The NBA is changing the ballot of the annual All-Star game, going from the traditional PG, SG, SF, PF, and C spots, to two back-court players (G’s) and three front-court players (SF, PF, or C). So is this really that big of a deal? Yes, as it could change the landscape of the NBA forever.
This is a small man’s league. The NBA is dominated by PGs so heavily that six of my Top Ten MVP Picks of 2012-13 were PG’s. With the emphasis being on ball handling and distributing, the big man is a dying breed. Aside from Dwight Howard, and maybe Andrew Bynum, there aren’t any dominant centers reminiscent of Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O’Neal, Patrick Ewing, etc. Franchises don’t need a low post presence anymore, just look at last year’s Finals match-up. The Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder squared off for the title, with Joel Anthony and Kendrick Perkins as the prominent big men.
Those guys are serviceable players, but are not All-Stars, and that is why I like the NBA’s move to change the ballot. Going forward, with 6’8-6’10 players like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Carmelo Anthony having ability to handle the basketball with such skill, the Center position may disappear. Will that happen this year? Definitely not, especially with Howard, or “Superman,” is looking to take the Los Angeles Lakers to the Finals.
In 10-15 years, will there still be traditional back-to-basket centers in the NBA? I am going to say no- at least not in the way that we think of centers now. Who is to say that 7-footers won’t be breaking ankles in the future? It is amazing how much the game can change over the course of a few years.
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