Lol. You think it's just a coincidence that under 1 set of rules, centers dominated the league THEN as soon as the rules change, the are no dominant centers anymore? Just a coincidence? Really?
If there were young centers just before the change who suddenly fell off and never got where they were expected id say you had a point.
But unless you are gonna tell me Kwame, Darko, Curry, and Greg Odens issues were the rule changes....there have only been 2 centers drafted in the last 15 years who had the game to justify the assumption that they might join the Shaqs, Drobs, Ewing, and so on of the previous era.
Yao...and Dwight. And if you want to include Oden I wouldnt argue. Or maybe consider Amare a 5 even though he was drafted as a 4 and is one now.
The great centers who dont get hurt still become great centers. Be it Dwight doing 23/14 a couple years ago and leading a finals team or pre injury Yao doing 25/9.
Guys with that "....of all time" talent dont just fizzle out into the centers we are left with over the rule changes. They either get to that level or they get hurt. Nothing in the rules stops them.
Where are the guys who should be Hakeem, Drob, Shaq, Russell, Ewing, Mourning, Wilt, Parish, Kareem, Moses and so on...and arent due to the rules? Cousins? Bynum? Al Jefferson?
Its a lack of the players. Not the rules keeping them from showing it.
The late 60s through the early 90s simply had bigmen who wanted to play like bigmen. Around then tall players wanted to play like guards and less of them turned into what great centers used to be.
It isnt the rules that changed things. Its Michael, Magic, and Bird changing both what makes one a star and what tall people try to do.
Guys left the paint and lost a lot of the desire to dominate around the basket. Potentially great centers shoot more to become big forwards. Want to handle the ball and all. Guys like Lebron who are 6'9'' 270+ used to be thrown into the paint. Dude is Karl Malones size playing the point half the time.
Being huge and athletic became a mismatch to be exploited by matching up with smaller players at unusual positions for a big guy to play and straight up back to the basket paint players faded away.
You can see the guard play start to take over the minds of mobile tall guys as far back as Ralph Sampson. Before that as well im sure but hes one of the first straight up freaks who wanted to be Dr.J more than Kareem so hes out going coast to coast and gliding into the paint instead of beefing up and owning the league.
The players who have the game to be Hakeem and so on just arent bring produced anymore. The rules arent keeping them from showing it.
If we had an undercover Kareem hanging around....he couldnt stay hidden for long.