Mar 6, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler shoots prior to the game against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

NBA Removes the Center Position from All-Star Ballot


Looking at today’s NBA, one thing is clear and that’s the days of the dominant centers in the league are long gone.

Looking at the league as a whole, only Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum are dominant centers in today’s game, a game that has transitioned over the past couple of decades to a league filled with talented and athletic guards.

It appears NBA commissioner David Stern has taken notice.

Mar 31, 2012; New York, NY, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers small forward Alonzo Gee (33) defends New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler (6) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

The league is set to tweak its All-Star Game balloting process, doing away with position designations for forwards and centers and instead asking fans to vote for three “frontcourt” players, according to NBA.com.

The website said the announcement is scheduled for Wednesday and the change is based on the more nebulous definition of player positions in NBA lineups and a reaction to San Antonio’s routine designation of Tim Duncan – a listed power forward who often played like a center.

“It makes sense,” vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson said to NBA.com. “It made sense to our competition committee. Having a center is the only specific position that was singled out on the ballot. It just seemed a little outdated and didn’t represent the way our game has evolved. By the same token, it also affords the same opportunity, if you have two good centers in a given year, pick ‘em both. They both can be selected. Which is impossible right now.”

It’s really not that big of a deal, considering that there aren’t many All-Star worthy centers throughout the league.

But it hurts the chances of players such as Tyson Chandler, Marc Gasol, Joakim Noah, Al Horford and other productive centers around the league from potentially making All-Star teams in the future.

Bynum and Howard would likely be the starters in each conference, but if they don’t get voted in by the fans and are picked by the coaches as reserves, there’s going to be one less spot to be had for a deserving big man.

The NBA is scheduled to debut the 2013 All-Star ballot on Nov. 13 with the All-Star Game slated for Feb. 17 at Houston’s Toyota Center.

Tags: NBA NBA All-star Game New York Knicks Tyson Chandler