Derrick Rose is having a renaissance season, and as part of that rebirth he was returning to the All-Star Saturday Night Skills Challenge — in Chicago, where he remains beloved — to defend his title from 2009.
Until he strained his adductor the other night.
Rose is now out of action for the Pistons through the All-Star break, and he will not be participating in the Saturday night events, the league announced. That sucks, especially for the fans in Chicago.
Oklahoma City’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is taking his place. The second-year guard is having a strong season for the Thunder, averaging 19.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 3.2 assists a game.
The other participants in this year’s skills challenge are Bam Adebayo (Heat), Patrick Beverley (Clippers), Spencer Dinwiddie (Nets), Khris Middleton (Bucks), Domantas Sabonis (Pacers), Pascal Siakam (Raptors), Jayson Tatum (Celtics). Beverley, Dinwiddie, and Tatum have all won this event in the past.
The rules are the same as always, this is a head-to-head tournament where players have to maneuver an obstacle-course competition that tests their dribbling, passing, agility, and 3-point shooting.
The skills competition, along with the Dunk Contest and Three-Point contest, highlight All-Star Saturday night, taking place at the United Center in Chicago Feb. 15.