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NBA Skills Challenge

 


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| Feb. 15, 2014

2014 NBA All-Star WeekendPortland's Damian Lillard is an NBA All-Star Saturday night skills challenge champion for a second straight year. The team of Lillard and Trey Burke, representing the Western Conference, beat the tandem of Michael Carter-Williams and Victor Oladipo of the East in the final round by a tenth of a second. The skills course consists of dribbling around obstacles, passing to targets, and hitting shots from medium and close range. The winning time was 45.2 seconds. -- Associated Press

One-tenth of a second. That was the losing margin for the 76ers Michael Carter-Williams and teammate Victor Oladipo (Orlando Magic) to winners Damian Lillard (Portland) and Utah’s Trey Burke, 45.2 to 45.3. "I had a fun time out there, it was great competing and I hope to be back next year," said Carter-Williams. "I’m having a great time, just being here is a blessing." Despite the loss the rookie is having a can’t-stop-smiling weekend so far, having competed in the Rising Stars game on Friday. He is going to stick around for the rest of the weekend and soak in the All-Star game Sunday before heading back to Philadelphia for a Monday night practice. "Just to appreciate the game and feel blessed that I’m able to be here and play with these guys," said MCW of his feelings. "One day I hope to be able to play in the All Star game." -- Philadelphia Daily News

2014 SKILLS CHALLENGE INTRO

Reigning champion Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers and DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors, both All-Stars for the first time this year, headline the list of participants for the 2014 Skills Challenge (#TacoBellSkills), taking place during All-Star Saturday Night at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on Saturday, Feb. 15. Lillard, the 2012-13 NBA Rookie of the Year, also is participating in the Three-Point Contest and Slam Dunk, becoming the first player to appear in three events during All-Star Saturday Night. He also is participating in the 2014 Rising Stars Challenge on Feb. 14, and the 2014 NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 16.

All-Star Saturday Night will be exclusively televised on TNT. The event also will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio and will collectively reach fans in 215 countries and territories in more than 47 languages.

The Skills Challenge is introducing a new format that features four teams of two players each competing in a two-round timed relay-style course consisting of dribbling, passing and shooting stations.

Representing the Eastern Conference are DeRozan and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks on one team, and Michael Carter-Williams of the Philadelphia 76ers and Victor Oladipo of the Orlando Magic on the other. Antetokounmpo, Carter-Williams and Oladipo are also participating in the 2014 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge.

Joining Lillard on one Western Conference team is Trey Burke of the Utah Jazz, while Reggie Jackson of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Goran Dragic of the Phoenix Suns comprise the other.

As part of this year’s 2014 Taco Bell® Skills Challenge, four lucky teens will paired with the NBA participants. Through the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens, a total of $120,000 will be donated in support of educational scholarships and to Boys & Girls Clubs of America, with the teen paired with the winning team receiving a $30,000 educational scholarship.

For the second consecutive year, the Eastern and Western conferences will compete during State Farm All-Star Saturday Night in an evening of challenges that will raise money for charity. NBA Cares and State Farm will make a joint donation of $500,000 as part of the event, with $100,000 awarded to each event’s winning conference’s charities and $25,000 going to the charities of the runner-up for each event. The Eastern Conference will be playing for the American Heart Association and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF while the Western Conference will compete for Teach for America and Wounded Warrior Project®. All-Stars Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors and George, winner of the 2012-13 Kia NBA Most Improved Player Award, will serve as captains of the Western and Eastern Conferences, respectively. The charities were selected by George and Curry, the NBA, and State Farm.

All teams must observe basic NBA ball-handling rules while completing the course. The fastest team from each Conference during the First Round will advance to the Championship Round. The fastest team in the Championship Round will win the 2014 Taco Bell® Skills Challenge. Complete rules for the 2014 Taco Bell® Skills Challenge and State Farm All-Star Saturday Night can be found on mediacentral.nba.com.

