HOUSTON -- Jrue Holiday was the last of three Eastern Conference players to participate in the Skills Competition on Saturday night.
Participants were made to dribble through obstacles, complete two chest passes, a bounce pass, a jump shot and two layups in the shortest time possible.
Holiday turned in the Eastern Conference's fastest time in the team round (29.3 seconds), pitting him against Portland's Damian Lillard in the finals with $25,000 on the line.
“That is motivation,” Holiday said. “That is definitely motivation. But for me, I just wanted to win not just for the money, but I wanted to be No. 1."
Instead, the rookie Lillard, who was having an amazing season long before he won this competition, took home the trophy, besting Holiday by six seconds in the final round.
"Did you see that trophy? That could have been at my house," Holiday said. "It is OK. Hopefully next year I will get that trophy.”
Despite the loss, Holiday still seems to be enjoying himself, soaking in the All-Star experience.
“It’s been fun. It’s busy. I think I snuck in a 20 minute nap,” he said, before re-focusing on a tough stretch in the final round that cost him the trophy.
“That whole sequence where I missed the chest pass, the bounce pass ... and then the jump shot. I think after the first chest pass, I kind of tensed up a bit and got nervous.”
Those words don't sound like the Holiday we are used to, but everybody is entitled to first-time jitters.
Holiday said he had not been in such a personal competitive situation since his family was on a TV cooking contest.
“That show on the Food Network -- Cook Off. We had teams and we all had to make dishes and guess who won -- you are looking at him,” Holiday said. “We made a Boston cream pie.”
He's as humble in victory as he is in defeat.