Greatest Centers of All-Time 

By LouV

Having been an avid NBA basketball fan since 1973, and having watched thousands of games during that time period, here's my opinion of greatest NBA centers of all time.

  1. Shaquille O'Neill -- greatest center of all-time, by far. No one's close.

  2. Akeem Olajuwon -- untouchable in his prime; carried Houston to two championships single-handedly.

  3. Patrick Ewing -- about as good as Chamberlain, but with a better jump shot. If he played in the early sixties against a league of 6'8" slow white centers, he'd have scored 50 a game too. Was better than Olajuwon late in their careers; dominated Mourning and Mutombo even when they were in their prime. Only problems -- small hands, not a great passer (neither are most centers on this list), and Michael Jordan.

  4. Wilt Chamberlain -- better than Russell. If he played with 5 hall of famers on his team, he'd have won 8 championships too. If you rank them by how a player stood out against the competition they played against, then Chamberlain goes to #2 on this list; if you rank them by impact on the game, Chamberlain goes to #1.

  5. Bill Russell -- people forget how much bigger (and faster) he was than anyone else when he dominated NBA in late fifties, before Chamberlain came along. 

  6. Kareem Abdul Jabbar -- at 7'4" he was so much taller than anyone else he played against, and had an unstoppable scoring ability. Didn't rebound much in last 10 years of career though, and wasn't exactly aggressive on defense..

  7. Bill Walton -- was the real deal, not just an overrated white guy. He was huge - 7'4" (he refused to be listed at anything higher than 6'11). He could score, defend, block shots.. And he could pass better than any center of all time. Career ruined by the foot breaks.

  8. Moses Malone -- in his day (early eighties), he was unstoppable.

Honorable Mentions: Alonzo Mourning, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett (really a power forward), Bob Lanier, Robert Parrish, Nate Thurmond, ...


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