2014 TACO BELL SKILLS CHALLENGE PARTICIPANTS

EASTERN CONFERENCE 2014 TACO BELL SKILLS CHALLENGE PARTICIPANTS

Team One Pos. Ht. Wt.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks G/F 6-9 205
DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors G 6-7 220

Team Two Pos. Ht. Wt.
Michael Carter-Williams, Phila. 76ers G 6-6 185
Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic G 6-5 214

WESTERN CONFERENCE 2014 TACO BELL SKILLS CHALLENGE PARTICIPANTS

Team One Pos. Ht. Wt.
Trey Burke, Utah Jazz G 6-0 190
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers G 6-3 195

Team Two Pos. Ht. Wt.
Goran Dragic, Phoenix Suns G 6-4 180
Reggie Jackson, Oklahoma City Thunder G 6-3 208



LAST YEAR'S SKILLS CHALLENGE

2013 NBA All-Star WeekendPortland rookie Damian Lillard beat Philadelphia guard Jrue Holiday in the final round to win the Skills Competition during All-Star Saturday night.

The competition involves players navigating a dribbling circuit, taking a 3-point shot, hitting targets with passes and driving for a layup. Lillard swished his first 3-point attempt in his winning run and finished the obstacle course in 29.8 seconds. Holiday's time was 35.6 seconds.

-- Associated Press

INTRO TO 2013 NBA SKILLS CHALLENGE COMPETITION

Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs will defend his Skills Challenge contest title against a field consisting of Jrue Holiday of the Philadelphia 76ers, Brandon Knight of the Detroit Pistons, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, Jeremy Lin of the Houston Rockets, and Jeff Teague of the Atlanta Hawks. The 2013 Skills Challenge competition will take place on Feb. 16, at Toyota Center in Houston as part of All-Star Saturday Night.

Parker will attempt to join the Los Angeles Lakers’ Steve Nash (2005 and 2010) and the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade (2006 and 2007) as the only two-time winners in Skills Challenge history. This year’s Skills Challenge features an expanded six-player field for the second year in a row. There were five contestants in 2011 and four in 2010.

For the first time, NBA All-Star Saturday Night will feature a new format that pits the Eastern Conference against the Western Conference in a night of competition that will raise money for charity. As part of the new format, points earned by each conference throughout the four All-Star Skills Competitions will determine the conference that earns the title of 2013 All-Star Saturday Night Champion.

Three players representing the Western Conference and three players representing the Eastern Conference will compete in the two-round competition. The two competitors with the fastest times from their respective conferences in the Team Round advance to the Championship Round.

-----

2012 NBA ALL-STAR SKILLS CHALLENGE COMPETITION

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors was to defend his NBA Skills Challenge title against a field consisting of Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs, John Wall of the Washington Wizards, Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Deron Williams of the New Jersey Nets.

But, Curry was injured and unable to participate. He was replaced by Rajon Rondo in the event.

And in the 2012 Skills Challenge first round, Deron Williams led (28.3 seconds), followed by Tony Parker (29.2), Rondo and John Wall (both 32.8 seconds), Russell Westbrook (33.8) and Kyrie Irving (42.2).

Because Rondo and Wall tied, they had a tie-breaker, and it was Rondo advancing. So, the final round will be D-Will, Parker and Rondo.

In the finals, Rondo went first but blew it early due to missing the passing target several times. His time was 34.6 seconds. Parker went second in the final round and got 32.8. And D-Will went last, but he blew four shots from the top of the key, destroying his chances. Willliams finished at 41.4 seconds.

Your 2012 NBA Skills Challenge champion is Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs.

The AP reports: San Antonio point guard Tony Parker then won the Skills Competition. Parker was the only one of six participants to break 30 seconds in the first round (29.2) and this time of 32.8 in the final run on the obstacle course was better than Boston’s Rajon Rondo (34.6) and New Jersey’s Deron Williams (41.4).

The AP reports: The speedy Parker put together an impressive display on the skills obstacle course, which involves participants moving through a dribbling circuit, successfully throwing chest passes through a hanging tire and driving for a layup. Williams, the 2008 winner, holds the record for the skills’ course at 25 seconds, but had trouble completing a pass in the final round on Saturday.

NBA SKILLS CHALLENGE PREVIEW INFO

The 2012 Skills Challenge will take place during All-Star weekend on Feb. 25, at Amway Center in Orlando.

Curry will attempt to join the Phoenix Suns’ Steve Nash (2005 and 2010) and the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade (2006 and 2007) as the only two-time winners in All-Star NBA Skills Challenge event history. This year’s Skills Challenge at All-Star will feature an expanded field from five to six participants.

Fan discussion of this year's Skills Challenge is in this basketball forum topic.

