Sonics' Barry eyes 3-point crown
He already owns a slam dunk title he earned in 1996 during All-Star weekend.
ATLANTA (AP) -- Brent Barry plans to wear a shirt over his jersey during tonight's 3-point shootout, following the same plan he used while winning the Slam Dunk title in 1996.
Barry, a guard for the Seattle SuperSonics, is trying to become the first player to win both contests, held each year on All-Star weekend.
The day starts with the Rookie Challenge, a game between first-year and second-year players, and concludes with the Skills Challenge, Hoop-It-Up, 3-point shootout and the dunk contest.
The Skills Challenge is a new event, featuring four players competing against the clock while shooting, passing and dribbling through various stations on the court.
When Barry won the dunk title, he donned his pregame warmup for all of his attempts, even though he claims it was an accident.
"Eight years ago, I was just so nervous I forgot to take the damn thing off," Barry said. "This time around, I'll probably leave my shooting shirt on over my jersey, because that's what I'm used to shooting in."
Defends shootout title
Peja Stojakovic of the Sacramento Kings is back to defend his title in the shootout, joining Barry, Pat Garrity of the Orlando Magic, Wesley Person of the Memphis Grizzlies, David Wesley of the New Orleans Hornets and Antoine Walker of the Boston Celtics.
To get ready, Barry practiced on the court at his house, working with a rack of balls to get the feel of how much time he'll have.
"Winning the dunk contest was like a joke, I was like the sentimental favorite," he said. "This time around, I have the skills to do it. Whoever gets hot is going to win, and I just hope I can get hot."
Golden State's Jason Richardson, the defending champ in the dunk contest, is back, along with 2001 winner Desmond Mason of Seattle. Rookie Amare Stoudemire of Phoenix and Richard Jefferson of New Jersey are the other competitors.
The 21-year-old Stoudemire joined the NBA straight out high school, and earned a starting spot with the Suns 10 games into the season. The 6-foot-10 forward is averaging 12.8 points, and figures to be Richardson's main competition Saturday.
The dunk contest judges named Friday are Michael Jordan, Julius Erving, Dominique Wilkins, Dee Brown and Spud Webb; all but Erving are past champions, and he won the inaugural contest as part of the American Basketball Association All-Star festivities in 1976.
The skills challenge starts and ends with a layup at the same basket, with players dribbling, passing and shooting in between. The participants are all guards: Gary Payton of Seattle, Jason Kidd of New Jersey, Stephon Marbury of Phoenix and Tony Parker of San Antonio.
Hoop-It-Up is a game of 3-on-3, with each team having four members: a former NBA player, a current one, a WNBA player and a celebrity. Jason Terry of the Hawks leads the Atlanta team, with Dominique Wilkins, Sheryl Swoopes of the Houston Comets and actor Frankie Muniz of "Malcolm in the Middle."
They're facing a team from Los Angeles, with current Clippers player Corey Magette, Magic Johnson, Lisa Leslie of the Sparks and actor Ashton Kutcher of "That '70s Show."