Dwight Howard is not in favor of the new All-Star Game format which eliminates the center designation from the ballots. Beginning this season, fans will simply vote for three frontcourt players, rather than two players slated as “forwards” and one player as a “center.”
“I don’t like it at all,” emphatically stated the three-time defensive player of the year. “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. That’s how I feel.
“It’s been that way since they started All-Star Games, so why change it now? Because centers shoot 3’s now?”
In the modern NBA, big men now often operate in space, shoot from behind the 3-point arc and develop guard-like skills. In the eyes of some fans and analysts, this has resulted in fewer players who should be regarded as legitimate centers. But Howard framed this development as centers becoming more well-rounded, rather than disappearing from the landscape.
“The game changes every day,” insisted the six-time All-Star. “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.
“You look at some of the guys playing center, they’re jumping out of the gym. And they’re athletic, shooting the ball well. Moving around. It’s a totally different game than it was back then, so I don’t feel it’s right to take away a position that we all work so hard at trying to make it better, trying to make it a point of emphasis for younger generations to come back and want to play center. The game is evolving. They teach you now you gotta have more than just a back-to-basket game. You gotta be able to face up and shoot and move the defense.”
WRITTEN BY Andy Kamenetzky | ESPNLosAngeles.com & FULL STORY HERE