Curry, who leads the Warriors in assists with 6.5 per game and averages 17.2 points and 1.8 steals, won last year’s Skills Challenge competition with a final-round time of 28.2 seconds to beat Westbrook. Irving, the overall top selection in the 2011 NBA Draft, who also is participating in the Rising Star Challenge, leads rookies in scoring (18.3 ppg) and ranks second in assists (4.8 apg). Parker, a 2012 NBA All-Star, paces the Spurs in both scoring (19.4 ppg) and assists (7.8 apg). Wall, the No. 1 selection in the 2010 NBA Draft, averages a team-high 7.5 assists to go along with 16.9 points. Westbrook, the 2011 Taco Bell® Skills Challenge runner-up and a 2012 NBA All-Star, ranks fifth in the league in scoring (23.2 ppg) and seventh in steals (1.9 spg), while adding 5.5 apg. Williams, the current record holder in the event at 25.5 seconds which he set in 2008 in New Orleans, is a 2012 NBA All-Star, ranks sixth in assists (8.3 apg) and eighth in scoring (21.7 ppg).

The Skills Challenge competition was introduced at NBA All-Star 2003 in Atlanta and features six 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 three 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. At the discretion of the referee, television instant replay may be consulted for clarification of rules compliance.

The 2012 Bell Skills Challenge event will be televised live nationally as part of the NBA All-Star Saturday Night.

2012 NBA SKILLS CHALLENGE COMPETITORS

Participant, Team Pos. Ht. Wt.
Stephen Curry, Golden State G 6-3 185
Kyrie Irving, Cleveland G 6-3 191
Tony Parker, San Antonio G 6-2 185
John Wall, Washington G 6-4 195
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City G 6-3 187
Deron Williams, New Jersey G 6-3 209

SKILLS CHALLENGE YEAR-BY-YEAR WINNERS

2003 – Jason Kidd, New Jersey
2004 – Baron Davis, New Orleans
2005 – Steve Nash, Phoenix
2006 – Dwyane Wade, Miami
2007 – Dwyane Wade, Miami
2008 – Deron Williams, Utah
2009 – Derrick Rose, Chicago
2010 – Steve Nash, Phoenix
2011 – Stephen Curry, Golden State





LAST YEAR'S NBA SKILLS CHALLENGE

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, John Wall of the Washington Wizards and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder were selected by fans to compete against Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets in the 2011 NBA Skills Challenge on Feb. 19, at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

It was Curry and Westbrook reaching the Skills Challenge finals, with Curry unleashing a nearly flawless performance to win it. Here's a live blog of the action as it happened:

LIVE 2011 NBA SKILLS CHALLENGE BLOG

Stephen Curry started strong but missed several times at the top of the key, missed the last outlet pass a few times, did nicely in the full-court end dribble, finishing in 34.1 seconds. Russell Westbrook went second, doing fine the entire way through and blazing his way to finishing in 30.0 seconds. John Wall was third and missed the iniital chest-pass, and also attempts at the final pass, finishing in 39.3 seconds.

Up fourth was Derrick Rose, who like several other players missed several target passes, wrapping it up in 35.7 seconds.

Chris Paul was fifth and drew crowd gasps by missing the very first layup, something I don't remember seeing happen too often, if ever. He also missed a few from the top of the key, and by the time he began the long dribble to the other end of the court already knew he was out. His time was 42.7 seconds, worst of the bunch.

The competition then paused so Brandon Jennings could teach a little kid how to dribble properly. It was a setup, however, as the kid, whose name is Jordan McCabe, turned out to be a dribbling wizard who could handle two basketballs at the same time. Dude was nice with the rock. No word on if he has a jumpshot yet.

The Skills Challenge finals featured Curry vs Westbrook. Curry went first and flew through the course, getting 28.2 seconds, which so far is the best performance of the night.

Westbrook missed the first chest pass, then a bounce pass, then two top-of-the-key jumpers, then several of the final passes. Everything went wrong. He got 44.2 seconds.

Congrats to Stephen Curry for winning the 2011 NBA Skills Challenge competition!

Player quotes and more coming later or tomorrow.

2011 NBA SKILLS CHALLENGE PREVIEW

For the first time, fans had the opportunity to determine participants in the NBA Skills Challenge event as part of the “Choose Your Squad” program. From Jan. 27 through Feb. 15, fans could choose their squad of four players out of eight candidates. Along with the four players chosen to compete, fans also had the opportunity to vote for Baron Davis of the Los Angeles Clippers, Tyreke Evans of the Sacramento Kings, Derek Fisher of the Los Angeles Lakers and Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs.

