Lillard competing in 3 All-Star Saturday events
NEW YORK (AP) — Portland’s Damian Lillard will become the first player to compete in three events during NBA All-Star Saturday in New Orleans, including a slam dunk contest that features three All-Stars for the first time in 26 years.
Indiana’s Paul George and Washington’s John Wall also will take part in the night’s marquee event on Feb. 15. There haven’t been three All-Stars in the dunk contest since the famed 1988 duel, when Michael Jordan beat Dominique Wilkins on his home floor in Chicago, in a field that also included Clyde Drexler.
Lillard, the reigning rookie of the year, will play in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday before defending his Skills Challenge title and competing in the 3-point contest.
The remainder of the dunk field is defending champion Terrence Ross of Toronto, Harrison Barnes of Golden State and rookie Ben McLemore of Sacramento.
Cleveland All-Star Kyrie Irving will defend his 3-point title against a field that also includes All-Stars Stephen Curry of Golden State, Kevin Love of Minnesota and Joe Johnson of Brooklyn, plus Orlando’s Arron Afflalo, Washington’s Bradley Beal and San Antonio’s Marco Belinelli.
The events will again feature an Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference format, with the teams competing for charity.
Lillard will be paired with Utah’s Trey Burke as the Skills Challenge is switching to a team relay format. The other teams are: Rookies Michael Carter-Williams of Philadelphia and Victor Oladipo of Orlando; All-Star DeMar DeRozan of Toronto and Giannis Antetokounmpo of Milwaukee; and Goran Dragic of Phoenix and Reggie Jackson of Oklahoma City.