Let’s Give Tyson the Recognition he Deserves

I was thinking about how important the center position is to a basketball team and I realized that, despite all the hard work they do, it’s rare that a center gets the same recognition as other superstars. One example is Tyson Chandler of the New York Knicks, who deserves all the praise in the world for his defensive greatness. One way to reward Chandler and recognize his stellar play would be to give him an all new distinction—make him an All-Star.

Let’s break this down. Last year, Chandler led the League in field goal percentage with an outstanding 67.9% – third all time behind someone named Wilt Chamberlain. He also won the 2011-2012 Defensive Player of the Year Award, no small feat considering some of the other candidates and their performances such as Dwight Howard, who’d won the award three years in a row before that, and LeBron James, who’s consistently stepped up his defensive game ever since breaking into the NBA. Unfortunately, despite putting up great numbers all year, he didn’t get voted into the 2013 All-Star Game. This year, he’s gone even further to impress everyone since last year. He looks like he’s going to repeat as Defensive Player of the Year, he’s averaging 12.6 points per game, a number that would set a new career high for him, and, as of last night, he’s shooting a 69% field goal percentage, even better than last year, and fast approaching Chamberlain’s all-time record of 72.7%.

The only problem standing in the way of Chandler’s chances of starting the All-Star Game is that the NBA changed the voting system to frontcourt and backcourt players, meaning that there’s no true center designation. I honestly have no idea why the NBA decided to make this change, but it doesn’t serve to help recognize certain players, namely centers. Currently, he’s fifth in the frontcourt voting behind LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Garnett and Chris Bosh, though no one’s going to dispute that James and Anthony will be overwhelmingly selected as they should be. However, in order for Chandler to get the starting nod, it seems like the coaches would have to make that choice. I think that selection would benefit the All Star East team greatly, not to mention that it’d give a very deserving player recognition for all the hard work he’s put in over the years.

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