nice to hear NBA Finals MVP award now named after Bill Russell!
San Antonio- Tim Duncan, David Robinson, Becky Hammon
Detroit- Aaron Afflalo, Bill Laimbeer, Katie Smith
Los Angeles- Derek Fisher, Michael Cooper, Lisa Leslie
Phoenix- Leonardo Barbosa, Dan Majerle, Tangela Smith
NEW YORK -- Team San Antonio will defend its Haier Shooting Stars title against Team Detroit, Team Los Angeles and Team Phoenix in this year's competition, which will be held on NBA All-Star Saturday Night, Feb. 14, at US Airways Center in Phoenix beginning at 8 p.m. ET on TNT and ESPN Radio.
The San Antonio team, which captured the title last year in New Orleans with a time of 35.8 seconds, consists of All-Star and three-time Finals MVP Tim Duncan, David Robinson, one of the 50 Greatest Players of All-Time, and four-time WNBA All-Star Becky Hammon. Team San Antonio also captured the Shooting Stars title in 2006 with a record-setting time of 25.1 seconds. The 2006 San Antonio trio was comprised of All-Star Tony Parker, NBA legend Steve Kerr and the Silver Stars' Kendra Wecker.
Team Detroit, last year's runner-up and the 2007 winner, is comprised of Pistons 2007 first round draft selection Aaron Afflalo, Detroit Shock head coach and general manager Bill Laimbeer, who has guided the Shock to three WNBA titles, and 2008 WNBA Finals MVP Katie Smith. Team Los Angeles, which won the inaugural competition in 2004, is made up of three-time NBA champion Derek Fisher, Michael Cooper -- the only person to have won titles in the NBA, NBA D-League and WNBA -- and three-time WNBA MVP Lisa Leslie. Team Phoenix, the 2005 Haier Shooting Stars champion, features Leandro Barbosa, the 2006-07 Sixth Man Award winner, NBA legend Dan Majerle and Tangela Smith, who helped guide the Mercury to the 2007 WNBA title.
The Haier Shooting Stars will be televised live nationally as part of NBA All-Star Saturday Night, which will also feature the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout, Sprite Slam Dunk and Playstation Skills Challenge. TNT and ESPN Radio's national coverage will begin at 8 p.m. EST from US Airways Center. The NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 15, will air live on TNT, ESPN Radio and in more than 215 countries and territories worldwide in 44 languages.
The Haier Shooting Stars contest features one current NBA player, one current WNBA player and one NBA legend on each team. There are six numbered shooting locations of increasing difficulty, with each team attempting to make all shots in numeric order in the fastest time. Each team will select a specific player rotation to follow throughout the competition. Each shot must be made before the next player begins shooting in succession. Teams have up to two minutes to complete the entire shooting course and the team that completes all six shots in the least amount of time is declared the winner. In the case of a tie, a shoot-off will be used to determine the winner.
All of this year's All-Star participants will join members of the NBA Family for the NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service on Friday, Feb. 13. The volunteers will participate in one of three projects in the Phoenix community.
About Haier America Haier America, founded in 1999, is the Sales and Marketing arm for the Western Hemisphere for the Haier Group. Headquartered in the Haier Building at 1356 Broadway in New York, Haier America is a leader for room air conditioner, compact refrigerator, and wine cellar sales, as well as a leading force in home appliances, compact laundry, compact freezer and HDTV sales. Haier America is an Official Marketing Partner and the Official High Definition Television of the NBA
About Haier Group Haier, a global brand founded in 1984, is one of the world's leading white goods manufacturers. With over 50,000 employees worldwide, Haier is focused on technology research, manufacturing, trade, and financial services with over 240 subsidiary companies and over 110 design centers, plants, and trading companies. A manufacturer of major appliances and electronics, Haier produces a range of products from wine cellars, refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, dishwashers and laundry products to small appliances, cell phones and televisions, including plasma and flat screen models.
The PlayStation Skills Challenge will be the second of four events on All-Star Saturday Night (8 p.m. ET, TNT). The event debuted during 2003 All-Star weekend in Atlanta with Jason Kidd beating Gary Payton in the finals. Miami's Dwyane Wade is the event's only two-time champion.
The object of the PlayStation Skills Challenge is to complete an obstacle course -- that features dribbling, passing and shooting stations -- in the least amount of time. In doing so, all players must observe basic NBA ball-handling rules.
On a referee's whistle, the players start with a layup and then slalom through three obstacles (first going left, then right, then left) which emphasize the cross-over dribble before reaching the chest pass station. The players have five chances to complete the pass before moving on to the bounce pass station. Again, participants have five chances to complete the pass before moving to the top of the key.
There, they must make a shot from 20 feet in five attempts. After the jumper station, the participants move to the outlet pass station and have five chances to complete that pass. After that station, the players must go through the speed dribble course (left-right-left) and then finish the course when the ball goes through the hoop. Any type of shot may be taken to finish the course.
The fastest two times advance to the finals where the fastest time will determine the winner.
Also, players could be subject to disqualification (at the final discretion and judgment of the referee) for failure to attempt all of the challenges as they are designed and intended to be completed.
