2022 NBA All-Star Skills Challenge New Format

(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

All-star events in professional sports are meant to showcase some of the best athletes in the world displaying their superhuman talent at the discipline they put so many hours into. Even though this weekend is about the players, it really is for the fans. In a larger scope, all-star events give fans a glimpse into the brotherhood of these leagues and help attract a broader audience. Professional sports leagues are always looking for a new edge to make these all-star weekends even more exciting. The NHL introduced a 3 v 3 format for their all-star game, and the NFL constantly tweaks their “Skills Showdown” in efforts to maximize highlights. While the NBA has found major success in the format of their dunk contest and 3-pt contest, the skills challenge has lacked behind. The NBA attempted to reconcile this event in 2015 with a tournament style bracket, but have ultimately decided to abandon that format this year. Here is the new format for the 2022 NBA All-Star skills challenge.

The Participants:

In former years the NBAs skills challenge participants were split into two sides of a bracket. One side of competitors would be the ‘guards’ and the other side would be headlined by the ‘bigs’, with one player from each side representing their field in the finals. In this year's skills challenge the NBA has opted for three distinct teams and ditched the bracket format. The three teams vying for the skills challenge trophy are:

Team Antetokounmpo

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Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks, Thanasis Antetokounmpo #43 of the Milwaukee Bucks, Alex Antetokounmpo #43 of the Sacramento Kings and Kostas Antetokounmpo / (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwauke Bucks 
  • Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
  • Alex Antetokounmpo, Raptors 905

Team Cavs

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Evan Mobley #4, Darius Garland #10, Isaac Okoro #35 and Jarrett Allen #31 of the Cleveland Cavaliers / (Photo by Emilee Chinn/NBAE via Getty Images)
  • Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers

Team Rooks

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(Photo by Kostas Lymperopoulos/NBAE via Getty Images)
  • Scottie Barnes, Toronto Raptors
  • Cade Cunningham, Detroit Pistons
  • Josh Giddey, Oklahoma City Thunder

The Format:

In its original conception, the skills-challenge would showcase a handful of guards weaving through an obstacle course that included passing, shooting a three pointer, and ended with a layup. Participants would go individually, and whoever had the fastest time would take home the hardware. Now with three teams made up of three players, the NBA is shifting to a round-based event where teams compete to earn points in each of four rounds. 

Round 1: Team Shooting

In round one, every player on their respective teams will have 30 seconds to shoot from five different spots on the floor ranging from 10 to 30 feet. Each shot will range from one to five points based on distance from the hoop, and participants cannot shoot from the same location consecutively. After all three players have shot, individual scores will be added together to reach the team score. The team with the highest score in this round will receive 100 Challenge points. 

Round 2: Team Passing

Unlike in round one, teams will be participating together simultaneously in round two. Teams will have 30 seconds to complete passes to three oversized moving targets. Each team must make an attempt at each target at least once, and cannot pass to the same target consecutively. The points varying for each target will reward either two, four, or six points. The team with the highest score at the end of this round will receive 100 Challenge points. 

Round 3: Team Relay

In round three the format becomes similar to that of the original skills competition. Teams will have each player individually participate in a timed relay. The relay will consist of: 

  1. Throw an outlet pass into a moving target from the baseline
  2. Dribble down the court through three moving pylons
  3. Make a short shot in the lane
  4. Make a three-pointer from the corner against an automated defender
  5. Dribble to the opposite goal and make a basket (such as a dunk, layup or jump shot).

The team with the fastest time will receive 200 Challenge points at the end of this round. 

Championship Round: Half-court Shot

The final round will take place against the two teams who accumulated the most points through the first three rounds. Teams will go one at a time and will have 1 minute and 30 seconds to make a half-court shot. Once the shot is made the clock will stop, and the other team will have to make their shot in under the time set or end up as the night's big losers. It should be noted only one player on each team has to make the shot, not all three team members.

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