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LeBron James likely to start at center for Eastern Conference All-Stars

Dec 8, 2013, 2:00 PM EDT

NBA All-Star Game 2013 Getty Images

The NBA changed the way they categorize players for All-Star voting purposes last season, eliminating the center position (and all others) from the ballot entirely and replacing those with either a frontcourt or backcourt player distinction.

While it won’t affect superstar big men like Roy Hibbert making the All-Star roster, it will change the way the starting lineups shake out.

The more exciting players who fill up the nightly highlight reels are the ones who the fans will vote in as starters, and that means we could see a highly unusual jump ball situation to start the midseason exhibition on February 16.

From Ethan Skolnick of Bleacher Report:

The first set of results won’t be released until Thursday, and voting won’t conclude until Jan. 20, with the starters named Jan. 23. But James, Anthony and George are heavy favorites to gain the top three frontcourt spots. All three are technically small forwards, though Anthony and James both play in the post quite a bit. And of the three, James is the one who has actually guarded centers at times.

Therefore, he would be the center by default.

“That is hilarious,” James said. “That is crazy! I would start at center in the All-Star Game? Against Dwight Howard?”

Very possibly.

Howard’s reputation has taken a ht over the past couple of seasons due to the way he handled things in his final year in Orlando and his lone season in Los Angeles, but he has historically ranked very high in the All-Star voting process, and that isn’t likely to change this season.

If not Howard, it could be Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge. But at this point, it appears more than likely that James will be matching up at center against somebody when the All-Star game tips off.

  1. detectivejimmymcnulty - Dec 8, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    Well considering there is no defense in the ASG it may be a perfect fit.

  2. scottychicago - Dec 8, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    Earl Boykins could start at center and it will have no impact on the defense.

  3. davidly - Dec 8, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    The All-Star Game was always pretty stupid anyway.

  4. money2long - Dec 8, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    i’ll go ahead and tell you guys what the rosters will be (if george were eligible for guard*)

    EAST STARTERS
    John Wall
    Dwyane Wade
    Paul George
    Carmelo Anthony
    Lebron James
    or
    *Wade, George, Melo, LBJ, Hibbert
    EAST BENCH
    Afflalo, Irving, Noah, Bosh, Horford, Lopez

    WEST STARTERS
    Chris Paul
    Kobe Bryant
    Kevin Durant
    Lamarcus Aldridge
    Dwight Howard
    WEST BENCH
    Curry, Harden, Westbrook, Tony Parker, Duncan, Blake, Love

    • asimonetti88 - Dec 8, 2013 at 3:51 PM

      Even with his slow start, Irving is more popular than Wall and would likely win over him.

    • naterich21 - Dec 9, 2013 at 2:54 AM

      Wall’s not too popular. Irving and even Rondo will beat him in votes.

      Aldridge isn’t starting over Griffin lol.

    • johnheisman - Dec 9, 2013 at 2:16 PM

      I think the best 4 in the east are Hibbert, James, George, Melo with irving/wall.

      The best guards in the east are both injured – Rondo and Rose. If Rondo plays enough games and is himself he will make it as the Celtics will finally be a running team and Rondo will dominate.

      Jeff Green is also coming on and WHEN he plays aggressively he is definitely an All-star. Put him with Rondo as the #1 option and filling the lane and you will see great results.

  5. themagicfanguy - Dec 8, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    Captains should be voted, they pick their teams. Simple.

  6. chichi78 - Dec 8, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    You have to figure Andre Drummond will make the squad as a reserve at least. Detroit will probably be a few games over .500 at the All Star break, and he seems like the sole all star from the squad.

  7. ravenswhat - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    lol dwight. Lebron would smack Dwight around.

  8. northstarnic - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    Cheese ball

  9. antistratfordian - Dec 8, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    He came into the league playing PG in his first season, he was selected to his first all-star game at SG, dominated at SF, dominated at PF & now he might be the starting C for the East. Spo doesn’t call him “1-through-5″ for nothing.

    This reminds me of a tweet from last season:

    Royce Webb, ESPN NBA ‏@RoyceWebb
    Nothing strange about thinking LeBron might be better than Jordan. Only one of them could play five positions.

  10. weaselpuppy - Dec 8, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    Wall is terrible. Overhyped under talented.

    Andre Drummond is the opposite.

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