POSTED: Feb 8, 2013 10:37 AM ET
NEW YORK -- Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs will defend his Taco Bell® Skills Challenge title against a field consisting of Jrue Holiday of the Philadelphia 76ers, Brandon Knight of the Detroit Pistons, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, Jeremy Lin of the Houston Rockets, and Jeff Teague of the Atlanta Hawks. The 2013 Taco Bell® Skills Challenge will take place on Feb. 16, at Toyota Center in Houston as part of State Farm All-Star Saturday Night.
Parker will attempt to join the Los Angeles Lakers' Steve Nash (2005 and 2010) and the Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade (2006 and 2007) as the only two-time winners in Taco Bell® Skills Challenge history. This year's Taco Bell® Skills Challenge features an expanded six-player field for the second year in a row. There were five contestants in 2011 and four in 2010.
Also as part of this year's event, six lucky teens will paired with the 2013 Taco Bell Skills Challenge participants and a total of $55,000 in educational scholarships will be awarded through the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens.
Skills Challenge/Shooting Stars
For the first time, State Farm All-Star Saturday Night will feature a new format that pits the Eastern Conference against the Western Conference in a night of competition that will raise money for charity. As part of the new format, points earned by each conference throughout the four All-Star Skills Competitions will determine the conference that earns the title of 2013 State Farm All-Star Saturday Night Champion.
Three players representing the Western Conference and three players representing the Eastern Conference will compete in the two-round competition. The two competitors with the fastest times from their respective conferences in the Team Round advance to the Championship Round. (Complete rules for the 2013 Taco Bell® Skills Challenge and State Farm All-Star Saturday Night attached).
This is the fourth year Taco Bell has offered the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens experience for teens at the Taco Bell Skills Challenge. In partnership with NBA Cares and the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens, each Taco Bell Skills Challenge player will be paired with an All-Star teen from a Houston area Boys & Girls Club who has shown outstanding leadership and determination to stay in school despite personal obstacles. All participating teens will receive the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens experience of a lifetime: a behind-the-scenes career tour of NBA All-Star; an opportunity to meet with NBA players; the chance to be on the court during the Taco Bell Skills Challenge to cheer on their NBA player; and an educational scholarship.
At the conclusion of this event, $55,000 in educational scholarships will be awarded to the participating All-Star teens. The teen paired with the winning Taco Bell Skills Challenge player will receive a $25,000 educational scholarship.
The Taco Bell Skills Challenge was introduced at NBA All-Star 2003 in Atlanta and features six players competing in a two-round timed "obstacle course" consisting of dribbling, passing and shooting stations. All players must observe basic NBA ball-handling rules while completing the course.
State Farm All-Star Saturday Night will also feature the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest; the Sears Shooting Stars; and the Sprite Slam Dunk contest. The NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 17, will air live on TNT, ESPN Radio and in 215 countries and will be broadcast in 47 languages.
Three players representing the Eastern Conference and three representing the Western Conference will compete in a two-round timed obstacle course competition consisting of dribbling, passing, & shooting.
• OPENING LAYUP/DUNK AND FINAL SHOT CHALLENGES - For the opening layup/dunk and the final shot, the player must rebound his own ball until the basket is made*.
• PASSING/SHOOTING CHALLENGES - The three passing and the top of the key shooting challenges are considered completed (player can move on) when he either (1) successfully hits the target/makes the shot OR (2) exhausts the corresponding rack of balls while attempting to make the target/basket*.
• BALL HANDLING - Players must observe basic NBA ball-handling rules while completing the course.
• DISQUALIFICATION - Players are subject to disqualification for failure to complete all of the challenges as they are designed and intended to be run through (at the final discretion/judgment of the referee).
• There are no time penalty assessments on the course.
• INSTANT REPLAY -- At the discretion of the referee, television instant replay may be consulted for clarification of rules compliance.
*See Skills Challenge "Flow of Play" document for more information.
• Players will be timed on a clock starting at 00:00.0 and counting up. The clock will be stopped when the final shot is made. (Start and Stop is on referee's whistle)
• The three Eastern Conference players will compete first, followed by the three West players.
• The three Eastern Conference players will have their times added together to get a TOTAL time.
• The three Western Conference players will have their times added together to get a TOTAL time.
• 30 POINTS will be awarded to the conference with the fastest TOTAL time after the Team Round.
• The East player with the fastest time advances to the Championship Round.
• he West player with the fastest time advances to the Championship Round.
• The fastest East competitor and fastest West competitor from the Team Round will compete head-to-head.
• The player with the slower Team Round time will go first for the Championship Round.
• The player with the fastest Championship Round time will be crowned the Skills Challenge Champion.
• 10 POINTS will be awarded to the conference of the competition champion.
• TEAM ROUND - In the event both conferences achieve the same TOTAL time, the 30 points for the Team Round will be split evenly (15 points awarded to each conference).
• To Advance from Team Round - In the event of a tie amongst conference players to determine the Championship Round participant, the tied players will repeat the course.
• To Determine Champion - In the case of a tie between the two players in the Championship Round, the tied players will repeat the course.