The NBA took a step away from labeling player with traditional and slightly outdated positions. The League announced Tuesday that it is doing away with center position on the All-Star Game fan ballots. In its place, the league is simply going to list frontcourt players, lumping all forwards and centers in one group called frontcourt players. TNT's David Aldridge broke the story on NBA.com and used the Spurs' Tim Duncan as the example for doing away with the positions in the All Star Game, even calling it the "Duncan Dilemma."
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, the issue of whether Duncan is a center or power forward has been a topic of conversation around All Star game time since about 2007 or so. Duncan started the blending of the center and power forward positions that now includes the Miami Heat's Chris Bosh, the Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett, the Portland Trailblazers' LaMarcus Aldridge and others. Guys that previously were labled power forwards are now the biggest guys on their team, or at least playing crunch time at the center position as teams trend towards a small ball approach.
This also means fans can see three guys who would have likely been listed on the All Star ballot as forwards start together. It's entirely conceivable you could see LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett all starting for the Eastern Conference this season, rather than being force fed 76ers center Andrew Bynum in to the starting five, even if Garnett beats Bynum in fan voting.
Photo Credit: Sportige.com