The NBA is an ever evolving league in which the rules of years gone past aren’t always friendly to the men playing the game today. This is most definitely the case when it comes to centers and the All-Star ballot, which is something Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid is feeling quite keenly right now.
The center position was removed from the All-Star ballot back in 2013, thanks mostly to the lack of true centers in the Association and the fact that Tim Duncan — a perennial All-Star — sometimes played both positions. However, nowadays there are just as many talented centers as there are power forwards.
Because of this, Embiid believes the rule needs to revert back to the way it used to be.
“There’s a lot of talented big men in the league, especially at the center position,” Embiid said, per Jessica Camerato of CSN Philly. “That’s something the NBA should think about, putting the center back on the All-Star ballot.”
Embiid finished third behind frontcourt players LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo in the fan vote, which accounts for 50 percent of the total vote to make it into the All-Star Game. He finished fifth in media voting and was eighth in player voting (both counting for 25 percent), effectively pushing him out of the All-Star Game barring an exception as a reserve for the coach’s vote.
That the big man is among the best at his position is unquestionably true. With that in mind, it’s hard to argue against what he’s advocating for here, especially since there is such a nice influx of young talent at the center position. Guys like Karl-Anthony Towns, DeMarcus Cousins, Hassan Whiteside, Rudy Gobert, DeAndre Jordan, Jahlil Okafor, Steven Adams and Andre Drummond all deserve fair consideration to make it in.
And if the rule was so easily changed back in 2013, then there’s no reason it cannot be reversed so that Embiid and other young centers get their chance to shine in the spotlight of All-Star Weekend.