Oklahoma City, Feb. 13 -- The NBA announced today that New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets point guard Chris Paul was selected to participate in the star-studded field for the 2007 PlayStation ® Skills Challenge during All-Star weekend. Paul, who competed in the event last season and finished in fourth place, will replace two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash (who withdrew from the competition due to a shoulder injury).

“It is an honor to replace the two-time MVP in Steve Nash and compete alongside such great players in Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant,” Paul said. “I enjoyed the contest last season and am looking to improve on my performance.”

Paul, the reigning rookie of the year, will also compete in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam held Feb. 16 at the Thomas & Mack Center. He leads the Hornets in scoring (18.2 ppg) and assists (8.7 apg).

Paul’s competitors include the contest’s defending champion Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant and LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The event will be held on NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented, Feb. 17 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

Having debuted during NBA All-Star in 2003 in Atlanta, the fast-paced event features four 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. The two players with the fastest times from the first round advance to the finals with the order of competition determined by inverse order of the first round times.

The PlayStation Skills Challenge will be televised live nationally as part of the NBA All-Star Saturday Night, which will also feature the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout, Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk and Haier Shooting Stars. TNT and ESPN Radio’s national coverage will begin at 8 p.m. EST from the Thomas & Mack Center. The NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 18, will air live on TNT, ESPN Radio and in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.