The second event of tonight's NBA All-Star Saturday Night is essentially a point guard showcase, as the Taco Bell Skills Challenge features both All-Star starting point guards in Derrick Rose and Chris Paul, plus three other guards taking place in other events this weekend. Rounding out the competitors are All-Star reserve and former UCLA Bruin Russell Westbrook, and Rookie Challenge competitors John Wall and Stephen Curry.
This is the ninth NBA Skills Challenge, with the following rules:
The Taco Bell Skills Challenge was introduced at NBA All-Star 2003 in Atlanta and features 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.
Rose won the event as a rookie in 2009. Here are the past champions of the Skills Challenge:
- 2010: Steve Nash, Phoenix
- 2009: Derrick Rose, Chicago
- 2008: Deron Williams, Utah
- 2007: Dwyane Wade, Miami
- 2006: Dwyane Wade, Miami
- 2005: Steve Nash, Phoenix
- 2004: Baron Davis, New Orleans
- 2003: Jason Kidd, New Jersey
Davis, now of the Clippers, and the Lakers' Derek Fisher were among the finalists for the event, chosen by fans, along with Tony Parker of the Spurs and Tyreke Evans of the Sacramento Kings.