UTAH JAZZ

Jazz Guard Mike Conley Invited To All-Star Skills Challenge, Plans To Compete

Jan 23, 2023, 10:28 PM | Updated: Jan 24, 2023, 12:39 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley said that he was invited to participate in the NBA Skills Challenge and that he plans to compete in the All-Star weekend event.

Conley discussed the event following Utah’s win over the Charlotte Hornets on Monday, January 23.

The NBA veteran told KSL Sports that he plans to compete in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge.

All-Star Weekend, including the Skills Challenge and NBA All-Star Game, will take place at Vivint Arena from February 17-19. It’s Utah’s first time hosting All-Star Weekend since 1993.

The Skills Challenge will take place on February 18 at 6 p.m. (MDT). It will be televised on TNT.

In 2021 and during his second season with the Jazz, Conley was named an NBA All-Star for the first time in his career.

However, Conley participated in the Skills Challenge in Charlotte in 2019.

Former Jazz guard Deron Williams won the Skills Challenge in 2008 and former Jazz guard Trey Burke teamed up with former Weber State star Damian Lillard to win the event in 2014. Williams competed in the event multiple times.

Former Jazzman Gordon Hayward participated in 2017’s Skills Challenge and former Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell was in the 2018 event.

Current Jazz and former Chicago Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen also took part in the Skills Challenge in 2018. Current Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson was a participant in 2016.

This season, Conley is averaging 10.4 points per game on 39.2 percent shooting, including 36.8 percent on three-pointers. He’s also averaging 2.4 rebounds, 7.5 assists (career-high), 0.2 blocks, and 1.0 steals in 29.5 minutes per game.

Conley ranks seventh in the league in assists per contest.

Utah Jazz in NBA All-Star Voting

The third round of NBA All-Star voting has been released and Markkanen has held steady as the count nears an end.

Markkanen remains in seventh place among Western Conference frontcourt players upping his vote total from 845,663 to 1,348,243.

All-Star voting began on December 20 and ran through January 21. All-Star rosters will be announced later in January and into early February.

Lauri Markkanen Doesn’t Slip Throughout Process

Unchanged from the first two sets of returns, Markkanen trails LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Anthony Davis, Zion Williamson, Andrew Wiggins, and Paul George in All-Star voting, but is ahead of future Hall of Famers Draymond Green and Kawhi Leonard.

The Finnish forward is having a breakout season during his first year in Utah. Markkanen is averaging a career-high 24.8 points per game while grabbing 8.7 rebounds and handing out 1.8 assists.

Markkanen’s numbers have increased since All-Star voting began on December 20, averaging 30.6 points and 9.6 rebounds while shooting 50 percent from the floor, 42 percent from the three-point line, and 92 percent from the free throw line in 13 contests.

As of the third round of voting, the Jazz own the sixth-best record in the Western Conference with 34 games remaining in the season.

The NBA will name All-Star starters using a combination of fan voting and voting from current NBA players and media. Starting lineups will consist of two backcourt players and three players in the frontcourt.

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Jazz Guard Mike Conley Invited To All-Star Skills Challenge, Plans To Compete