Jamal Murray is going to be a bit busier at the NBA All Star Weekend. Murray has been selected to participate in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge the NBA announced today. He has already been slated to compete in the Rising Stars Challenge, the annual game between the brightest rookies and sophomores, but now will take the skills challenge on as well. Murray will make it three straight years a Nugget has competed in the skills challenge. Nikola Jokic competed last year where he was narrowly defeated by Kristaps Porzingis in the semi finals and Emmanuel Mudiay competed in 2016 where he lost to Isaiah in the first round. Joining Murray in this year’s skills challenge will be Lou Williams, Donovan Mitchell, Spencer Dinwiddie, Al Horford, Joel Embiid, Lauri Markkanen and the defending champion Porzingis.
The Skills challenge is designed to test various aspects of a basketball players offensive game and combines drills that incorporate ball handling, shooting and passing in a single elimination tournament to determine the winner. The players are divided into two sub-groups: big men and guards, and they compete within their group first before the winners from each group take each other on to determine an ultimate winner. The skills challenge has been around since 2003 but the big man vs guard format has only existed since 2016. The big men have won both times under that format, with Karl-Anthony Towns winning two years ago. Here’s hoping Murray can buck the trend and continue his success at the All Star Weekend.