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Carlos Boozer says center position is a ‘lost art’ as NBA transitions to position-less basketball

Carlos Boozer, NBA

Add former NBA player Carlos Boozer to the thousands of people who believe that today’s big men are underappreciated.

In his recent interview with The Athletic’s Ben Standig, Boozer said that traditional centers seem to be no longer needed in today’s NBA, as the league has embraced the position-less style of basketball.

“The way the game has changed to positionless basketball, there is a lost art of a center,” Boozer said.

“A traditional center like Patrick Ewing or a Tim Duncan or myself, guys that were back-to-the-basket scorers. Now big men have to do more than one thing, defend multiple positions. Most of those guys from my generation and before me, they didn’t do that.”

Boozer was one of the most underrated players of his time. He spent his entire career scoring near and defending the painted area. A decade ago, players like him were more valuable than guards who can shoot 3-pointers and run an offense in transition.

However, as he said, things have changed. Now, unless a seven-footer can hit triples or can run as quick as guards, they’re unlikely to be signed by a team. Even today’s best bigs like Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic are capable of making shots from beyond the arc.

The game has evolved in the NBA, and players will need to understand that it will continue to do so as time passes by. If they can’t keep up, they might just find themselves out of the league.

Carlos Boozer may be right about old-school centers being a lost art. In fact, if the game hadn’t changed, one can argue that he could still be playing up to this point. Nonetheless, there’s also beauty in today’s modern big men, and that’s something that fans are slowly but surely starting to appreciate.