Raptors' Ross to defend Slam Dunk title against actual All-Stars


The Sports Network

New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Toronto Raptors forward Terrence Ross will defend his NBA Slam Dunk crown during All-Star weekend in New Orleans, though this year's field features three big names participating in the All-Star Game on Feb. 16.

All-Star's Paul George of the Pacers, John Wall of the Wizards and Damian Lillard of the Trail Blazers will join Golden State's Harrison Barnes and Sacramento rookie Ben McLemore as the challengers attempting to take Ross' title in the Slam Dunk competition, which has lost its luster in recent years due to a lack of star power.

Lillard will also participate in the 3-point competition and had already agreed to play in Friday night's rookie/sophomore game, Saturday night's skills challenge and Sunday's All-Star Game, making him the first player in All-Star weekend history to participate in all five events.

Joining Lillard in the 3-point competition will be Golden State sharpshooter Stephen Curry, Minnesota star Kevin Love, and San Antonio sniper Marco Belinelli representing the West.

Washington's Bradley Beal, Brooklyn's Joe Johnson and Orlando's Arron Afflalo will join reigning champion Kyrie Irving as the East representatives in the 3- point competition.

For the second straight year, All-Star Saturday will feature an East vs. West format, with players representing their respective conferences as part of a competition to raise money for charity.

The night kicks off with the Shooting Stars competition, which features a current NBA player selecting a retired NBA player and a WNBA player to compete together in a shooting competition.

Each conference will be represented by two teams, with the East's first team comprising of Tim Hardaway, Jr. and Sr. along with Elena Delle Donne of the Chicago Sky. Defending champions Chris Bosh, Dominique Wilkins and Swin Cash make up the East's other team.

As for the West, Curry will join his father, Dell, on a team with Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Silver Stars, while Kevin Durant, Karl Malone and Skylar Diggins of the Tulsa Shock will team up as the West's other squad.

The Skills Challenge follows, with Lillard looking to defend his title against fellow West representatives Goran Dragic of the Suns, Trey Burke of the Jazz and Reggie Jackson of the Thunder. Orlando's Victor Oladipo, Philadelphia's Michael Carter-Williams, Toronto's DeMar DeRozan and Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo will represent the East in the Skills Challenge.

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