The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

21k votes 3.2k voters 67k views 120 items tags f p @

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
Collection Photo: user uploaded image
  • 80 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 1,093
    - 439

    the people's #1
    Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks

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  2. 2
    + 1,083
    - 456

    most listed
    Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia Warriors

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  3. 3
    + 1,213
    - 450


    Houston Rockets, Toronto Raptors

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  4. 4
    + 1,065
    - 367


    Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers

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  5. 5
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    - 341


    Boston Celtics

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  6. 6
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    - 251


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  7. 7
    + 574
    - 195


    Washington Wizards, Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers

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  8. 8
    + 580
    - 199


    Orlando Magic, Seattle Supersonics, New York Knicks

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  9. 9
    + 346
    - 205


    Los Angeles Lakers

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  10. 10
    + 326
    - 173


    Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets

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  11. 11
    + 321
    - 205


    Portland Trail Blazers, Boston Celtics, San Diego Clippers

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  12. 12
    + 295
    - 195


    New York Knicks

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  13. 13
    + 339
    - 206


    Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat

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  14. 14
    + 265
    - 140


    Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, Golden State Warriors

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  15. 15
    + 336
    - 236


    Houston Rockets

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  16. 16
    + 194
    - 137


    Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls

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  17. 17
    + 189
    - 151


    Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, San Francisco Warriors

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  18. 18
    + 168
    - 27

    ranked low on reranks & added by tom-charbono

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  19. 19
    + 179
    - 120


    Washington Wizards, Baltimore Bullets

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  20. 20
    + 148
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    Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks

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  21. 21
    + 139
    - 112


    Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons

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  22. 22
    + 278
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    Orlando Magic

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  23. 23
    + 136
    - 81


    Washington Wizards, Baltimore Bullets, Houston Rockets

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  24. 24
    + 165
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Washington Wizards, Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers

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    ranked low on reranks & added by ChrisGoulart
    Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies

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  26. 26
    + 105
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets

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  27. 27
    + 130
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    Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Buffalo Braves

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    ranked low on reranks & added by EliasOmarEsgdaille
    Portland Trail Blazers

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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Atlanta Hawks, Baltimore Bullets, New Orleans Jazz

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  30. 30
    + 121
    - 103

    added by wiabux
    Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons

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  31. 31
    + 98
    - 59

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

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  32. 32
    + 73
    - 31


    Memphis Grizzlies

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  33. 33
    + 174
    - 122


    Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers

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  34. 34
    + 89
    - 83

    added by danmedsker
    Seattle Supersonics, Milwaukee Bucks

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    + 56
    - 47

    added by EliasOmarEsgdaille
    Cleveland Cavaliers

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  36. 36
    + 85
    - 137

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Phoenix Suns

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    + 57
    - 25

    added by tom-charbono
    Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves

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    + 40
    - 16

    added by Kate Perry

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    + 80
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    added by DillönBlüto

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  40. 40
    + 46
    - 24


    Indiana Pacers

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  41. 41
    + 35
    - 13


    Utah Jazz

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  42. 42
    + 45
    - 29


    Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets

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  43. 43
    + 42
    - 21

    added by lauren-charbono
    Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers

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  44. 44
    + 32
    - 18


    Atlanta Hawks

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  45. 45
    + 54
    - 51

    added by idominas
    Cleveland Cavaliers

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  46. 46
    + 35
    - 34

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

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  47. 47
    + 8
    - 46

    often listed & added by slaft
    Kansas City Kings, Cincinnati Royals, Brooklyn Nets

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  48. 48
    + 44
    - 34


    Washington Wizards, Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors

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  49. 49
    + 22
    - 9

    added by Kate Perry
    New Orleans Pelicans, Chicago Bulls

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  50. 50
    + 42
    - 41


    Chicago Bulls

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