Luka Doncic will be a busy man the night of the NBA All-Star Game. Not only is the Dallas Mavericks star making his second consecutive appearance as a starter in the game, he will also participate in the 2021 Taco Bell Skills Challenge.
This will be the second him in his career that Doncic is a competitor in the event. He previously participated in the Skills Challenge during his rookie season in 2019. Jason Tatum won the event that year.
Despite the event’s sponsor, players will not be competing to see who can eat the most Taco Bell (I would watch that). The NBA describes the Skills Challenge as “an obstacle-course competition that tests players’ dribbling, passing, agility and 3-point shooting skills.” The result is that it’s one of the goofiest looking showcase events during All-Star Weekend with players dribbling around props and passing balls into nets. The action heats up at the end when players have to sink deep three-point shots.
Two players compete head-to-head in a three-round, single elimination tournament format. The winner of each heat advances to the next round. Two of the six participants, as chosen by the league, will receive a first-round bye and automatically advance to the next round.
Headlining the event alongside Doncic this year is Chris Paul. The Phoenix Suns guard is making his record fifth appearance. Also competing are Robert Covington of the Portland Trail Blazers, Julius Randle of the New York Knicks, the Indiana Pacers’ Domantas Sabonis, and Nikola Vucevic of the Orlando Magic.
The Taco Bell Skills Challenge will take place Sunday, March 7 before the start of the 2021 NBA All-Star Game. Both events will air on TNT.