The All Star Game is what fans and players everywhere look forward to season after season. It marks the midway point in the NBA season, and gives the fans the opportunity to see the games current best players go at it, East vs. West.
The voting system has been the same ever since the game’s inception, with fans being able to choose the players they want to see represent their region. Fans were allowed to choose the starting five positions: a point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, and a center. However, this year for the 2013 All Star Game the voting has changed up a bit, and instead of voting for all five starting positions, fans now can only vote in three front court players, while leaving the back court the way it used to be. This takes out the center position from the ballot and Dwight Howard had some words about it:
We work just as hard as anybody else. I don’t think it’s fair to take away a position which has been here for life. You need a center on the court. So I don’t think it’s right. That’s like taking away a guard.”
The center position has certainly changed since basketball was a young sport, with new centers now being more versatile and able to accomplish more on the court. Howard, of course, is a very hard working center, and he feels his position deserves its own spot on the ballot as it always has been. Centers now don’t have to be chosen for the All Star Game, and one team could be represented by three power forwards in the front court, or a combination of that and small forwards. Read more about it here.
The NBA has likely chosen this path because of the “lack of real centers” that are left in the NBA, and Howard had something to say about that as well:
The game changes every day, It changes every year. You look at the game back then and now, centers are bigger, stronger, faster. Guards are bigger, stronger, faster. So the game evolves. That doesn’t mean you take out a position because of the game evolving, because the players that play center are evolving also.”
So with the All Star Game this year changing up its original ballot, will you be voting differently? I personally disagree with the new ballot system and would prefer, like Howard, to go back to the old system. I feel centers are a very integral part of basketball as a whole and they need to be a part of the ballot again. Centers can be very underrated and while the NBA doesn’t have too many “true centers” in the game, doesn’t mean that the position has disappeared, it only means it has changed for the better of the game.
The All Star game is a mere three months away, and already there is opposition to the voting change, will there be less votes this year? More? Only time will tell, give me your thoughts on the rule change, are you for or against it?