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Damian Lillard, snubbed for All-Star game, won’t defend Skills Competition title

Taco Bell Skills Challenge 2014

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 15: Western Conference All-Star Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers competes in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge 2014 as part of the 2014 NBA All-Star Weekend at the Smoothie King Center on February 15, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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Damian Lillard, a year after competing in five All-Star events, seemingly won’t participate in even one this season.

He’s too old for the Rising Stars Challenge. No dunk contest. No 3-point shootout. No All-Star game.

And no skills challenge.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

The NBA, as negotiated in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, could have required Lillard to participate. The league can compel any skills challenge (plus 3-point shootout and shooting stars) defending champion to return the following year.*

*The NBA can generally make players participate in those events, of which the dunk contest is specifically excluded. An exception is players who competed in that event the two previous years, and Lillard did. But an exception to that exception is defending champions.

Perhaps, Adam Silver just gave Lillard a break after the agonizing decision to spurn him, rather than DeMarcus Cousins, for Kobe Bryant’s injury-replacement slot.

Meanwhile, Lillard’s co-defending champ, Trey Burke, wants to defend his title:

Unfortunately, the Jazz guard will need a new partner (unless the NBA wisely scraps the tandem format) after he and Lillard clicked so well last year: