With the presidential election just around the corner, it seems fitting that the NBA has decided to adjust its All-Star Game balloting process.
According to NBA.com’s David Aldridge, the league has completely eliminated the forward and center positions from the ballot and replaced them with a flexible “frontcourt” designation.
So why did this modification happen, and what took so long?
League VP of Basketball Operations Stu Jackson spoke to Aldridge about the alterations to the All-Star ballot:
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 It just seemed a little outdated and didn't represent the way our game has evolved.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.
This is great news for a number of big men, as any forward or center is now eligible to be voted into one of three frontcourt spots for each conference.
Players such as Chris Bosh, Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan all stand to benefit most from this change considering they are true power forwards forced to play the pivot—largely due to the lack of serviceable centers in the modern era.
Before the tweak, it seemed inevitable that Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum would be the two starting centers in their respective conference—barring injury—for the foreseeable future.
Now, those two elite talents can still get voted in, while KG, Duncan, Bosh, Roy Hibbert and other fan-favorite bigs still have a shot to get a starting nod via the voting process.
Expect to see these new ballots online and around town starting on Nov. 13, the date polling begins for Houston’s Toyota Center-hosted 2013 All-Star Game.