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Eric Freeman

Big news: Fans to pick the Skills Challenge participants

Eric Freeman
Ball Don't Lie

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Do you like watching players dribble through cones? What about uncontested jumpers from the top of the key? And seeing guys try to make bounce passes into peach baskets? You'd be a fool if you didn't answer yes to all three questions, and that's why the Taco Bell Skills Challenge is perhaps the most popular of All-Star Weekend events.

But it sometimes seems a little stuffy, in large part because the league picks the participants. That's why, this year, Taco Bell is putting the vote in the hands of the fans. Let's all celebrate with a Five Buck Box! It rocks, it rocks!

Chris Paul(notes) has already been named to the competition, but here are your choices for his four challengers: Baron Davis(notes), Tyreke Evans(notes), Derek Fisher(notes), Tony Parker(notes), Stephen Curry(notes), Derrick Rose(notes), John Wall(notes), and Russell Westbrook(notes). How could you possibly narrow that list down?

Everyone here is an established star or up-and-comer with the notable exceptions of Baron Davis and Derek Fisher. Those two are likely only included because the festivities are being held at Staples Center. Or maybe they changed the rules this year and ill-advised jumpers are part of the obstacle course. I also heard that Fisher lobbied to start a Most Impressive Yet Ineffective Defensive Stance Challenge, but no one else wanted to participate.

It's hard to pick just four players when everyone involved is so deserving, but here's my attempt (in order of preference): Wall, Westbrook, Rose, and Evans. It's always fun to see youngsters try their hand at the course against a wily veteran like CP3. You might have thought that there wasn't room for any more exciting subplots in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, but you were wrong.

(Via NBA Facts & Rumors)

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