Originally Posted by SCdac
This change absolutely says something about the Center position. Does anybody think this would have happened in the 80's or 90's? With the likes of Hakeem, Robinson, Ewing, etc?
Not only does it say something about the game itself, it says something about the people watching it, and perhaps an evolution in the definition of positions amongst casual fans and serious fans alike.
If you asked somebody who's been watching the game for 30-40 years if guys like Tim Duncan and Pau Gasol, etc, were PF's they'd say yes and point to a guy like McHale. They (prime) worked out of the low and high post mostly, but utilized midrange game, face-up game, pick-and-roll/pops, and a jump shot often.
But if you ask somebody who's been watching the game for the past 3-4 years, somebody like Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Love, are the epitomes of a "power" forward. Stretching the defense for the center. Of course there are exceptions, ala Blake Griffin.
I don't think positions ever had super specific guidelines, but players like prime Tim Duncan and prime Shaq (the greatest players at their position IMO) definitely had different skill sets, patterns, and habits on the court, despite both being 7-footers.
Tim Duncan is a center. If Robinson decided not to come back in 97, Duncan would have been the team's starting center. Don't get me wrong, he played PF for most of his career and for the entirety of his prime. However, he is naturally a center. That's clear. He's nothing like McHale.
And it doesn't say much about the center position. It just tries to. The move is a stupid move, regardless of people getting excited. If it was ever going to be made, then it should have been made years ago. Just because there isn't a crop of Ewing, Robinson, Hakeem, Shaq, Alonzo doesn't mean that there aren't centers in the league. In terms of depth, the center position has never been as solid as it is now. Nostalgia causes people to act as tho Luc Longley wasn't made fun of. It also causes people to act like Longley is as good as Gortat or Chandler or Pekovic or Hawes or Kaman or Okafor or that he was any more effective than Jordan was last year or has near the ceiling Jordan does have.
Howard, Bynum, Gasol, a healthy Bogut, Noah, Horford, Cousins, Lopez. Not exactly the worst list in the world. And not one of them is 28. There are more than enough for the center position to be kept on the ballot.