Curry, who leads the NBA in free throw shooting percentage (.941), has followed up a solid rookie campaign by pacing the Warriors in assists with 6.0 apg while also contributing 18.4 ppg; Curry also is participating in the 2011 NBA Rookie Challenge game. Rose, who was voted to start for the Eastern Conference in the 2011 NBA All-Star Game, is the only player in the league to rank in the top 10 in both scoring (8th, 24.5 ppg) and assists (9th, 8.2 apg). Wall, the overall top selection in the 2010 NBA Draft, ranks seventh overall in assists (8.9 ppg) and is second among rookies in scoring (15.0 ppg); Wall also is participating in the 2011 T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam. A first-time All-Star, Westbrook is the only player in the NBA averaging at least 22.0 points, 8.0 assists and 5.0 rebounds. A four-time All-Star, who was voted to start for the Western Conference in the 2011 NBA All-Star Game, Paul paces the league in steals (2.47 spg) while ranking fourth in assists (9.6 apg). Paul is the only player with at least 7,500 points, 3,900 assists and 950 steals through 400 games.

The NBA Skills Challenge competition was introduced at NBA All-Star 2003 in Atlanta and features five 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. At the discretion of the referee, television instant replay may be consulted for clarification of rules compliance.

In addition to adding a fan vote and the new charitable element, this year’s NBA Skills Challenge will feature an expanded field from four to five participants.

Last year in Dallas, Steve Nash finished with a winning time of 29.9 seconds, joining the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade (2006 and 2007) as the only other two-time winner in NBA Skills Challenge history.

2011 NBA SKILLS CHALLENGE COMPETITORS

Chris Paul, New Orleans G 6-0 175
Stephen Curry, Golden State G 6-3 185
DERRICK ROSE, CHICAGO BULLS G 6-3 190
John Wall, Washington Wizards G 6-4 195
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City G 6-3 187

NBA SKILLS CHALLENGE YEAR-BY-YEAR WINNERS HISTORY

2003 – Jason Kidd, New Jersey
2004 – Baron Davis, New Orleans
2005 – Steve Nash, Phoenix
2006 – Dwyane Wade, Miami
2007 – Dwyane Wade, Miami
2008 – Deron Williams, Utah
2009 – DERRICK ROSE, CHICAGO
2010 – Steve Nash, Phoenix






2010 NBA Skills Challenge event
February, 2010

2010 NBA All-Star WeekendThe AP reports: Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash also was a winner Saturday night, beating a trio of 20-somethings to capture another Skills Challenge title six days after he turned 36. With a time of 29.9 seconds in the final round of the obstacle course-like skills competition, Nash beat Dallas native and 2008 champion Deron Williams of Utah, who is 11 years younger... Nash completed every obstacle in the final round in one try—save for a second shot from the top of the key. Williams was perfect until needing five shots at the outlet pass, when he had already exceeded Nash’s winning time.

The AP reports: Milwaukee rookie guard Brandon Jennings and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, 21, were eliminated after the first round. Westbrook replaced defending champion Derrick Rose of Chicago, who sat out with a bruised right hip. Defending 3-point champion Daequan Cook of Miami was eliminated after the first round. His 15 points were the same as Phoenix’s Channing Frye and New York’s Danilo Gallinari. Curry had 18 points in the first round, while Pierce and Billups had 17.

----------


Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook replaces injured 2009 winner Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls win the 2010 NBA Skills Challenge. Also in the competition are Brandon Jennings of the Milwaukee Bucks, Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns and Deron Williams of the Utah Jazz. The NBA Skills Challenge is part of NBA All-Star Saturday Night, taking place Feb. 13, at American Airlines Center in Dallas.

The NBA All-Star Skills Challenge was introduced at NBA All-Star 2003 in Atlanta and 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. At the discretion of the referee, television instant replay may be consulted for clarification of rules compliance.

