The All-Star ballot will no longer have one spot for a center and two forward positions but will instead allow fans to vote for three frontcourt players, TNT/NBA.com writer David Aldridge reported Tuesday night.
Aldridge wrote that the “NBA is finally doing something about the (Tim) Duncan Dilemma” in which the Spurs great was listed by his team and the league as a power forward “even though everyone on earth knew he was their starting 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.
Aldridge reported that the NBA’s Competition Committee, which includes Jazz executive vice president of basketball operations Kevin O’Connor, voted on the change last month.
“It makes sense,” VP of Basketball Operations Stu Jackson told Aldridge. ”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 It just seemed a little outdated and didn’t represent the way our game has evolved.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.”
Dwight Howard’s migration out West certainly would have earned the All-Star center spot. Memphis’ Marc Gasol earned a reserve nod last season over Jefferson.
Likely All-Star candidates include possible-starters Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin along with LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love, Dirk Nowitzki, Pau and Marc Gasol, Andre Iguodala, Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, Serge Ibaka, DeMarcus Cousins, Ryan Anderson, Marcin Gortat, David Lee, among others.
All-Star ballots come out on Nov. 13 for the game, which will take place on Feb. 17 in Houston.