Feb. 16, 2007
LAS VEGAS - The NBA's 2007 All-Star Weekend will feature a healthy dose of Washington Huskies when the festivities begin tonight at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Nate Robinson will defend his title in the Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk championship, while Brandon Roy will participate in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam. Both events will be televised live by TNT.
A current member of the New York Knicks, Nate Robinson, who outlasted Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala in a dunk-off to become the 2006 Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk champion, is set to defend his title. A year ago, the 5-9 Robinson registered a 50-point dunk on a bounce pass from Spud Webb, the 1986 champion and the only other sub-6-foot winner in Slam Dunk history. Iguodala had a 50-point slam in each round. Memphis rookie Hakim Warrick and defending champion Josh Smith of Atlanta were eliminated in the first round with two-dunk totals of 86 and 81 points, respectively.
Robinson is expected to compete against three first-time entrants - Boston's Gerald Green, Orlando's Dwight Howard and Chicago's Tyrus Thomas - for this year's title
A first-year player with the Portland Trailblazers, Brandon Roy was named to the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam by a vote of the league's assistant coaches.
The game, which matches nine rookies against nine sophomores, will tip off Friday, Feb. 16, at 6 p.m. (Pacific). The event will be broadcast live on TNT from the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Joining Arvydas Sabonis (1996) and Alvin Williams (1998), Roy became the third Trail Blazer to be named to the rookie game since its inception in 1994, and the first Portland player to participate in All-Star Weekend since 2001, when Rasheed Wallace was an All-Star reserve.
Leading all rookies with 15.3 points per game, Roy is posting averages of 4.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.21 steals in 33.7 minutes, while counting three double-doubles in 33 games this season.
Joining Roy on the Rookie team this year are the Los Angeles Lakers' Jordan Farmar, the Minnesota Timberwolves' Randy Foye, the Toronto Raptors' Andrea Bargnani and Jorge Garbajosa, the Memphis Grizzlies' Rudy Gay, the Utah Jazz's Paul Millsap, the Charlotte Bobcats' Adam Morrison, and the New Jersey Nets' Marcus Williams.
The Sophomore team includes the Milwaukie Bucks' Andrew Bogut, the Los Angeles Lakers' Andrew Bynum, the Golden State Warriors' Monta Ellis, the Charlotte Bobcats' Raymond Felton, the Indiana Pacers' Danny Granger, the Houston Rockets' Luther Head, the New York Knicks' David Lee, the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets' Chris Paul -- the 2005-06 T-Mobile Rookie of the Year -- and the Utah Jazz's Deron Williams.