The NBA is evolving and the NBA All-Star game will evolve along with it. When the Miami Heat won the title last summer, they did it with one player listed as a center (Ronny ‘6’10″‘ Turiaf) logging 3 total minutes in the series-clinching game. Gone are the days of the dominant back-to-the-basket big man. Here are the days of the face-up, Euro big and the 6’9″ point-foward. Thus, the NBA All-Star game will get rid of the arcane idea that a Center should be reserved a starting spot. From NBA.com:
The league will announce Wednesday a change to its All-Star ballot that will, for the first time, allow fans to vote for three undefined “frontcourt” players instead of having to vote for two forwards and a center. With more and more teams playing smaller than in the past, the definition of “center” was becoming increasingly difficult — not to mention finding enough quality big men for whom to vote.
Makes enough sense. Now for the part that ought to make the comments go crazy…
For years, for example, the Spurs have listed Tim Duncan as a power forward, even though everyone on earth knew he was their starting center. And so when it came to All-Star balloting, Duncan would take up a forward spot in a very crowded field of Western Conference stars instead of his logical spot in the middle. This was good for Duncan, who surely would have made his 13 All-Star teams anyway, but it often cost another forward a shot.
Yes. This is change is for players like Tim Duncan and not because Jamaal Magloire once started an All-Star game. So this year’s starting lineups should feature Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin for the West and Andrew Bynum, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony from the East. Exactly what they would have been without this change. This is to prevent Greg Monroe from getting in the way of an alley-oop because somebody rolled an ankle in early February.