Top 10 NBA Centers Of All Time

Top 10 Centers Of All Time

When it comes to the game of basketball, the center position holds a special place. Centers are often the backbone of a team, providing a strong presence in the paint, dominating the boards, and altering shots on defense. Throughout the history of the NBA, there have been many exceptional centers who have left an indelible mark on the game. In this article, we will explore the top 10 centers of all time, taking into account their skills, achievements, and impact on the sport.

1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is widely regarded as the greatest center of all time. Standing at 7’2″, Abdul-Jabbar had an unstoppable skyhook shot that helped him become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. He won six NBA championships, six MVP awards, and was selected to 19 All-Star games. His longevity and dominance make him a true legend of the game.

2. Wilt Chamberlain

Wilt Chamberlain was a force to be reckoned with during his playing days. Standing at 7’1″, Chamberlain was a prolific scorer and rebounder. He holds numerous records, including the most points scored in a single game (100) and the most rebounds in a season (2,149). Chamberlain won two NBA championships and four MVP awards, solidifying his place as one of the greatest centers in history.

3. Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O’Neal, also known as Shaq, was a dominant force in the paint during his career. Standing at 7’1″ and weighing over 300 pounds, Shaq was nearly unstoppable in the low post. He won four NBA championships, three Finals MVP awards, and was named the league MVP in 2000. Shaq’s combination of size, strength, and skill made him one of the most dominant centers of all time.

4. Hakeem Olajuwon

Hakeem Olajuwon, often referred to as “The Dream,” was a versatile center known for his exceptional footwork and defensive prowess. He won two NBA championships with the Houston Rockets and was named the Finals MVP both times. Olajuwon is also one of the greatest shot-blockers in NBA history, ranking first all-time in blocks. His ability to score, rebound, and defend at a high level makes him a top center of all time.

5. Bill Russell

Bill Russell is widely regarded as one of the greatest winners in NBA history. He won an astounding 11 NBA championships with the Boston Celtics, including eight consecutive titles from 1959 to 1966. Russell was a defensive anchor, known for his shot-blocking and rebounding abilities. His impact on the game went beyond statistics, as he was a leader and a winner.

6. David Robinson

David Robinson, also known as “The Admiral,” was a dominant center during his career. He won two NBA championships with the San Antonio Spurs and was named the league MVP in 1995. Robinson was known for his scoring ability, shot-blocking, and leadership on and off the court. His impact on the game was immense, and he is considered one of the best centers of his era.

7. Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O’Neal, also known as Shaq, was a dominant force in the paint during his career. Standing at 7’1″ and weighing over 300 pounds, Shaq was nearly unstoppable in the low post. He won four NBA championships, three Finals MVP awards, and was named the league MVP in 2000. Shaq’s combination of size, strength, and skill made him one of the most dominant centers of all time.

8. Moses Malone

Moses Malone was a dominant force in the paint during his playing days. He won three MVP awards and led the Philadelphia 76ers to an NBA championship in 1983. Malone was known for his rebounding prowess and scoring ability, consistently putting up impressive numbers throughout his career. His impact on the game cannot be understated, and he is rightfully considered one of the top centers of all time.

9. Patrick Ewing

Patrick Ewing was a dominant center during his career, spending the majority of his years with the New York Knicks. He was a 11-time All-Star and led the Knicks to the NBA Finals in 1994. Ewing was known for his scoring ability, shot-blocking, and leadership on the court. His impact on the game and his longevity make him one of the best centers in NBA history.

10. George Mikan

George Mikan is often considered the first dominant big man in NBA history. Standing at 6’10”, Mikan was a dominant force during his era. He won five championships with the Minneapolis Lakers and was a four-time All-Star. Mikan’s impact on the game cannot be overstated, as he paved the way for future generations of centers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Who is the greatest center of all time?

The greatest center of all time is a subject of debate, but many consider Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to hold that title. His longevity, scoring ability, and numerous accolades make him a strong contender for the top spot.

2. How important is the center position in basketball?

The center position is crucial in basketball as it provides a strong presence in the paint, dominates the boards, and alters shots on defense. Centers often play a vital role in both offense and defense, making them essential to a team’s success.

3. What skills are important for a center to possess?

A center should possess a combination of size, strength, scoring ability, rebounding prowess, shot-blocking skills, and defensive presence. Footwork, basketball IQ, and leadership qualities are also important for a center to excel.

4. How has the role of centers evolved over time?

The role of centers has evolved over time. In the past, centers were primarily expected to dominate the paint and focus on rebounding and scoring close to the basket. However, in modern basketball, centers are often expected to have a more versatile skill set, including the ability to shoot from outside and facilitate the offense.

5. Are there any current centers who could be considered among the all-time greats?

There are several current centers who have the potential to be considered among the all-time greats. Players like Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic, and Anthony Davis have already made significant impacts on the game and have the potential to continue their success in the future.

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