Deron Dominates Skills Challenge
NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 16, 2008 – For his first run through the obstacle course of the PlayStation® Skills Challenge, Utah Jazz point guard Deron Williams said he was a little nervous. He shook off those jitters very quickly.
After advancing to the final round, Williams put together a flawless performance - no missed shots, every pass through the hoops - and set a record time for the final round at NBA All-Star Saturday Night, winning another duel with perennial rival Chris Paul.
Not moving at full speed, Williams clocked 31.2 seconds in the first round. In the final round, he covered the course in 25.5 seconds, just one tick off the all-time mark set by Steve Nash in the first round in 2005. Paul, the All-Star point guard of the host New Orleans Hornets, posted a strong final-round time of 31.2.
A pair of Eastern Conference All-Star guards were eliminated in the first round. Jason Kidd of the New Jersey Nets clocked 39.7 seconds and two-time defending champion Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat lost his dribble and timed 53.9 seconds. Paul had the best first-round time at 29.9.
The PlayStation® Skills Challenge was introduced at NBA All-Star 2003 in Atlanta and consists of 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.
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2007: Wade Repeats as Skills ChampMiami Heat guard Dwyane Wade took home the PlayStation Skills Challenge title for the second straight year, posting a final-round time of 26.4 seconds to best Los Angeles' Kobe Bryant. Wade's first-round time of 31.3 seconds was second only to Bryant (29.8) and eliminated Cleveland's LeBron James (35.4) and New Orleans/Oklahoma City's Chris Paul (39.6).
• Photos: 2007 PlayStation Skills Challenge
• Video: Skill Challenge highlights
• Showtime: All-Star Saturday Night recap
2006: Wade Earns Skills ChampionshipMiami's Dwyane Wade was crowned as the 2006 PlayStation Skills Challenge champion, defeating Cleveland's LeBron James in the final round by completing the obstacle course in 26.1 seconds to James' 33.7-second time. New Orleans/Oklahoma City rookie Chris Paul and 2005 champion Steve Nash of Phoenix were eliminated in the first round with times of 42.6 and 52.8 seconds, respectively. Wade had the top first-round time with 39 seconds flat while James finished the course in 40.5 seconds to reach the finals.
• Video highlights | Press conference | Photo gallery
Nash Shows Off Skills in 2005Steve Nash clearly distanced himself from the rest of the field in 2005 and easily won the PlayStation Skills Challenge. The Phoenix point guard posted the top times in both the first and final rounds, claiming victory with a contest-best 25.4 seconds.