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Psychotherapist and best-selling author Nathaniel Branden once wrote, "The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance." Safe to say that most NBA fans are still in the "awareness" phase after being blitzed by a chaotic, new format for the 2022 Skills Challenge during All-Star Saturday Night.

Usually, a handful of individual competitors go through a basketball version of an obstacle course, which requires dribbling, passing and shooting. Whoever finishes the course the fastest is declared the winner. Clean and simple.

The league decided that wasn't nearly complicated enough, and for the 2022 Skills Challenge, three teams consisting of three competitors each engaged in four separate competitions: Shooting, passing, team relay and half-court shot. In the end, the young Cleveland Cavaliers trio of Jarrett Allen, Darius Garland and Evan Mobley ended up taking home the hardware over Team Antetokounmpo (Giannis, Thanasis and Alex) and Team Rooks (Scottie Barnes, Cade Cunningham and Josh Giddey).

Here's a look at the final results and a quick recap of each event.

2022 NBA All-Star Skills Challenge results

  1. Team Cavs: Jarrett Allen, Darius Garland, Evan Mobley
  2. Team Rooks: Scottie Barnes, Cade Cunningham, Josh Giddey
  3. Team Antetokounmpo: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Alex Antetokounmpo


The first event was a shooting game reminiscent of the old "Two-ball" that used to be played over All-Star Weekend. Each member of the team went one at a time, shooting from marked spots on the floor that were worth a different number of points. Garland led the Cavs to the win, outscoring the Antetokounmpo brothers by himself with a spectacular round.

Team Cavs earned 100 points (sure?) in the round.


This is where things got wild. In the next round, all three players simultaneously tried to pass the ball through moving targets, and they were prohibited from passing from the same spot twice in a row. The ensuing madness was complicated at best, chaotic at worst.

Fans following on Twitter were equal parts confused and exhausted by the spectacle.

In the end, Team Antetokounmpo and Team Rooks earned the same number of points, but Team Antetokounmpo won an arbitrary 100 points via the tiebreaker.

Team Relay

This portion of the contest looked similar to what we're used to seeing in the Skills Challenge, only in a relay format rather than individual runs. A few players inadvertently broke the rules, which evidently weren't clear to anyone involved, while TNT commentator Reggie Miller kept yelling at players to miss on purpose. The whole thing was weird, and it got weirder when Team Cavs and Team Antetokounmpo finished in a tie for second.

A tiebreaker was needed to see who would advance to the final round, so how did they decide to determine the winner? Another one-on-one run on the obstacle course, perhaps? Nah, let's settle this like they do on the playground. Alternating 3-pointers from the top of the key.

For some reason, Team Antetokounmpo decided that Thanasis, who has made eight career 3-pointers in 116 games, was their champion. Team Cavs countered with Garland, who makes as many 3s in three games as Thanasis has made in his entire career. The result turned out as you might expect.

Team Cavs advanced to the final round to take on Team Rooks.

Half-court shot

Did we need a fourth event? Probably not. But it was simple, at least. Whichever team could make a half-court shot the fastest would be declared the winner of the Skills Challenge. Cunningham made the half-courter for Team Rooks in a respectable 9.9 seconds to set the bar, but he was put to shame by Mobley, who knocked down his first attempt after just 5.5 seconds to give Team Cavs the win.

Ultimately it was a sweet ending for the host city, and the competition was at least interesting, though it could certainly use some tweaks before next year.