If you’re a basketball fan you’ve heard of or been a part of this debate before: Who’s the greatest guard of all time? Usually you hear answers like Jordan, Magic, Kobe, AI or Steve Nash, and even with today’s wealth of new NBA talent names like Rondo and Curry get thrown in.
What’s amazing about the NBA All-Star Game is that we get to see all the best guards compete at the same time! Even more incredible is the inception of the Taco Bell Skills Challenge. This decade-old competition among the guards is the ultimate test of passing, shooting and general ball handling skills that every guard should have.
- The first NBA All-Star Skills Challenge was held in 2003
- The event takes place on the Saturday before the All-Star Game
- Jason Kidd was the first player to win the Skills Challenge
- Chris Paul is the only player to participate four times in the challenge and not win the title
- The challenge changed from four participants to six (3 East 3 West) players in 2012
- The average time of Skills Challenge champions to complete the course is 29.6 seconds
The NBA All-Star Skills Challenge is easy for fans to follow and understand as it’s simply a measure of basketball skills!
In the Team Round, six players compete in a 2-round timed obstacle course consisting of dribbling, passing and shooting. In the Championship Round, each conference’s fastest player from the team round will compete to determine the overall champion.
The challenge itself begins with one player at a time going through the course. First they attempt a layup, then they weave through players, next they complete a chest pass, bounce pass, a shot from the top of the key, then complete an outlet pass, weave back through the players and complete a final shot. Whew!
This essentially has the guards running from one end of the court to the other, completing shots and passes at different points around the arc then running back. Sound simple? It’s not!
Check out the 2013 Taco Bell Skills Challenge to see exactly how the Challenge works:
In its short time as an NBA All-Star weekend event the Taco Bell Skills Challenge has become a fan favorite and has given us a few records to watch.
Most Titles Won
Steve Nash and Dwyane Wade (2 each)
Deron Williams (2008) 25.5 seconds
Tony Parker and Chris Paul (4 each)
Who do you want to see participate in the 2014 NBA All-Star Taco Bell Skills Challenge?
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