Forward-center

Forward-center

Forward-center is a basketball position for players who play or have played both forward and center on a consistent basis. Typically, this means power forward and center, since these are usually the two biggest player positions on any basketball team, and therefore more often overlap each other.

Forward-center came into the basketball jargon as the game evolved and became more specialized in the 1960s. In fact, the 5 positions on court were originally known only as guard, forward and center, but it is now generally accepted that the 5 primary positions are point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward and center.

Typically, a forward-center is a talented forward who also came to play minutes at center on teams that needed help at that position. Or the player could be a somewhat floor-bound center, under seven-feet tall at the NBA level, whose skills also suit him to a power forward position, especially if that team does have a better center. One such player is Marcus Camby of the Los Angeles Clippers. At 6'11" in height, he generally plays the position of center, but when he played for the New York Knicks earlier in his career, he mostly played power forward due to his team having one of the better pure centers in the league in Patrick Ewing. Ewing himself was used as a forward-center early in his career to utilize his offensive game to complement the then incumbent Knicks center Bill Cartwright.

Center and forward typically have different skill sets. Common to both of them are scoring, passing and rebounding. A power forward who is a forward-center is also usually a strong inside defender, something a center also is usually expected to be.

Tim Duncan, Rasheed Wallace, Amare Stoudemire, Kevin Garnett, Emeka Okafor, Al Jefferson, Andris Biedrins, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard are examples of NBA forward-centers. In Europe's top basketball organization, the Euroleague, Mike Batiste and David Andersen are good examples of forward-centers.


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