Rose to compete against Jennings, Nash and Williams in Skills Challenge
NEW YORK, Feb. 2, 2010 – The Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose will defend his title in the 2010 Taco Bell Skills Challenge against Brandon Jennings of the Milwaukee Bucks, Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns and Deron Williams of the Utah Jazz, as part of NBA All-Star Saturday Night on Feb. 13, at American Airlines Center in Dallas. The 2010 field features three of the event’s six previous winners.
The Taco Bell Skills Challenge was introduced at NBA All-Star 2003 in Atlanta and 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. At the discretion of the referee, television instant replay may be consulted for clarification of rules compliance.
A first-time NBA All-Star, Rose has followed up his Rookie of the Year campaign by averaging team highs in points (19.7 ppg) and assists (5.9 apg). Jennings, who will participate in the 2010 T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam, is averaging a team- and rookie-high 6.3 assists, and is second among first-year players in scoring at 17.5 ppg. Voted to start at guard for the Western Conference in the 2010 NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 14 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Nash, the 2005 Taco Bell Skills Challenge champion, ranks second in the league in assists (11.1 apg) and is on pace to shoot .500/.400/.900 for the fourth time in his career. Williams, another first-time All-Star and the 2008 Taco Bell Skills Challenge champion, is tied for third in the league in assists (9.7 apg) and is averaging 19.0 points. Williams, a Dallas native, holds the course record of 25.5 seconds, which he set in the final round in 2008.
Last year in Phoenix, Rose finished his winning time of 35.3 seconds with an emphatic double-pump reverse dunk, as he became the first rookie to win the Taco Bell Skills Challenge.
The Taco Bell Skills Challenge will be televised live nationally as part of the NBA All-Star Saturday Night, which will also feature the Sprite Slam Dunk, Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout, Haier Shooting Stars and NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas. TNT and ESPN Radio’s national coverage will begin at 8 p.m. EST from American Airlines Center. The NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 14, will air live on TNT, ESPN Radio and in more than 200 countries and will be broadcast in more than 40 languages.
Once again, every All-Star participant will join members of the NBA Family for the NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service on Friday, Feb. 12. The volunteers will participate in one of three projects in North Texas.
TACO BELL SKILLS CHALLENGE YEAR-BY-YEAR WINNERS
2003 – Jason Kidd, New Jersey
2004 – Baron Davis, New Orleans
2005 – Steve Nash, Phoenix
2006 – Dwyane Wade, Miami
2007 – Dwyane Wade, Miami
2008 – Deron Williams, Utah
2009 – Derrick Rose, Chicago