Thunder notebook: Russell Westbrook voted into Skills Challenge; NBA.com poll results

By John Rohde, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: February 17, 2011
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NBA fans voted Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook to be one of four players to compete in the Skills Challenge on Saturday as part of All-Star Weekend at Staples Center.

Also chosen by fans in the first-ever online voting were Chicago's Derrick Rose, Golden State's Stephen Curry and Washington rookie John Wall. They will compete against New Orleans point guard Chris Paul, who is the event spokesman.

Other candidates were Baron Davis of the Los Angeles Clippers, Tyreke Evans of the Sacramento Kings, Derek Fisher of the LA Lakers and Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs.

The Skills Challenge was introduced at the 2003 NBA All-Star Weekend in Atlanta and features players competing in a two-round timed obstacle course that has dribbling, passing and shooting stations. All players must observe basic NBA ball-handling rules while completing the course. The two players with the fastest times from the first round advance to the finals.

Last year in Dallas, Steve Nash of Phoenix finished with a winning time of 29.9 seconds, joining Miami's Dwyane Wade (2006 and 2007) as the only other two-time winner in challenge history.

The Skills Challenge will be televised live nationally as part of the NBA All-Star Saturday Night, which also features the Shooting Stars, the 3-point contest and the dunk competition.

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