The Hawkeye

Center position: Thing of the past

Dallon Lewis, [email protected]

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The center position in the NBA does not have the same glory as the past. Hall of Fame greats such as Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain all held their primes when court spacing was tighter. Coaches ran offensive schemes centered for big men who did not control tremendous speed, but instead, held stout power. Guards and forwards were primarily taking shots inside the three point line. They had no choice but to come face to face with a monster under the rim.
In this new age of basketball, a term has changed the league entirely. Positionless basketball is a phrase detailing the way teams potentially can space their teams out on the court. Minimal requirements include: four players capable of bringing the basketball up the court, similar to a point guard, and possessing just enough speed and scoring ability to erase the downsides of height, weight, and defensive prowess. Modern technology has advanced training options for professional players to a level way beyond those of 30 years ago that allows players to play beyond their position. This unique style of play potentially can create a team that has never whiffed the playoffs into a championship level team.
The Golden State Warriors are currently best team in the NBA. No contest, not even a discussion. A franchise held together currently by All-stars Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green is a dream come true for any head coach in the league, especially the Warrior’s head coach, Steve Kerr. Kerr is a former champion who incorporated the positionless playstyle to enforce faster play and high paced scoring like nothing any team in the NBA had witnessed before.
The star-studded backcourt of three-point shooting elites Curry and Thompson eases the pressure off of the opposing team’s bigs as they are not primarily looking for a shot in the paint, the duo will be searching for what impossible range they can drain a 3. Durant, a four-time Scoring Champion, and Green, former defensive player of the year are congruent in their ability to play from literally any position on the court, if the situation calls for it. In certain games, Kerr will place NBA veteran and champion Andre Iguodala at the small forward position to further stretch the floor into what basketball fans begrudgingly label the “death lineup” if the team is in need of a quick burst of scoring.
Small ball will continue to encompass the league so long as the Warriors continue to dominate the league as they are the frontrunners with that playstyle. Meaning that true centers , while already are a rare sight, are becoming a shadow in the eyes of the league.

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The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe
Center position: Thing of the past