EL SEGUNDO – As usual, Dwight Howard came out of the Lakers’ training room with a bright smile.
He beamed about the Lakers’ 108-79 victory Sunday over the Detroit Pistons that ended the team’s three-game losing streak. Howard outlined how his conditioning has progressed ever since rehabbing his back from six-month surgery. The Lakers’ center even playfully gave tips to a seasoned local sportscaster on how he could spice up his show.
But there was still one thing irking him.
Nearly 12 days ago, the NBA amended its All-Star ballot by eliminating the center position in an effort to adapt to the multipositional era.
“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.”
Barring any health setbacks, this new rule change likely won’t affect Howard’s chances to make his seventh All-Star appearance this year. After all, Howard is considered the NBA’s best center and is a three-time league defensive player of the year.
But the NBA changed this rule in hopes that the more talented forwards don’t get snubbed in the All-Star game at the expense of an inferior center.
“There are so many great guards and great forwards that they just overshadow what these centers can do,” Howard said. I think there are a lot of centers that can really play, but you got guys like LeBron (James) and Kevin Durant who are 6’8”, Kevin Durant is 6’11”, 6’10”, who shoot 3s. It just overshadows a lot of the bigs that can play. ”
There are a lot of great centers who play in the NBA today. There’s just so many guards that outshine them. I think LaMarcus (Aldridge) is a good center. DeMarcus Cousins. A power forward-center. Al Jefferson. There’s a lot of guys who can play down there… it’s not a flashy position. You never see a center on SportsCenter shooting a fadeaway. It’s always the guards. Those are the highlights that everybody wants to see.”
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