It looks like the NBA All-Star ballot, from this point on, will have some visual changes applied.
According to Marcel Mutoni of Slam Online, the NBA, with the rubber stamp from their “competition committee”, have opted to eliminate the center position from the ballot and replace it with “frontcourt” – which in essence eliminates the forward position from the ballot, as well.
The purpose apparently is to eliminate the overflow of centers that were placed on previous ballots.
Stated David Aldridge of TNT:
The league will announce Wednesday a change to its All-Star ballot that will, for the first time, allow fans to vote for three undefined “frontcourt” players instead of having to vote for two forwards and a center. With more and more teams playing smaller than in the past, the definition of “center” was becoming increasingly difficult — not to mention finding enough quality big men for whom to vote. For years, for example, the Spurs have listed Tim Duncan as a power forward, even though everyone on earth knew he was their starting center. And so when it came to All-Star balloting, Duncan would take up a forward spot in a very crowded field of Western Conference stars instead of his logical spot in the middle. This was good for Duncan, who surely would have made his 13 All-Star teams anyway, but it often cost another forward a shot.
Added Stu Jackson, the NBA’s VP of Basketball Operations:
“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 It just seemed a little outdated and didn’t represent the way our game has evolved.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.”
As per custom, the media will make the ballot selections.
The new All-Star ballots will be available on November 13, with the game itself to be played on February 17 in Houston.
Do you think the new ballot is an improvement over previous ballots, or do you prefer the older ones?