A first-time NBA All-Star, Rose has followed up his Rookie of the Year campaign by averaging team highs in points (19.7 ppg) and assists (5.9 apg). Jennings, who will participate in the 2010 Rookie Challenge game, is averaging a team- and rookie-high 6.3 assists, and is second among first-year players in scoring at 17.5 ppg. Voted to start at guard for the Western Conference in the 2010 NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 14 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Nash, the 2005 Skills Challenge champion, ranks second in the league in assists (11.1 apg) and is on pace to shoot .500/.400/.900 for the fourth time in his career. Williams, another first-time All-Star and the 2008 Skills Challenge champion, is tied for third in the league in assists (9.7 apg) and is averaging 19.0 points. Williams, a Dallas native, holds the course record of 25.5 seconds, which he set in the final round in 2008.

Last year in Phoenix, Rose finished his winning time of 35.3 seconds with an emphatic double-pump reverse dunk, as he became the first rookie to win the Skills Challenge.

The 2010 NBA Skills Challenge event will be televised live nationally as part of the NBA All-Star Saturday Night.

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2009 NBA SKILLS CHALLENGE
February 14, 2009

NBA shooting stars all star eventChicago Bulls rookie point guard Derrick Rose beat out Devin Harris, Mo Williams and Tony Parker to win the 2009 NBA Skills Challenge contest.

The NBA Skills Challenge competition is full court obstacle course. Players compete as individuals. They must hit a layup, dribble down the court around obstacles, pass the ball into a target, hit a jumper from the top of the key, pass the ball into another target, and go all the way back down the court and score.

Here's the 2009 NBA Skills Challenge competition recap; these are raw, unedited notes taken live as the event happened:

Devin Harris went first. He hit the opening layup, dribbled, blew a few target passes, missed once from teh top of the key, missed another target pass, and dribbled in for a layup, finishing at 36.9 seconds.

Mo Williams went second. He dribbled fairly slowly, and missed several target passes (though an ill-positioned ballboy delayed Williams by maybe two seconds), hit the jumper, missed another few target passes, and glided down the court for a decent finish.

Derrick Rose went third and was perfect until he missed a jumper from the top of the key, but was terrific the rest of the way through, though he too ran fairly slowly down the court while dribbling around the obstacles. He finished in 33.3 seconds, good for first place so far.

Tony Parker went fourth. He hit the opening layup, dribbled downcourt, but blew two target passes, then one more, then missed multiple jumpers from the top of the key, and didn't finish until 50.8 seconds, an awful display. Clearly the Spurs should cut him, and sign InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner instead.

So, Harris and Rose reach the 2009 NBA Skills Challenge comptition finals.

Devin Haris was moving much faster in the second round, missing a fwe target passes, then blowing three jumpers from teh top of the key, finishing at 39.7 seconds.

Rose didn't fly down the court, but nailed the targeted passes, only missed one top-of-key jumper, missed a targeted pass, and instead of merely laying it up Rose rose up and threw down a nasty, double-clutch dunk to easily win the 2009 NBA Skills Challenge championship.


NBA Skills Challenge preview

A new NBA Skills Challenge champion will be crowned as the New Jersey Nets’ Devin Harris, the Orlando Magic’s Jameer Nelson, the San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker and the Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose will take the floor on Feb. 14, as part of NBA All-Star Saturday Night at US Airways Center in Phoenix.

The NBA All-Star Skills Challenge was introduced at NBA All-Star 2003 in Atlanta and consists of 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. At the discretion of the referee, television instant replay may be consulted for clarification of rules compliance.

A first-time NBA All-Star, Harris, who paces the Nets in scoring (21.5 ppg), assists (6.4 apg) and steals (1.7 spg), is one of only five players averaging at least 21.0 points and 6.0 assists.

Another first-time All-Star, Nelson is averaging a career-high 17.0 points, while shooting .506 from the field and .456 from beyond the arc.

Rose, a leading candidate for Rookie of the Year honors and a participant this year’s Rookie Challenge on Feb. 13, paces rookies and is among the league leaders in assists (6.3 apg); he ranks second among first-year players in scoring (16.7 ppg).

Parker, an All-Star for the third time and a participant in the inaugural Skills Challenge in 2003, became only the second player in NBA history to record at least 55 points, 10 assists and five rebounds when he did it Nov. 5 at Minnesota, joining Oscar Robertson.

Last year in New Orleans, Utah’s Deron Williams covered the course in a record 25.5 seconds in the second round to capture the title.

