Time to re-think this whole numbering thing
We do seem to have a fascination with numbers here in our little corner of the world, don’t we? Averages, true average, ratings, points, assists, rebounds, whatever.
But maybe it’s time to retire some.
Like 2, 3, 4, 5.
When it comes to basketball positions, that is.
I think we’ve seen enough change in the game, and interchangeable parts, that to suggest some one is a shooting guard as opposed to a small forward, or a centre rather than a power forward, should probably be re-thought.
I know a lot of coaches have already done away with the distinction, they talk of wings and bigs rather than the traditional numeric system that’s been around for eons.
Guess it came up with all the hullabaloo I’ve been seeing over the likes of Andrea Bargnani and Amir Johnson and to a lesser extent Reggie Evans and even Ed Davis.
None of them are what consider “true” fours or fives but the question is: Does it matter?
The way the game is evolving is towards multi-faceted players and styles, everyone is searching out guys who can do a little bit of everything and can go to different spots on the floor and do different things.
No, Andrea is not a centre in the old school of thought and neither is Johnson. But what’s Pau Gasol? A power forward? Sure, when he’s on the court with Andrew Bynum I guess he is. But what about when he’s playing alongside Lamar Odom? Who’s the “centre” then?
What about Tim Duncan? Four? Sure, maybe next to someone like, oh, Tiago Splitter this year or David Robinson in the past? Or a five? Yeah, when Matt Bonner’s at the other frontcourt position, sure he is.
Chris Bosh? A centre? Sure, sometimes, I guess. Sometimes not.
Look at the twos and threes. What’s Kobe? How about LeBron? Do you really think either of them should be pigeon-holed? No.
Sure, there are those who still should be classified the olden way, I suppose. Shaq, who’s pretty much done; Yao, who’ll play half a game this year apparently; and Dwight Howard, one of the true “centres” left in the game. I’m sure there are others but they are the exceptions that prove a new rule around the game.
So instead of fixating on numeric positions and carrying on the way they did in the day of Wilt and Russell and the like, perhaps it’s time to see them for what they are: