Why Eliminating Center From NBA All-Star Ballot Won't Impact Dwight Howard

Josh BenjaminCorrespondent INovember 6, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 30:  Head coach Mike Brown of the Los Angeles Lakers  confers with Dwight Howard #12 of the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center on October 30, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  The Mavericks won 99-91.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images))
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

There's been a tweak to NBA All-Star voting this year, as voting for centers and forwards will be eliminated.

Instead, fans will vote for two guards and three frontcourt players, due to the fact that center has become a position sometimes occupied by natural power forwards (like LaMarcus Aldridge) who are more scorers than true centers.

Though it makes sense, this system is not without its critics, and Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard is one of them. Speaking to Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Times via Medina's blog "Inside the Lakers," Howard made his opinion clear on the matter:


“I don’t like it at all,” Howard said. “We work just as hard as anybody else. I don’t think it’s fair to take away a position that’s 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.”


Granted, Howard has reason to be upset. Lots of centers in the NBA today, like Kendrick Perkins and DeAndre Jordan, are pure defensive players who don't do much on the offensive side. Thus, scoring forwards like Amar'e Stoudemire and the aforementioned Aldridge often step in at center and thus make the All-Star Game in that position.

However, Howard should be anything but worried about how the new voting system will affect his All-Star status. Out of all NBA centers, he is one of the few who's a force on both ends of the floor. He has averaged 18.4 points, 12.9 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game for his career, while shooting 57.8 percent from the field.

This season, his first with the Lakers, the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year has flourished in coach Mike Brown's new Princeton offense.  Over the Lakers' first four games, he has posted averages of 23.3 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks, while shooting an absolutely astounding 68.8 percent from the floor.

Simply put, while the new voting system will increase the odds of popular frontcourt players like Luis Scola and Rudy Gay making the All Star team, Howard has nothing to worry about. He is still hands-down the best center in the NBA, and will continue to be for years to come. 

If he doesn't make the team, then it's obviously a fluke.

No matter how you look at it, the man is still the greatest center of his era and need not worry about his status as an All-Star.  He is having a great season for the Lakers that will surely lead to the fans rewarding him with an All-Star selection, unless his stats take a huge dive in the immediate future.

Thus, while the new voting system may not be perfect, and not Howard's favorite method, it's silly for him to be so vocal in his criticism.

With every great game he has, he inches closer and closer to his seventh All-Star game, regardless of how the ballot is set up.