The Taco Bell Skills Challenge can get overlooked during the All-Star Saturday festivities (especially when guys are dunking over a car), watching guys go through drills is not the most exciting part of the weekend. But this year’s lineup might at least get you stop and watch.
Participating are: Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Tony Parker, Kyrie Irving, Deron Williams and John Wall.
That a rock star lineup of point guards. And stop complaining, you didn’t really expect Jeremy Lin to do this, too, did you?
The event has guys dribbling through cones, making passes to targets and other steps to test their ball handling and point guard skills. You’ll be able to watch it on TNT, which will broadcast all of the Saturday night events.
My early money is on Wall, who when it comes to raw speed and skills is impressive. Westbrook is right there with him. Curry has won this last year and Williams is also a past winner, so if you’re betting on the guys with the track record, they are your men.
Once again NBA fans, you have some good taste. Tony Parker may not think so, but I do. And really, whose opinion do you care about more? Don’t answer that.
Fan votes got to decide who was going to compete against Chris Paul in the NBA All-Star Skills Challenge Saturday night.
You all chose Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls), John Wall (Washington Wizards) and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder), the league announced. Four solid choices. I actually am interested to see who is faster on the dribble: Rose, Westbrook or Wall.
Who got left out? Tyreke Evans (who is hurt anyway and couldn’t have competed), Baron Davis, Derek Fisher (maybe it should have been Ramon Sessions on the list instead) and Tony Parker. Parker is really the only guy you could make a serious case for, but I’m not going to. I’m good with the choices.
What is the skills competition? You watch players dribble around cones, pass through targets and generally run drills. Thrilling, huh? Best part is they put it on national television.
Is there anything as cool as watching an NBA player run some drills and dribble around cones? Of course, not. What could be?
The NBA All-Star Skills Challenge returns to help people fall asleep on Friday night, Feb. 17, but the twist this year is that you and your fellow fans get to pick the participants. Well, four of the five. Chris Paul gets in automatically because, well, he should. Guy has won this event three times and his skills are ridiculous.
The other four participants will be chosen by fan vote (just click here) among these eight candidates:
• Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
• Baron Davis (Los Angeles Clippers)
• Tyreke Evans (Sacramento Kings)
• Derek Fisher (Los Angeles Lakers)
• Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs)
• Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls)
• John Wall (Washington Wizards)
• Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder)
If you vote for Fisher over any of those other guys I am going to come over to your house and force you — Clockwork Orange style — to watch tapes of Fisher running the fast break with Ron Artest until Fisher’s skill level is burned into your brain.
(By the way, there is nothing more amusing in the league right now than the Fisher/Artest breaks the Lakers seem to get a lot of. You know the bad decision is coming but you never know from where.)
Voting runs now through Feb. 14 at NBA.com/chooseyoursquad. The Skills Challenge is part of All-Star Weekend, which takes place at the Staples Center from Feb. 17-20. But if you miss the Friday night part it’s okay, we won’t tell anyone.