The NBA all-star voting system will be undergoing big changes for the 2012/13 season.
For the first time ever, instead of having basketball fans select 2 guards, 2 forwards and 1 center, every all-star ballot will give voters the opportunity to pick 2 backcourt players and 3 undefined frontcourt players.
With the NBA style of play evolving to a point where a majority of teams utilize smaller line-ups, it was becoming harder and harder to define who actually was a “center”.
The crop of true blue centers around the league was becoming smaller and smaller year by year to begin with anyways.
Stu Jackson, the NBA’s VP of Basketball Operations, believes this change is well overdue.
“It makes sense. 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 It just seemed a little outdated and didn’t represent the way our game has evolved.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 was something that we originally thought made some sense, but we didn’t want to make a decision in a vacuum, of course,” Jackson said. “We ran it by the Competition Committee and they thought the idea made some sense … it gives the fans some flexibility while keeping competitive balance.”
For players like Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat and Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics, this move can very well move them into the starting line-up of the Eastern Conference all-star team.
With both players manning the center position for their respective teams this upcoming season, they would have been competing with the likes of Andrew Bynum of the Philadelphia 76ers and Roy Hibbert of the Indiana Pacers for that one starting spot at the 5.
Now, it’s equal opportunity for all frontcourt players in both conferences.
The official announcement of this ballot change will be revealed on Wednesday.
The NBA all-star ballot will be released on November 13th. This years festivities will take place from February 15-17 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
Christopher Walder is a sports blogger and lead editor for Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter @WalderSports