Nikola Jokic kicked off his All-Star weekend by participating in the NBA Taco Bell Skills Challenge on Saturday night, an event his teammate Will Barton picked him to win. Why?
Because he’s skilled.
Reporter: how do you think Jokic will do in the skills challenge?— Adam Mares (@Adam_Mares) February 13, 2019
Barton: he’ll win
Reporter: what makes you so certain?
Barton: he’s skilled pic.twitter.com/UE5AQK9hki
Jokic was matched up with fellow large-human-named-Nikola, Vucevic of the Orlando Magic, in the first round. He utilized that aforementioned skill and left the other Nikola in the dust with a remarkable display of speed and grace.
The Joker’s luck ran out when he was eliminated in the second round by Jayson Tatum, who is no longer 19. Jokic shot out of the proverbial gate like a horse of his own, beating Tatum down the court and darting a pass through the circle thing. The big man turned, exploded to the basket, and threw down a dunk that should have been saved for the final event of the night. He beat Tatum down the court again but he missed two three-point shots in a row, leaving Tatum time to recover and sink the shot.
Tatum would go on to win the event.
Saturday night’s performance makes Jokic just the latest example of a lesson we learn year-after-year. You simply can’t win the Taco Bell Skills challenge on speed alone.
We’ll see Jokic compete again on Sunday night when team Giannis takes on team LeBron in the 2019 NBA All-Star Game.