The NBA announced today a new format and the participants for the 2022 Taco Bell Skills Challenge, a team competition that will feature two-time Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, fellow 2022 NBA All-Star Darius Garland of the Cleveland Cavaliers and four participants in the 2022 Clorox Rising Stars.
The Taco Bell Skills Challenge will take place on Saturday, Feb. 19 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland as part of State Farm All-Star Saturday Night, which also includes AT&T Slam Dunk and the MTN DEW 3-Point Contest. All-Star Saturday Night will air live on TNT and ESPN Radio in the United States at 8 p.m. ET
Under the new format for the Skills Challenge, three teams of three players will participate in a four-round competition that tests shooting, passing and dribbling ability. The teams are as follows:
- Antetokounmpos: Giannis will team up with his brothers Thanasis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee and Alex Antetokounmpo of the NBA G League’s Raptors 905.
- Cavs: Garland will be joined by Cavaliers teammates Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley, a rookie who was selected to play in the Clorox Rising Stars.
- Rookies: Rising Stars selections Scottie Barnes of the Toronto Raptors, Cade Cunningham of the Detroit Pistons and Josh Giddey of the Oklahoma City Thunder will form a team.
Each of the three teams will compete in the first three rounds of the Taco Bell Skills Challenge. The two teams with the most “Challenge Points” after the first three rounds will advance to the Final Round. Challenge Points are earned by winning each of the first three rounds.
Below is a round-by-round overview of the skills and the awarding of Challenge Points. The complete rules for the Taco Bell Skills Challenge are available here.
- Round 1: Team Shooting (three teams) – All players from each team will participate individually with their two teammates rebounding. Each player has 30 seconds to shoot from five different spots on the court, ranging from 10 feet to 30 feet. Players cannot repeat the same shot consecutively. Shots made from each shooting location will have different values (one point, two points, three points, four points or five points). Individual player scores will be added together to determine the team score. The team with the highest team score will win Round 1 and earn 100 Challenge Points.
- Round 2: Team Passing (three teams) –All players on a team will participate together. Each team will have 30 seconds to complete passes into three oversized moving targets, which vary in size and distance from the players. Each team must make at least one pass attempt at each target, and individual players cannot make consecutive passes at the same target. Completed passes into each target will have different values (two points, four points or six points). The team with the most total points will win Team Passing and earn 100 Challenge Points.
- Round 3: Team Relay (three teams) –All players from each team will participate in a timed relay. Each player must complete the course, which has five skills in the following order: 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; and 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 win Round 3 and earn 200 Challenge Points.
- Final Round: Half-court Shot (two teams) –The two teams that advance to the Final Round will compete one at a time and all players on each team will participate in trying to make a half-court shot. Team 1 will set the time to beat with a made shot or expiration of the clock (maximum of 1 minute and 30 seconds). The team that makes a half-court shot in the fastest time will win the Taco Bell® Skills Challenge. In the case of a tie, the two teams will repeat the Final Round.