How center became the NBA’s most difficult position
“What am I supposed to do?” texts a big man with an impossible assignment
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BY DAVID THORPE
My bright friend Howard Beck, of the “what up Beck” fame on The Lowe Post, recently told me he was considering voting for Cade Cunningham as Rookie of the Year because Cunninham’s playing very well as a point guard, at, Howard said, “the toughest position in the league.”
That last part did something to me. I’ve probably said that phrase myself, it’s widely accepted.
But on a profound level, I just don’t think it’s true anymore. Not in 2022. The whole league has changed, and it’s no coincidence that the three best players in the world—Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo—are all seven-feet tall. The job requirements of the center position have changed, and it’s time to reassess which job is toughest.
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