NBA All-Star Weekend is more than just a chance to see the greatest current basketball players (even though that singular qualification is part of what makes All-Star weekend awesome!). It’s also an opportunity to see talented WNBA players and retired NBA players, legends and hall-of-famers. This brings us to Part 2 of our series on the NBA All-Star Game: Shooting Stars Competition.
The Shooting Stars competition is held on the Saturday before the All-Star Game and lends an opportunity to see four teams of three: a current NBA and WNBA players and a retired player go head to head in an exhibition of shooting skills.
Shooting Stars Competition Basics
From 2004-2012 the format for the teams included all players representing their specific city, for example, the first Shooting Stars champions were Team Los Angeles comprised of Derek Fisher, Lisa Leslie and Magic Johnson.
As of 2013 each NBA player chooses one WNBA players and one retired player to compete together, for example Team Bosh which won last year’s Shooting Stars Competition was comprised of Chris Bosh, Swin Cash and Dominique Wilkins.
The teams compete under a time-limit to try to make shots from six locations on the court:
• Shot 1: 10 ft bank shot from the right angle
• Shot 2: 15 ft bank shot from the left angle
• Shot 3: Straight on NBA 3 pointer
• Shot 4: 18 ft shot from the right baseline
• Shot 5: NBA 3-pointer from the left side
• Shot 6: Half-court shot
The three players on each team combine to shoot from different locations on the floor. After the first shot is made you move on to the next player and the process continues until the team completes all shots.
Team San Antonio became the event’s first two-time winner in 2008, followed by Team Detroit in 2009, who won their second title. The first Team San Antonio to win did so in 2006 with a record time of 25.1 seconds.
While the event is fairly new, with that much star power and talent converging during the Shooting Stars Competition there was bound to be some memorable moments. Here are the top 6 greatest lineups in NBA Shooting Stars history:
#6 - 2010 : Texas: Dirk Nowitzki, Becky Hammon, Kenny Smith (34.3 seconds)
This Texan trifecta came via Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. The reason they made our list is because they clocked in the 2nd fastest finish in Shooting Stars history. Also, Becky Hammon became one of only three people to ever win two Shooting Stars championships. The other two were Bill Laimbeer and Swin Cash.
#5 - 2013 : Team Bosh (Miami Heat/Chicago Sky /Atlanta Hawks): Chris Bosh, Swin Cash, Dominique Wilkins (89.0 seconds)
The first team to follow the new format makes our list because no one can deny the greatness of The Human Highlight Film—Dominique Wilkins, and because they beat three other teams with incredible lineups as well!
#4 - 2012 : New York: Landry Fields, Cappie Pondexter, Allan Houston (37.3 seconds)
With another blazing fast time, this New York Lineup lands at number 4. This team also went on to win the Shooting Stars title by defeating 3 other teams that included future and current hall of famers and legends.
#3 - 2008 : San Antonio: Tim Duncan, Becky Hammon, David Robinson (35.8 seconds)
Coming in as our #3 greatest lineups are the Twin Towers along with 6 time WNBA All-Star, Hammon. With their dominance in the paint, not many people expected for them to put on such a shooting spectacle, let alone win the title!
#2 - 2004 : Los Angeles : Derek Fisher, Lisa Leslie, Magic Johnson (43.9 seconds)
The winners of the first ever Shooting Stars championship include a star studded lineup of (future and current) Hall of Fame players and 3 of the greatest shooting stars in basketball.
#1 - 2006 : San Antonio: Tony Parker, Kendra Wecker, Steve Kerr (25.1 seconds)
Taking the number one spot on our list of greatest lineups are the trio that recorded the fastest Shooting Stars time ever. With Steve Kerr and Tony Parker among the greatest shooters to ever play basketball and Kendra Wecker the 4th overall pick in the 2005 WNBA Draft, they won Team San Antonio’s 1st title and the top spot on our list!
Do you agree with our list? Who do you think should’ve made the Top 6. Share your thoughts in the comments below!