The NBA released its ballot for the 2013 All-Star Game on Tuesday. Voting began this afternoon.
As it announced earlier, the center position no longer exists on the ballot. There are still 60 players from each conference, but instead of 24 guards, 24 forwards and 12 centers, there are 24 guards and 36 frontcourt players.
However, by our count there are 12 legitimate centers in the Eastern Conference frontcourt section: Andrew Bynum, Tyson Chandler, Samuel Dalembert, Spencer Hawes, Roy Hibbert, Al Horford, Brook Lopez, Greg Monroe, Nene, Joakim Noah, Emeka Okafor and Anderson Varejao.
In the West, there are 10 legitimate centers: Omer Asik, Andrew Bogut, DeMarcus Cousins, Pau Gasol, Marcin Gortat, Dwight Howard, Al Jefferson, Chris Kaman, Nikola Pekovic and Kendrick Perkins. Anthony Davis and Tim Duncan, who can play both power forward and center, also are on the ballot.
Davis, the top overall pick in the draft by the New Orleans Hornets, is the only rookie on the ballot. Lillard, projected as Portland’s starting point guard from the moment he was drafted, was snubbed.
The ballot’s 120 entrants were selected by a media panel of Steve Aschburner of NBA.com, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, Doug Smith of the Toronto Star and Kenny Smith of TNT.
In the East, Atlanta, Charlotte, Cleveland, Orlando and Washington have just three players on the ballot. One of the Cavaliers entries is Casspi, who has not played in four of his team’s seven games and is averaging 3.7 points.