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NBA All-Stars Luka Dončić and Chris Paul Headline 2021 Taco Bell® Skills Challenge

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NBA (www.NBA.com) All-Stars Julius Randle, Domantas Sabonis and Nikola Vučević in Six-Player Field; HBCU Alum Robert Covington to Make Skills Challenge Debut; Competition to Take Place on Sunday, March 7 Before 2021 NBA All-Star Game.

NBA All-Stars Luka Dončić of the Dallas Mavericks and Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns will display their vast array of talents in the 2021 Taco Bell® Skills Challenge on Sunday, March 7 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. The Taco Bell® Skills Challenge will take place before the 2021 NBA All-Star Game, airing on TNT.

Joining Dončić and Paul as 2021 NBA All-Stars in the field are New York Knicks forward Julius Randle, Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis and Orlando Magic center Nikola Vučević. The six-player competition also features Portland Trail Blazers forward Robert Covington.

The 19th Taco Bell® Skills Challenge is an obstacle-course competition that tests players’ dribbling, passing, agility and 3-point shooting skills. The event is part of NBA All-Star 2021, which will take place on one night. TNT’s NBA All-Star coverage on March 7 will begin at 5 p.m. ET with TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by CarMax, followed by the Taco Bell® Skills Challenge and MTN DEW® 3-Point Contest starting at 6:30 p.m. ET. NBA All-Star Game coverage will begin at 8 p.m. ET, with AT&T Slam Dunk taking place at halftime.

Dončić, who was named an NBA All-Star Game starter for the second year in a row, joins Sabonis (the 2020 runner-up) and Vučević as second-time participants in the Taco Bell® Skills Challenge. Paul, an NBA All-Star selection for the 11th time, will make his record fifth appearance in the Taco Bell® Skills Challenge and his first since 2011. Randle and Covington will make their event debuts.

Covington is in his eighth NBA season after not being selected in the 2013 NBA Draft. In the 2017-18 season, he was selected to the NBA All-Defensive First Team and ranked 11th in the league in 3-pointers made (203). Covington attended Tennessee State, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in Nashville, Tenn. As part of NBA All-Star 2021, the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association will commit more than $2.5 million in funds and resources toward HBCUs and support and awareness around equity and access to COVID-19 care, relief and vaccines. On March 7, the league will also pay tribute to the vital role of HBCUs through music, content and storytelling.

The Taco Bell® Skills Challenge is a three-round competition with a single-elimination tournament format. Two players will compete simultaneously on an identical course and the winner of each head-to-head matchup will advance to the next round. Two of the six participants, as chosen by the NBA, will receive a bye in the first round and automatically advance to the second round. First-round matchups will be announced at a later date. Click here (https://on.nba.com/3sQvV85) for a complete explanation of the rules.

Below are the participants for the 2021 Taco Bell® Skills Challenge and a list of previous winners.

2021 TACO BELL® SKILLS CHALLENGE PARTICIPANTS

Player

Team

Pos.

Ht.

Wt.

Robert Covington

Portland Trail Blazers

F

6-7

209

Luka Dončić

Dallas Mavericks

G

6-7

230

Chris Paul

Phoenix Suns

G

6-0

175

Julius Randle

New York Knicks

F

6-9

254

Domantas Sabonis

Indiana Pacers

F

6-11

240

Nikola Vučević

Orlando Magic

C

6-11

260

TACO BELL® SKILLS CHALLENGE WINNERS

2003 – Jason Kidd, New Jersey

2012 – Tony Parker, San Antonio

2004 – Baron Davis, New Orleans

2013 – Damian Lillard, Portland

2005 – Steve Nash, Phoenix

2014 – Trey Burke, Utah and Damian Lillard, Portland

2006 – Dwyane Wade, Miami

2015 – Patrick Beverley, Houston

2007 – Dwyane Wade, Miami

2016 – Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota

2008 – Deron Williams, Utah

2017 – Kristaps Porzingis, New York

2009 – Derrick Rose, Chicago

2018 – Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn

2010 – Steve Nash, Phoenix

2019 – Jayson Tatum, Boston

2011 – Stephen Curry, Golden State

2020 – Bam Adebayo, Miami

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of National Basketball Association (NBA).

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