Jeremy Lin, left, and Tony Parker, right will be headed to the NBA All Star Game Weekend next week as one of the participants in the Skills Challenge competition among guards. (Photo : Reuters)
For the second year in a row, NBA All-Star Weekend will be getting a dose of "Linsanity."
After narrowly missing a chance to start in the 2013 NBA All-Star Game via fan balloting, Jeremy Lin, the Houston Rockets' wildly popular point guard with fans across the globe, will be heading to NBA All-Star Game Weekend as part of the Skills Challenge contest.
The challenge tests the skills and talents among some of the best guards the NBA has to offer. From shooting layups to dribbling around obstacles, throwing a pass into a net that doesn't hit the ground and hitting a 20-foot jumper-simultaneously-this challenge tests the versatility of the league's floor generals.
But Lin will be facing some stiff competition as he squares off against defending Skills Challenge champion and NBA All-Star Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs, as well as sensational guards like Jrue Holiday of the Philadelphia 76ers, Brandon Knight of the Detroit Pistons, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers and Jeff Teague of the Atlanta Hawks.
This marks the second time since Lin's breakout season last year that Lin will take part in the contests of the NBA All-Star Game. Last year, Lin's surprising and inspired play during February fueled a fan-driven push to make Lin part of All-Star Weekend, resulting in Lin being named to the East for the NBA Rising Stars Game.
Thanks to his exploding popularity, his participation in the game boosted the ratings to their highest ever, with 2.8 million fans tuning in to watch the game.
This will be Lin's first time taking the skills competition. However, judging by what he told the Houston Chronicle Thursday, it seems like he's looking forward to the challenge.
"I guess it's like a very point guard heavy field," Lin said. "Hopefully, I like to say I can dribble a little bit and pass a little bit and shoot a little bit, make a couple layups. Hopefully, I'll do OK."