2006 Playstation Skills Challenge
Skills Challenge preview is first. Scoll down for the recap, as well as an interview with the winner, Dwyane Wade.
SKILLS CHALLENGE PREVIEW
The star-studded field for the 2006
PlayStation® Skills Challenge features the contest’s defending
champion and 2004-05 NBA MVP Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns, the
Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James, rookie Chris Paul of the New
Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat. The
event will be held on NBA All-Star Saturday Night, Feb. 18 at the Toyota Center in Houston.
Having debuted during NBA All-Star 2003 in Atlanta, the fast-paced
event features four players competing in a two-round timed “obstacle
course” consisting of dribbling, passing and shooting stations. All
players must observe basic NBA ball-handling rules while completing
the course. The two players with the fastest times from the first
round advance to the finals with the order of competition determined
by inverse order of the first round times.
Nash, a four-time All-Star, currently leads the league in assists with
11.1 per game. James, the youngest player in NBA history to reach
5,000 career points (21 years, 22 days on Jan. 21, 2006) is averaging
an impressive 30.9 points, 6.5 assists and 6.9 rebounds. Paul, a
three-time 2005-06 Western Conference Rookie of the Month
leads all rookies in most categories, including points (16.3 ppg),
assists (7.8 apg) and steals (2.2 spg). Wade, recently named a starter
for the 2006 Eastern Conference All-Star Team, is averaging 27.0
points, 6.9 assists and 2.0 steals.
The Playstation Skills Challenge will be televised live nationally as
part of the NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented by AOL, which will
also feature the Three-Point Shootout, Rising Stars
Slam Dunk and Shooting Stars. TNT and ESPN Radio’s
national coverage will begin at 8 p.m. EST from the Toyota Center.
The NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 19, will air live on TNT, Rogers
Sportsnet and ESPN Radio at 8 p.m. EST.
SKILL CHALLENGE RECAP (NOTES LIVE AS IT HAPPENED)
It's Steve Nash, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul. Players have to run as fast as possible back and forth down the court dribbling around obstacles, passing into some targets and making a few shots. Nash won it last year... Chris Paul went first. He hit the layup, didn't dribble too fast around the obstacles, made the shots but had trouble passing into a target -- which ruined him. He finished in 42.6 seconds... Dwyane Wade went second. He urged the fans on to support him before beginning. He dribbled down the floor much faster than Paul. But then he got to the top of the key shot and missed about four in a row, which ruined him. He finished in 39.0 seconds... LeBron James went third. He didn't dribble too quickly down the floor, and missed a few target passes. And then missed a few top of key shots. James finished in 40.5... Steve Nash is up last. Nash started OK, with a left-handed layup. He missed a pass or two, then was awful from the top of the key, missing over and over, twice thinking he had made the shot, only to see it clang. Nash finished in an awful 52.8 seconds... The two finalists are Wade and LeBron... In the finals, LeBron went first, missed a few target passes, but nailed everything else and finished in 33.7 seconds. A very good showing... Wade ran the entire course perfectly, not missing a single shot or pass. He finished in 26.1 seconds to win it.
INTERVIEW WITH SKILLS CHALLENGE WINNER DWYANE WADE
Q. When you got selected for this, you sounded doubtful about your own chances and now you won, I mean, what happened?
DWYANE WADE: I don't know, man. I just went out there and I just competed, like everybody else. I kind of knew early on I was going to get the passes down. I was just worried about that top-of-the-key jumpshot, what you see everybody had trouble on. Just was competing, man. It was fun.
Q. Did you do any practicing for this event?
DWYANE WADE: No. Only practice was early on. We all came out just to get the court down and everything. I'm sorry, I didn't even watch it on the DVD they gave me. I decided to wing it, that's the kind of player I am, just come out and wing it anyway, so it worked again.
Q. When you made it the finals, did you think your time was going to hold up? Because I saw you looking up when Nash was there, were you concerned?
DWYANE WADE: You know, with 39 seconds, and seeing that Nash had the record with 25, not at all. But seeing that he had trouble with the jumpshot, it was shocking. I thought Nash was going to knock that down right away. But it was good, man. And LeBron going 33 in the finals, I didn't know what to expect, but I hit that jumpshot and I kind of knew from there that I was going to be holding the trophy up.
Q. The first time when you were having trouble with the top-of-the-key jumpshot, would it have been easier to picture some Pistons guarding you there?
DWYANE WADE: I don't know. (Laughing). It would have been easier if I was listening to my teammates. Shaq was on the side, "Leave it up, leave it up." The second time, I decided I didn't want to hear his mouth no more, so I decided to leave it up and gave it a chance and made the shot.
Q. What about next year, defend your title, set the record?
DWYANE WADE: Yeah, man, I'm going to be in Vegas no matter what next year. No matter what happens, I'm in Vegas next year. Get the family and let's go. Vegas, here I come. (Laughter).
Q. How do you feel about that section who got PSP's just because of you?
DWYANE WADE: I feel great. They was saying, "We love Wade," and it's great anytime fans, you know, like you. Anytime they like you, I think section 416, they did a great job rooting me on. I'm glad I can give them a gift and give them a PlayStation.
NBA SKILLS CHALLENGE YEAR-BY-YEAR WINNERS
2003 – Jason Kidd, New Jersey
2004 – Baron Davis, New Orleans
2005 – Steve Nash, Phoenix
2006 – Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
2006 NBA SKILLS CHALLENGE COMPETITORS
Participant, Team Pos. Ht. Wt.
LeBron James, Cleveland F 6’8” 240
Steve Nash, Phoenix G 6’3” 195
Chris Paul, New Orleans/Oklahoma City G 6’0” 175
Dwyane Wade, Miami G 6’4” 212
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