The NBA is evolving to where the position of center is being phased out. This is not a knock on what big men are doing these days. On the contrary, it is actually a compliment to their hybrid skill sets that now include outside jumpers and more athletic moves to the basket, rather than just backing down a defender to get a short-range shot.
However, there are a few post players left, namely Dwight Howard, who is, and always will be, a true center. Howard is slightly offended that the All-Star ballot this year won’t include a center position, just frontcourt players.
"I don't like it at all," said Howard. "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?"
I actually approve of the change. You have guys like LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love who can be centers, or power forwards, and yet they can still step out and hit a deep jumper if needed. How do you decide who gets the center votes and who gets the power forward votes? Just lump them all together!
Howard considers this “big man renaissance” an evolution of the center position, not a meshing between centers and power forwards.
"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."
I guess Dwight will just have to get over it and accept his All-Star nomination as a big man instead of a center. Tough life, huh?