basketball players The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time  

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List Rules 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
list ordered by

1
+ - 1,633 696
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks

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2
+ - 1,768 686
Hakeem Olajuwon is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Hakeem Olajuwon Houston Rockets, Toronto Raptors

3
+ - 1,641 702
Wilt Chamberlain is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Wilt Chamberlain Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia Warriors

4
+ - 1,654 629
Shaquille O'Neal is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Shaquille O'Neal Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers

5
+ - 1,414 547
Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Bill Russell Boston Celtics

6
+ - 945 402
David Robinson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

7
+ - 837 308
Patrick Ewing is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Patrick Ewing Orlando Magic, Seattle Supersonics, New York Knicks

8
+ - 848 312
Moses Malone is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Moses Malone Washington Wizards, Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers

9
+ - 503 364
Dikembe Mutombo is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Dikembe Mutombo Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets

10
+ - 472 327
Bill Walton is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Bill Walton Portland Trail Blazers, Boston Celtics, San Diego Clippers

11
+ - 475 354
George Mikan is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
George Mikan Los Angeles Lakers

12
+ - 472 306
Alonzo Mourning is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Alonzo Mourning Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat

13
+ - 393 215
Robert Parish is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Robert Parrish Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, Golden State Warriors

14
+ - 392 276
Willis Reed is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Willis Reed New York Knicks

15
+ - 419 98
Tim Duncan is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

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16
+ - 523 365
Yao Ming is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Yao Ming Houston Rockets

17
+ - 275 209
Nate Thurmond is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Nate Thurmond Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, San Francisco Warriors

18
+ - 280 194
Artis Gilmore is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Artis Gilmore Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls

19
+ - 253 174
Wes Unseld is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Wes Unseld Washington Wizards, Baltimore Bullets

20
+ - 221 120
Elvin Hayes is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Elvin Hayes Washington Wizards, Baltimore Bullets, Houston Rockets

21
+ - 270 201
Ben Wallace is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Ben Wallace Washington Wizards, Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers

22
+ - 206 172
Dave Cowens is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Dave Cowens Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks

23
+ - 201 159
Bob Lanier is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Bob Lanier Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons

24
+ - 401 397
Dwight Howard is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Dwight Howard Orlando Magic

25
+ - 196 104
Arvydas Sabonis is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Arvydas Sabonis Portland Trail Blazers

26
+ - 189 97
Bob McAdoo is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Bob McAdoo Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Buffalo Braves

27
+ - 218 126
Pau Gasol is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Pau Gasol Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies

28
+ - 149 177
Ralph Sampson is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Ralph Sampson Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets

29
+ - 156 106
Vlade Divac is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Vlade Divac Sacramento Kings, Charlotte Hornets, Los Angeles Lakers

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30
+ - 180 162
Bill Laimbeer is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Bill Laimbeer Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons

31
+ - 113 158
Walt Bellamy is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Walt Bellamy Atlanta Hawks, Baltimore Bullets, New Orleans Jazz

32
+ - 269 167
Karl Malone is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Karl Malone Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers

33
+ - 140 75
Marc Gasol is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Marc Gasol Memphis Grizzlies

34
+ - 126 71
DeMarcus Cousins is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

35
+ - 86 86
Brad Daugherty is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Brad Daugherty Cleveland Cavaliers

36
+ - 143 176
Amar'e Stoudemire is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Amar'e Stoudemire Phoenix Suns

37
+ - 143 59
Kevin Garnett is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Kevin Garnett Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves

38
+ - 125 117
Jack Sikma is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Jack Sikma Seattle Supersonics, Milwaukee Bucks

39
+ - 143 131
DeAndre Jordan is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

40
+ - 77 48
Mark Eaton is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Mark Eaton Utah Jazz

41
+ - 77 30
Anthony Davis is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

42
+ - 79 61
Darryl Dawkins is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Darryl Dawkins Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets

43
+ - 69 42
Andre Drummond is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

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44
+ - 82 57
Chris Webber is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Chris Webber Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers

45
+ - 56 52
Brook Lopez is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Brook Lopez Brooklyn Nets

46
+ - 75 64
Rik Smits is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Rik Smits Indiana Pacers

47
+ - 68 58
Al Horford is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Al Horford Atlanta Hawks

48
+ - 94 71
Manute Bol is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Manute Bol Washington Wizards, Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors

49
+ - 55 37
Hassan Whiteside is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

50
+ - 50 40
Tyson Chandler is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Tyson Chandler New Orleans Pelicans, Chicago Bulls