CLEVELAND — As we are well aware, NBA All-Star Weekend is about much more than just the game itself. One of the biggest nights is actually the one before the game itself, when players from around the league show off their various talents in three separate competitions.
When the festivities arrive in Cleveland, one of those competitions will be getting a significant makeover, which will allow three hometown heroes to take part as a unit.
The NBA announced Tuesday that Cavaliers stars Jarrett Allen, Darius Garland, and Evan Mobley will participate in the Skills Challenge on Feb. 19 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The contest has previously only been for individual players, but this time, the trio will compete as a three-man team.
A new format for the event will debut in 2022 featuring three different squads involved in four rounds of separate skills. Allen, Garland, and Mobley will represent the "Cavs" team, while the two others will be as follows:
- Giannis Antetokounmpo - Milwaukee Bucks (two-time NBA MVP)
- Thanasis Antetokounmpo - Milwaukee Bucks
- Alex Antetokounmpo - Raptors 905 (NBA G League)
- Scottie Barnes - Toronto Raptors
- Cade Cunningham - Detroit Pistons
- Josh Giddey - Oklahoma City Thunder
The teams will face off in shooting, passing, and relay challenges before the two groups with the most points move on to the final round. Once there, whichever team is the fastest to make a half-court shot will be declared the winner.
No Cavalier has ever won the Skills Challenge since its inception. The last Cleveland player to participate was Kyrie Irving, who struggled as a rookie in 2012.
The Skills Challenge will be the first of three events on NBA All-Star Saturday at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, with the 3-Point and Dunk Contests to follow. The whole spectacle will tip off at 8 p.m.
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