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

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+ - 1,320 562
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
+ - 1,325 559
Wilt Chamberlain is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Wilt Chamberlain Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers Philadelphia Warriors

3
+ - 1,139 422
Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Bill Russell Boston Celtics

4
+ - 1,473 550
Hakeem Olajuwon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Hakeem Olajuwon Houston Rockets, Toronto Raptors

5
+ - 1,327 476
Shaquille O'Neal is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Shaquille O'Neal Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic Los Angeles Lakers

6
+ - 806 311
David Robinson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

7
+ - 693 243
Moses Malone is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Moses Malone Washington Wizards, Atlanta Hawks Philadelphia 76ers

8
+ - 696 245
Patrick Ewing is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Patrick Ewing Orlando Magic, Seattle Supersonics New York Knicks

9
+ - 408 275
George Mikan is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
George Mikan Los Angeles Lakers

10
+ - 403 250
Dikembe Mutombo is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Dikembe Mutombo Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers Brooklyn Nets

11
+ - 398 250
Alonzo Mourning is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Alonzo Mourning Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets Miami Heat

12
+ - 382 260
Bill Walton is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Bill Walton Portland Trail Blazers, Boston Celtics San Diego Clippers

13
+ - 337 240
Willis Reed is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Willis Reed New York Knicks

14
+ - 320 188
Robert Parish is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Robert Parrish Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets Golden State Warriors

15
+ - 435 300
Yao Ming is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Yao Ming Houston Rockets

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+ - 287 63
Tim Duncan is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

17
+ - 242 167
Artis Gilmore is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Artis Gilmore Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls

18
+ - 234 185
Nate Thurmond is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Nate Thurmond Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors San Francisco Warriors

19
+ - 215 150
Wes Unseld is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Wes Unseld Washington Wizards, Baltimore Bullets

20
+ - 331 329
Dwight Howard is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Dwight Howard Orlando Magic

21
+ - 176 147
Dave Cowens is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Dave Cowens Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks

22
+ - 167 139
Bob Lanier is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Bob Lanier Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons

23
+ - 177 99
Elvin Hayes is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Elvin Hayes Washington Wizards, Baltimore Bullets Houston Rockets

24
+ - 214 167
Ben Wallace is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Ben Wallace Washington Wizards, Orlando Magic Cleveland Cavaliers

25
+ - 149 77
Arvydas Sabonis is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Arvydas Sabonis Portland Trail Blazers

26
+ - 175 91
Pau Gasol is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Pau Gasol Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies

27
+ - 129 146
Ralph Sampson is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Ralph Sampson Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings Houston Rockets

28
+ - 95 136
Walt Bellamy is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Walt Bellamy Atlanta Hawks, Baltimore Bullets New Orleans Jazz

29
+ - 153 80
Bob McAdoo is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Bob McAdoo Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets Buffalo Braves

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+ - 146 132
Bill Laimbeer is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Bill Laimbeer Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons

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+ - 123 81
Vlade Divac is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Vlade Divac Sacramento Kings, Charlotte Hornets Los Angeles Lakers

32
+ - 216 145
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
+ - 106 51
Marc Gasol is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Marc Gasol Memphis Grizzlies

34
+ - 87 40
DeMarcus Cousins is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

35
+ - 114 152
Amar'e Stoudemire is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Amar'e Stoudemire Phoenix Suns

36
+ - 98 41
Kevin Garnett is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Kevin Garnett Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves

37
+ - 64 66
Brad Daugherty is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Brad Daugherty Cleveland Cavaliers

38
+ - 112 99
DeAndre Jordan is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

39
+ - 102 102
Jack Sikma is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Jack Sikma Seattle Supersonics, Milwaukee Bucks

40
+ - 64 38
Chris Webber is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Chris Webber Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings Philadelphia 76ers

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+ - 58 44
Darryl Dawkins is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Darryl Dawkins Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers Brooklyn Nets

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+ - 50 29
Mark Eaton is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Mark Eaton Utah Jazz

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+ - 60 44
Rik Smits is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Rik Smits Indiana Pacers

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+ - 45 20
Andre Drummond is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

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+ - 44 23
LaMarcus Aldridge is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
LaMarcus Aldridge Portland Trail Blazers

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+ - 51 36
Al Horford is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Al Horford Atlanta Hawks

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+ - 67 51
Manute Bol is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Manute Bol Washington Wizards, Philadelphia 76ers Golden State Warriors

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+ - 36 27
Tyson Chandler is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Tyson Chandler New Orleans Pelicans, Chicago Bulls

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+ - 58 61
Joakim Noah is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Joakim Noah Chicago Bulls

50
+ - 64 74
Žydrūnas Ilgauskas is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Žydrūnas Ilgauskas Cleveland Cavaliers