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NBA All-Star Shooting Stars: Joe Johnson, Steve Smith, Lindsay Harding Defend ATL Title

Well, Joe is the one who likes to play until "the wheels come off", so I guess I can't be surprised that Johnson, who is already hooked up for the 3-point Shootout and the All-Star Game itself during All-Star weekend, will reprise his role in the Shooting Stars competition where he, Steve Smith and Lindsay Harding will try to have the ATL repeat as champs. If they do, they will be the first of such groups to do so.

Exit Question: Does Joe and Smitty's participation make you interested at all in this competition?

The full release below:

Led by Hawks All-Star Joe Johnson, Atlanta Dream guard Lindsay Harding and former Hawks All-Star Steve Smith, Team Atlanta will attempt to become the first repeatHaier Shooting Stars champion as it competes against a field that includes squads representing New York, Texas and NBA All-Star 2012 host city Orlando at Amway Center on Feb. 25.

In last year's competition, Team Atlanta, which featured Smith, the Hawks' Al Horford and the Dream's Coco Miller, defeated Team Texas in the final round with a time of 1:10.

The home team includes the Orlando Magic's Jameer Nelson, an All-Star in 2009; Florida native and three-time WNBA All-Star Marie Ferdinand-Harris; and former Magic great Dennis Scott, who spent seven seasons with Orlando after the team made him the fourth overall selection of the 1990 NBA Draft.

Team Atlanta features Johnson, who was named an All-Star for the sixth time this year; Harding of the reigning WNBA Eastern Conference champion Atlanta Dream; and NBA TV analyst Smith, an All-Star selection in 1998 with the Hawks and a member of the 2003 NBA champion San Antonio Spurs.

Team New York is comprised of the New York Knicks' Landry Fields, who will also play for Team Shaq in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend; the New York Liberty's Cappie Pondexter, a four-time WNBA All-Star and one of the league's top scorers; and former Knicks great Allan Houston, who averaged 17.3 points over his 12-year NBA career, and currently works in New York's front office as an assistant general manager.

Team Texas is represented by the Houston Rockets' Chandler Parsons, an Orlando-area native and second-round pick in 2011, who's worked his way into the Rockets' starting lineup as a rookie; the San Antonio Silver Stars' Sophia Young, a four-time WNBA All-Star, who averaged 13.2 points and 6.4 rebounds in 2011; and TNT analyst Kenny Smith, a two-time NBA champion with the Houston Rockets (1994, 1995).

Haier Shooting Stars will be televised live nationally as part of the NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented by State Farm, which will also feature the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, Sprite Slam Dunk, and Taco Bell Skills Challenge. TNT and ESPN Radio's national coverage will begin at 8 p.m. EST from Amway Center. The NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 26, will air live on TNT, ESPN Radio and in more than 200 countries and will be broadcast in more than 40 languages.

The Haier Shooting Stars contest features one current NBA player, one current WNBA player and one TNT on-air talent/NBA legend on each team. There are six numbered shooting locations of increasing difficulty, with each team attempting to make all shots in numeric order in the fastest time. Each team will select a specific player rotation to follow throughout the competition. Each shot must be made before the next player begins shooting in succession. Teams have up to two minutes to complete the entire shooting course and the team that completes all six shots in the least amount of time is declared the winner. In the case of a tie, a shoot-off will be used to determine the winner.

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