NEW YORK, Feb. 7, 2006 – The star-studded field for the 2006 PlayStation® Skills Challenge features the contest’s defending champion and 2004-05 NBA MVP Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James, rookie Chris Paul of the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat. The event will be held on NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented by AOL, Feb. 18 at the Toyota Center in Houston.
Having debuted during NBA All-Star 2003 in Atlanta, the fast-paced event features four players competing in a two-round timed “obstacle course” consisting of 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 with the order of competition determined by inverse order of the first round times.
Nash, a four-time All-Star, currently leads the league in assists with 11.1 per game. James, the youngest player in NBA history to reach 5,000 career points (21 years, 22 days on Jan. 21, 2006) is averaging an impressive 30.9 points, 6.5 assists and 6.9 rebounds. Paul, a three-time 2005-06 T-Mobile Western Conference Rookie of the Month leads all rookies in most categories, including points (16.3 ppg), assists (7.8 apg) and steals (2.2 spg). Wade, recently named a starter for the 2006 Eastern Conference All-Star Team, is averaging 27.0 points, 6.9 assists and 2.0 steals.