The rosters are set for the 2014 Slam Dunk Contest, the Three-Point Contest, the Skills Competition, the Rising Stars Challenge (formerly the Rookie/Sophomore Challenge), and the Shooting Stars Challenge. Here are all the notable names, and an explanation of the events. Even if you’ve been watching the All-Star Weekend for more than two decades, like we have, you’ll want to hear about the contests and those competing because the weekend received a makeover from the NBA similar to the Slam Dunk Contest has this year.
The three-point contest will have a rack of five balls in five places around the three-point arc â€” one rack in each corner, one on each wing, and one at the top of the key â€” but they’ve varied the contest a tad. Normally, the last ball in a rack, a multi-colored ABA ball coined “the money ball,” counts double, but this year players will have an entire rack of money balls which you can place in any of the five places.
The Three-Point Contest
Kyrie Irving (defending champ)
All three-point shootout contestants are shooting better than 35 percent from deep this season, but Irving is at the bottom of the pack (35.4 percent) despite being the defending champ. Marco Bellinelli is shooting the highest percentage of the bunch at 44.3 percent, and Kyle Korver â€” who has hit a three-pointer in an NBA-record 117 straight games, is skipping the weekend to spend time with his new baby daughter.
For the Dunk Contest, you can read our earlier post to hear all the exciting changes scheduled for the star-studded Saturday night affair sponsored by Sprite.
The Slam Dunk Contest
Terrence Ross (defending champ)
The Skills Challenge features a timed obstacle course that involves dribbling around cones, passing through targets and hitting layups.
The Skills Challenge has turned into a “relay race this year with each conference fielding two teams consisting of two players each. Each team will run the course, competing in a relay format for a single overall time.”
Lillard will partner with Trey Burke of the Jazz, and Reggie Jackson of the Thunder will team with Goran Dragic of the Suns to make up the Western Conference lineup. The East teams will be rookies Michael Carter-Williams of the Sizers with Victor Oladipo of the Magic, plus DeMar DeRozan of the Raptors with rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks.
The Skills Challenge
Damian Lillard (defending champ)
The Shooting Stars Challenge features a current NBA player, a retired NBA players and a WNBA player shooting from four different spots on the court in as fast a time as possible. This year’s event features (we believe, though we’re not sure), the first of two father-son pairings in the history of the event. Knicks rookie Tim Hardaway, Jr. and his father Tim Hardaway on Team Hardaway with Elena Delle Donee of the Chicago Sky, and Dell Curry and son Stephen Curry teaming with Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Silver Stars on Team Curry.
Tim Hardaway, Jr., Tim Hardaway, Elena Delle Donne
Chris Bosh, Dominique Wilkins, Swin Cash (Chicago Sky)
Stephen Curry, Dell Curry, Becky Hammon
Kevin Durant, Karl Malone, Skylar Diggins (Tulsa Shock)
Last we have the Rising Stars Challenge, which takes place on Friday night and was formerly known as the Rookie/Sophomore Challenge. The game will feature nine rookies and nine sophomores mixed together in a draft by Chris Webber and Grant Hill. Roster candidates were announced last week and the final teams were selected by Chuck, Hill, Webber and Kenny Smith last night on TNT.
Rising Stars Challenge Rosters
Anthony Davis, Michael Carter-Williams, Tim Hardaway, Jr., Trey Burke, Jared Sullinger, Mason Plumlee, Victor Oladipo, Steven Adams, Kelly Olynyk
Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Andre Drummond, Harrison Barnes, Terrence Jones, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jonas Valanciunas, Dion Waiters, Pero Antic
Which 2014 All-Star competition are you looking forward to the most?
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