COMMENTARY | In news befitting of election day, Dwight Howard isn't happy about the new NBA All-Star Game voting rules that have effectively eliminated the center position from the ballot.
"We [centers] work just as hard as anybody else," the Lakers big man told ESPN Los Angeles. "I don't think it's fair to take away a position that has 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."
This scenario is interesting because Howard is thought to be the next in a long lineage of great Lakers centers. If he doesn't have the ability to enter the All-Star game as a true center, could that hurt his legacy?
Probably not in the least, but it's worth exploring. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O'Neal and even Howard each hold the distinction of being selected as centers on the All-Star ballot. Moving forward, Howard will no longer be able to carry on that tradition as a member of the Lakers. He'll still make the team, but it won't be as a pure center.
In the grand scheme of things, it's nothing but semantics. Howard is going to make multiple All-Star appearances in a purple and gold uniform (assuming he re-signs with the team after becoming a free agent this year, which he will) and whether or not it's as a center or frontcourt player won't make him any less of a Lakers legend when that time comes.
But will it be a talking point of that debate? Possibly.
With that in mind, it's important to consider that the voting changes in theory will make it more difficult for Howard to make the team since the pool of players to choose from now becomes bigger with the frontcourt designation. Either way, there's no doubt that he'll be in as he's consistently among the top vote-getters among all positions, but it's fodder for good sports talk.
That's all it is, because Dwight Howard is a great center, and he'll go down as the next great man in the middle in Lakers history.
Michael C. Jones is a Yahoo! Featured Contributor in Sports and covers the Los Angeles Lakers and the NBA. He is also the Editor of Sports Out West.
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