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The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

List Criteria: Professional basketball players in the center position

Throughout basketball history, having a franchise center has been a crucial part of building a championship team. The best NBA centers have carried the success of many basketball teams. A lot of teams spend years looking for a dominant center, but not too many graduate from project to an iconic, Hall of Fame big man. Some teams have had better luck than others when landing a great NBA center. The Los Angeles Lakers has been the best NBA team at developing and trading for the best centers in the league. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, George Mikan and Shaquille O'Neal are all center who have played for the Lakers.

Another team that's had a number great centers on its roster is the Houston Rockets. Counting Moses Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon, Yao Ming as its alumni, the Rockets now have Dwight Howard on their roster, a player who is considered by many to be the best center in the NBA right now and rapidly climbing the list of the greatest centers of all time. While a great center may not guarantee a championship, it certainly doesn't hurt to have any of the big men on this list on your team.

Many of these centers are the biggest names in basketball history. They have MVP awards, scoring titles and Defensive Player of the Year awards spread among them. Vote the center who you think deserves to be called the best center of all time

The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time Basketball Players
  • 62 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
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2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 871
    - 350

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia Warriors

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  2. 2
    + 891
    - 341


    Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks

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  3. 3
    + 987
    - 375


    Houston Rockets, Toronto Raptors

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  4. 4
    + 732
    - 279


    Boston Celtics

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  5. 5
    + 830
    - 301


    Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers

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  6. 6
    + 479
    - 158


    Washington Wizards, Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers

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  7. 7
    + 559
    - 210


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  8. 8
    + 487
    - 161


    Orlando Magic, Seattle Supersonics, New York Knicks

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  9. 9
    + 300
    - 166


    Los Angeles Lakers

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  10. 10
    + 261
    - 124


    Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets

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  11. 11
    + 249
    - 159


    New York Knicks

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  12. 12
    + 281
    - 158


    Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat

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  13. 13
    + 260
    - 173


    Portland Trail Blazers, Boston Celtics, San Diego Clippers

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  14. 14
    + 213
    - 112


    Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, Golden State Warriors

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  15. 15
    + 271
    - 173


    Houston Rockets

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  16. 16
    + 161
    - 127


    Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, San Francisco Warriors

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  17. 17
    + 160
    - 115


    Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls

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  18. 18
    + 145
    - 99


    Washington Wizards, Baltimore Bullets

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  19. 19
    + 224
    - 212


    Orlando Magic

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  20. 20
    + 117
    - 100


    Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks

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  21. 21
    + 111
    - 95


    Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons

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  22. 22
    + 112
    - 67


    Washington Wizards, Baltimore Bullets, Houston Rockets

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  23. 23
    + 123
    - 117

    often listed
    Washington Wizards, Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers

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  24. 24
    + 90
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    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets

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  25. 25
    + 69
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    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Atlanta Hawks, Baltimore Bullets, New Orleans Jazz

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  26. 26
    + 80
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    ranked low on reranks & added by tom-charbono

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  27. 27
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    ranked low on reranks
    Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Buffalo Braves

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    added by ChrisGoulart
    Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies

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  29. 29
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    Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers

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  30. 30
    + 97
    - 88

    added by wiabux
    Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons

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  31. 31
    + 69
    - 44

    added by EliasOmarEsgdaille
    Sacramento Kings, Charlotte Hornets, Los Angeles Lakers

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  32. 32
    + 73
    - 38

    added by EliasOmarEsgdaille
    Portland Trail Blazers

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  33. 33
    + 45
    - 16


    Memphis Grizzlies

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  34. 34
    + 67
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    added by danmedsker
    Seattle Supersonics, Milwaukee Bucks

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  35. 35
    + 70
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    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Phoenix Suns

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  36. 36
    + 36
    - 37

    added by EliasOmarEsgdaille
    Cleveland Cavaliers

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  37. 37
    + 58
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    added by DillönBlüto

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  38. 38
    + 29
    - 16


    Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets

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  39. 39
    + 19
    - 4


    Atlanta Hawks

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  40. 40
    + 13
    - 2

    added by Kate Perry

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  41. 41
    + 24
    - 16


    Indiana Pacers

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  42. 42
    + 30
    - 25


    Chicago Bulls

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  43. 43
    + 26
    - 21


    Washington Wizards, Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors

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  44. 44
    + 12
    - 6


    Brooklyn Nets

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  45. 45
    + 36
    - 44

    added by idominas
    Cleveland Cavaliers

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  46. 46
    + 22
    - 29


    Seattle Supersonics, New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls

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  47. 47
    + 21
    - 26

    added by slaft
    Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Lakers

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  48. 48
    + 12
    - 18


    Denver Nuggets

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  49. 49
    + 21
    - 36

    added by devenharris24
    Atlanta Hawks, Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic

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  50. 50
    + 27
    - 45

    added by EliasOmarEsgdaille
    Washington Wizards, Portland Trail Blazers, Milwaukee Bucks

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115 +

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