2009 NBA ALL-STAR SKILLS CHALLENGE COMPETITORS

Participant, Team Pos. Ht. Wt.
Devin Harris, New Jersey Nets G 6-3 185
Jameer Nelson, Orlando Magic G 6-0 190
Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs G 6-2 180
Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls G 6-3 190

PAST NBA SKILLS CHALLENGE WINNERS HISTORY

2003 – Jason Kidd, New Jersey
2004 – Baron Davis, New Orleans
2005 – Steve Nash, Phoenix
2006 – Dwyane Wade, Miami
2007 – Dwyane Wade, Miami
2008 – Deron Williams, Utah




----------------------------------------------------------


LAST YEAR'S NBA SKILLS CHALLENGE EVENT
Feb. 16, 2008

It’s 2008 NBA All-Star Weekend and the Saturday Night events are on. Now up is the Skills Challenge competition. Scroll down to see the event preview/overview.

Deron Williams went first, missing a straight-in pass and one of the top-of-the-key shots, finishing in 31.2 seconds.

Jason Kidd went second and was flawless until shooting the top of the key shot, which he missed five times (after five misses a player can stop shooting and continue with the course), finishing in 39.7 seconds.

Chris Paul was up net, missing a bounce pass, but otherwise running the whole course perfectly, flying in at 29.0 seconds.

Last up was Dwyane Wade, who fumbled the ball during the obstacle-dribble in the beginning and had to go chase it, then missed three from the top of the key and quickly fired the next two up just to get through it, blew some passes, and slowly dribbled to the end, but then missed the layup, and missed the follow, for a disgustingly awful performance of 53.9 seconds.

CP3 and D-Will advance to the second and final round.

In the final round, D-Will went first. He dunked the first shot, ran the dribbling, hit the straight-in pass, and the bounce pass, swished the top-of-the-key jumper, hit the next straight-on pass, and ended it with a dunk, finishing with in terrific 25.5 seconds time, setting the all-time record best time for this event.

Paul is up and has to be virtually perfect for a shot at winning. He hit the first layup, dribbled the obstacles, missed the first straight-on pass, hit the bounce pass, missed once from the top of the key, hit the last straight-on pass, and hit the layup, getting 31.2 seconds — a respectable time but D-Will wins it with a brilliant performance.


PREVIEW: 2008 NBA SKILLS CHALLENGE COMPETITION
Feb. 16, 2008

The Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade will defend his PlayStation Skills Challenge title against three of the league’s biggest stars on Feb. 16, as part of NBA All-Star Saturday Night at New Orleans Arena in New Orleans. The competitors hoping to deny Wade’s quest for his third consecutive title are the New Orleans Hornets’ Chris Paul, the New Jersey Nets’ Jason Kidd and the Utah Jazz’s Deron Williams.

The Skills Challenge was introduced at NBA All-Star 2003 in Atlanta and consists of 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. At the discretion of the referee, television instant replay may be consulted for clarification of rules compliance.

Wade, who defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James in the finals of the 2006 Skills Challenge in Houston, and bested the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant last year in Las Vegas, ranks fifth in the NBA in scoring, averaging 24.5 points. Paul, a competitor in the 2006 Skills Challenge in Houston, leads the league in steals (2.5) and is second in the league in assists (10.9). Kidd, champion of the inaugural Skills Challenge in 2003, ranks third in the NBA in assists with 10.4 per game. Williams, a first-time competitor in the Skills challenge, is fourth in the league in assists, averaging 9.6.

The Skills Challenge will be televised live nationally as part of the NBA All-Star Saturday Night, which will also feature the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout, Sprite Slam Dunk and Haier Shooting Stars. TNT and ESPN Radio’s national coverage will begin at 8 p.m. EST from New Orleans Arena. The NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 17, will air live on TNT, ESPN Radio and in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.

2008 SKILLS CHALLENGE COMPETITORS

Participant, Team Pos. Ht. Wt.
Jason Kidd, New Jersey Nets G 6-4 210
Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets G 6-0 175
Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat G 6-4 216
Deron Williams, Utah Jazz G 6-3 205

NBA SKILLS CHALLENGE HISTORY: YEAR-BY-YEAR WINNERS

2003 – Jason Kidd, New Jersey
2004 – Baron Davis, New Orleans
2005 – Steve Nash, Phoenix
2006 – Dwyane Wade, Miami
2007 – Dwyane Wade, Miami








2007 NBA SKILLS CHALLENGE RECAP

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade will defend his PlayStation Skills Challenge title against three of the league’s biggest stars on Feb. 17 as part of NBA All-Star Saturday Night at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. The competitors hoping to deny Wade’s quest for a repeat are the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James and the New Orleans Hornets' Chris Paul. Originally scheduled was Steve Nash, but he is hurt. Paul was his replacement.

