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 — one rack in each corner, one on each wing, and one at the top of the key — 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 — 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)