What is the NBA Skills Challenge?

What is the NBA Skills Challenge

Since it was first held in 2003, the NBA Skills Challenge has been an exciting addition to the NBA All-Star Weekend. During those two decades, many great basketball players have competed to show off their ball-handling, passing, and shooting skills. Read on to learn all about the NBA Skills Challenge.

  • Venue: Vivint Arena (changes yearly)
  • Location: Salt Lake City, Utah (changes yearly)
  • First Held: 2003
  • Most Wins by Player: Dwayne Wade, Steve Nash, Damian Lillard (2 wins)
  • Most Wins by Team: Miami Heat (3 wins)


The NBA Skills Challenge was first held during All-Star Weekend in 2003. For nearly twenty years, the contest consisted of two participants racing against one another on a court-based obstacle course while dribbling, passing through a hoop, and making a three-pointer and whoever completed the course fastest was the winner. Starting with the 2022 All-Star Weekend, the contest was changed to a new format that consisted of four rounds that each focused on a different basketball skill.

Rules and Regulations

The NBA Skills Challenge takes place over four rounds. In the first round, players on each team will shoot from five separate locations while their two teammates rebound for them. Each location is worth between one and five points, individual player scores are added together, and the team with the highest score wins, earning 100 Challenge Points.

In the second round, players on each of the three teams participate in a passing challenge. Each team must work together and try to pass to one another despite oversized moving targets in the way. Each target is worth two, four, or six points, and the team with the highest score wins, earning 100 Challenge Points.

In the third round, all players from each of the three teams participate in a timed relay. In order to finish the relay, each player must complete five specific basketball skills in a particular order. The team that completes the relay with the fastest time wins, earning 200 Challenge Points.

In the fourth and final round, only the top two teams compete in a half-court shot challenge. All players on both teams will attempt to make a half-court shot and the time to beat will either be the time it took them to make the shot or the expiration time (one minute, 30 seconds). Whichever team makes the half-court shot in the fastest time officially wins the NBA Skills Challenge. If there is a tie, the two teams repeat the half-court challenge until there is a final winner.

Teams and Players

There are three teams of three players each that participate in the NBA Skills Challenge. The players are chosen from around the NBA and the G League, and placed into teams based on similarities or other thematic groupings. The players participating in the 2023 NBA Skills Challenge are broken down by their teams below:

Team NamePlayers
AntetokounmposAlex Antetokounmpo, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Thanasis Antetokounmpo
JazzJordan Clarkson, Walker Kessler, Collin Sexton
RooksPaolo Banchero, Jaden Ivey, Jabari Smith Jr.


What is the NBA Skills Challenge?

The NBA Skills Challenge is an annual exhibition event in which professional basketball players test their ball-handling, passing, and shooting skills. Though the format has changed over the nearly two decades it has been held, the Skills Challenge always involves players completing skills-based obstacles faster than their opponent.

Who has won the most NBA Skills Challenges?

The most NBA Skills Challenge wins is held by three different basketball players, each having won twice. Dwayne Wade was the first player to win the title twice, having first won in 2006 and then again in 2007. The next was Steve Nash, who won the Skills Challenge in 2005 and 2010. Finally, Damian Lillard won the honor consecutively in 2013 and 2014.

When does the NBA Skills Challenge take place during All-Star Weekend?

The NBA Skills Challenge takes place on Saturday night during All-Star Weekend. It is the first event of All-Star Saturday Night, which begins at 8 PM ET.