NBA All-Star 2013: Tony Parker unable to defend Skills Challenge Title

By Joe Buettner

Feb 16, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (9) during the 2013 NBA all star skills challenge at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Winning the Taco Bell Skills Challenge once is hard. Especially against some of the most athletic players in the league. However, it is a SKILLS challenge for a reason.

Tony Parker knew it would be hard to defend his crown. It wasn’t as wide-open as the Three-Point Contest, but Parker would have to work to win the competition. Unfortunately, Parker could not deliver Saturday night.

Completely melting down late in his session, Parker went 0-for-5 in that brutal top-of-the-key jumper that can make or break your time. Parker ended up with a time of 48.7 seconds, which ultimately gave the conference win to the East.

Regardless of this year’s conference battle, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers beat Jrue Holiday of the Philadelphia 76ers in the final round by over five seconds.

Lillard, the favorite for this year’s Rookie of the Year Award, became the first rookie to win the Taco Bell Skills Challenge. Holiday challenged Lillard in the first round for the best time, but no one else was really on par with Lillard or Holiday.

It was a tough to watch Parker struggle as much as he did in the competition, but his weekend in Houston is not over. He still has the All-Star Game tomorrow night, but he will enter Sunday night no longer the reigning champion of the Skills Challenge.