“They’re going to see me again,” he said.

Missing the captain: For the first time in four All-Star trips, Spurs point guard Tony Parker had to go it alone this year.

Parker said it didn’t hit him that Tim Duncan’s streak of 13 consecutive All-Star games was over until Friday morning’s player meetings.

“It’s weird,” Parker said. “Like at the meetings, usually I’m always sitting next to Timmy. It feels a little bit weird to be solo.”

Still, Parker was having trouble summoning too much sympathy for the Spurs’ 35-year-old power forward.

“I know he’s happy to be on vacation and enjoying time with his family,” Parker said.

Saturday night primer: Before he takes the floor in Sunday’s All-Star game, Parker will participate in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge tonight as part of the NBA’s All-Star Saturday night festivities.

Rounding out the field for that event are Irving, Washington’s John Wall, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, New Jersey’s Deron Williams and Boston’s Rajon Rondo.

Rondo will replace Golden State’s Stephen Curry, last year’s winner, who is out with an ankle injury.

Meanwhile, the Silver Stars’ Sophia Young will compete with Team Texas in the Haier Shooting Stars competition. Joining her are Houston’s Chandler Parsons and former Rocket-turned-TNT-analyst Kenny Smith.

Twitter: @JMcDonald_SAEN

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