Devin Harris (Nets), guard, 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, Wisconsin
Tony Parker (Spurs), guard, 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, France
Derrick Rose (Bulls), guard, 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, Memphis
Mo Williams (Cavaliers), guard, 6-foot-1, Alabama
Why You Should Watch
For the first time since the 2005 Skills Challenge in Denver, the event will not have the previous year's winner. Utah's Deron Williams set an event record by finishing the course in 25.5 seconds last year, 0.3 of a second fast than Steve Nash's time in Denver in 2005.
This year, three of the four participants will be first-timers, with only the Spurs' Tony Parker having done the course before. Parker was the first player to ever run through the course in competition and finished with the Challenge's worst-ever time of 45.5 seconds in the event's debut in Atlanta in 2003.
He gets a chance to redeem himself against an intriguing group of youngsters. Parker and Harris may be two of the quickest players in the league, let alone the contest. They have the advantage going through both dribbling stations, the cross-over and the speed dribble.
Parker has improved his marksmanship since his 2003 appearance, when he clanged all five shots from the top of the key, but it's not necessarily the skill for which he's known. Harris, though improved, is the streakiest of the bunch from the field.
Orlando's Jameer Nelson, who was initially named to the competition, dislocated his right shoulder on Feb. 2 against the Dallas Mavericks and will miss the Skills Challenge and Sunday's All-Star Game because of the injury. Cleveland's Mo Williams will replace Nelson in the Skills Challenge.
Williams is similar to the man he's replacing not only in body type, but also in their skill levels. Williams, who is deadly when left open, has also played the pick-and-roll to perfection in his first season in Cleveland. He may be slightly more accomplished than Nelson as a shooter and is his equal as a ball-handler and passer. Williams will also replace Chris Bosh on the Eastern Conference roster for the 2009 All-Star Game.
All of the players in this year's contest are decent passers, but none at Nash's or Jason Kidd's level. Then again, contestants aren't threading passes through the lane between the outstretched arms of defenders and into the hands of a streaking cutter. They just need to make a chest pass, a bounce pass and an outlet pass, with the bounce pass into a low target being the toughest.
Nash became one of the first to solve the riddle of the bounce pass by passing it from his side like a gunslinger, which gets more of skip than a bounce. Williams did something similar during his record run last season.
Chicago rookie Derrick Rose, the best combination of size, speed and strength in the field, should be free of nerves. He'll be the only participant in this contest who will have taken part in any of the Friday night festivities. He's playing in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam as a member of the Rookie squad.
Mike Bibby (Hawks)
Daequan Cook (Heat)
Danny Granger (Pacers)
Jason Kapono (Raptors)
Rashard Lewis (Magic)
Roger Mason (Spurs)
The Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout is one of the headlining competitions of All-Star Saturday Night. The contest boasts 22 years of history and is one of the weekend's most-anticipated attractions. Defending champion Jason Kapono leads the list of six sharpshooters gunning for this year's title.
Six shooters compete in a two-round competition. The field is made of the previous year's champion and the current season's top 3-point shooters. Each participant has one minute to take as many shots as possible.
Five shooting stations are set up around the 3-point line, with four orange plus one multi-colored ball in each rack. Each participant has one minute to take as many shots as possible. Orange balls are worth one point. The multi-colored (money) ball is worth two points. The money ball may be shot only after all four orange balls.
Players may not start on or over the 3-point line while shooting. A basket does not count if the line is violated. At the discretion of the referee, TV instant replay may be consulted for clarification of rules compliance.
The top three shooters from the first round advance to the finals. In the event of a first-round tie, a 24-second shootout will break the tie. If there is still a tie, the process will be repeated until the tie is broken.
In the finals, players will shoot in ascending order of first-round scores (lowest goes first). In the event of a tie in the finals, a full 60-second shootout follows.
Why you should watch
Jason Kapono is out to etch his name alongside a couple of Three-Point Shootout legends. The long-distance gunner from Toronto is aiming to become the third person to win three consecutive titles, joining Hall of Famer and noted Celtics finger waver Larry Bird (1986-88), and Craig Hodges (1990-92).
Kapono already shares one record with Hodges -- the most points in a single round. He scored 25 in the finals last year in New Orleans. The only other two-time winners are Mark Price, Peja Stojakovic and Jeff Hornacek.
Kapono faces a stacked field in Danny Granger, Rashard Lewis, Mike Bibby, Roger Mason and Daequan Cook. Kapono's challengers are all shooting better than 40 percent from beyond the arc and each has more the 100 3-pointers this season. Kapono has only 52 makes from downtown.
Mason is shooting 45.0 percent, the highest in the field and fifth-best in the league. Lewis' 137 3-pointers lead the NBA, with Granger tied for second at 120. Lewis and Granger are also reserves on the Eastern Conference All-Star team.
nice to hear NBA Finals MVP award now named after Bill Russell!
Becky Hammon's a cutie too bad she's no longer with the Liberty
For the skills challenge, I got my money on Mo Williams. Best combination of shooting, speed, and passing out of that group. The other guys can't shoot.
That's how you finish! Rose is a beast, he's gonna be real good in a couple years. He reminds me of Starbury in his prime.
I think Cook will win the 3-point shooting contest
hurry up with this, want to see the Slam Dunk Contest now lol
Kapono for 3 point contest...
I have faith in Donnie Walsh
lol rashard lewis choked. good call quiggle.
How the hell was Dwight's dunk a 50? This is what I was afraid of, the judges are just gonna give him high scores no matter what he does. Doesn't help that they got a bunch of scrubs for judges, what happened to MJ and Docta J?