LIVE 2007 NBA SKILLS CHALLENGE NOTES:

LeBron, rocking gold LeBron sneakers, went first. He nailed dribbled rather slowly, nailed the passes, did fairly well on the shots, but for some weird reason moved slowly throughout, finishing in 35.4 seconds.

Chris Paul went second. He hit the layup, also ran rather slowly, missed a few of the passes, a shot or two, struggled again on the other passes, and finished in 39.6.

What's with these dudes? They're casually jogging instead of running.

Kobe Bryant was third. Like the others, Kobe slowly jogged around, nailing everything, moving just a bit faster than LeBron, finishing with 29.8, the best time so far.

Dwyane Wade is going to have to beat LeBron's time in order to reach the finals to face Kobe.

Wade moved at a pace similar to Kobe, did well, finished in 31.3 seconds, good for second place and a spot in the finals.

And now in the second and final round, Kobe vs. D-Wade. Wade went first, started slightly faster than anyone else so far and barely missed, finishing in 26.4 seconds. It's all up to Kobe.

Wade then sat next to LeBron, discussing what went down.

Kobe also went a bit faster, but then missed his first four pass attempts into the cylinder, essentially losing the contest right there. And then slowed down the rest of the way, knowing Wade had won. Kobe even missed the final layup and had to rebound the miss and put it in, finishing in over 45 seconds.

Wade wins, the first back-to-back Skills Challenge champion.



NBA SKILLS CHALLENGE PREVIEW

The NBA Skills Challenge was introduced at NBA All-Star 2003 in Atlanta and consists of 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. At the discretion of the referee, television instant replay may be consulted for clarification of rules compliance.

Wade, who defeated James in the finals of the 2006 NBA Skills Challenge in Houston, is tied with Bryant for third in the NBA in scoring, averaging 28.4 points per game. Nash, who won the event in 2005 in Denver, currently leads the league in assists with 11.8 per game. James, who was the leading vote-getter for this year’s All-Star game, is seventh in the league in scoring at 27.2 points per game.

The NBA Skills Challenge will be televised live nationally as part of the NBA All-Star Saturday Night. TNT and ESPN Radio’s national coverage will begin at 8 p.m. EST from the Thomas & Mack Center. The NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 18, will air live on TNT, ESPN Radio and in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.

Below are the participants for the 2007 NBA Skills Challenge:

2007 NBA SKILLS CHALLENGE COMPETITORS

Participant, Team Pos. Ht. Wt.
Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers (G, 6-6, 220)
LeBron James, Cleveland (F, 6-8, 240)
Steve Nash, Phoenix (G, 6-3, 195) - INJURED
Dwyane Wade, Miami (G, 6-4, 212)

PLAYSTATION SKILLS CHALLENGE YEAR-BY-YEAR WINNERS

2003 – Jason Kidd, New Jersey
2004 – Baron Davis, New Orleans
2005 – Steve Nash, Phoenix
2006 – Dwyane Wade, Miami

NBA SKILLS CHALLENGE RULES

Four players will compete in a two-round timed “obstacle course” event consisting of dribbling, passing & shooting stations.

- Two rounds of competition - The two players with the fastest times from the first round advance to the finals.

- Players will be timed on a clock starting at 00:00.0. The clock stops when the final shot is made. (Start and Stop is on ref’s whistle)

- Players must observe basic NBA ball-handling rules while completing the course.

- The three passing and the “top of the key” shooting challenges are considered completed (player can move on) when he either (1) successfully hits the target/makes the shot OR (2) exhausts the corresponding rack of balls at the target/basket.

- For the opening layup and the final shot, the player must rebound his own ball until the basket is made.

- In the case of a tie in either round (times will be to the tenth of a second), the tied players will repeat the course.

- Players are subject to disqualification (at the final discretion and judgment of the NBA referee) for failure to attempt all of the challenges as they are designed and intended to be completed.

- Order of competition in the Finals is determined by inverse order of First Round times.

- There are no “time penalty” assessments.

INSTANT REPLAY – At the discretion of the referee, TV instant replay may be consulted for clarification of rules compliance.

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