LOS ANGELES — Spencer Dinwiddie kicked off NBA All-Star Saturday by winning the Skills Challenge in his hometown.
Dinwiddie, who grew up nearby in the San Fernando Valley, said it was just a thrill to be in the competition in light of how far he’s had to come to get here.
“It’s big for me to even be at All-Star weekend, considering the road that’s been in my career, very up and down,” the Nets guard said.
He then went on to thank the Nets for taking a chance on him and pulling him out of the developmental league last season.
Dinwiddie, a candidate for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award, took over as starting point guard after Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell were injured.
“In Brooklyn, they gave me a chance to learn and grow,” Dinwiddie said. “They believed in my abilities . . . I am grateful for the opportunity. Brooklyn chose to rock with me while two of our main guys were hurt. You know, it’s just fortunate to be able to capitalize on that opportunity.”
The skills competition consisted of two players going head to head. They dribbled around pylons, passed the ball into a net, dribbled to the other end of the floor for a layup and then dribbled back to the other end to take a pull-up three-pointer. Dinwiddie beat out Lauri Markkanen of the Bulls in the final round.