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Mad Skills: Rondo To Compete In Skills Challenge

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In addition to being selected to replace Joe Johnson in this weekend's All-Star Game, Rajon Rondo will take over for Stephen Curry in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge. This has long been an overlooked event at the All-Star festivities as merely an appetizer for the Slam Dunk Contest, but you might want to tune in early on Saturday to catch this.

It looks like an obstacle course you'd see at a junior high basketball tryout: dribbling around cones, passing through tires, and making free throws and lay ups. He's wanted to compete in this for years and a motivated Rondo could make it interesting. After being suspended for the last two games (which have been premiere matchups against the defending champs and OKC), this will be a return of sorts for Rondo to the national television audience. Rondo's going to come out hot. Remember, this is guy who's supposed to have a suspect jump shot but took Kid Clutch Kevin Durant to the brink in the now forgotten HORSE competition by making eight straight threes. Past winners of the Skills Challenge include Steve Nash, Derrick Rose, and Deron Williams. I'm pretty sure I've heard all these guys' names attached to a trade rumor or two for RR.

The NBA should make this year's competition more interesting: whoever wins can not be linked to a deal for Pau Gasol.