The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

24k votes 3.6k voters 73k views 121 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
  • 86 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 1,220
    - 508

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

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  2. 2
    + 1,226
    - 517

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

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  3. 3
    + 1,215
    - 431


    Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers

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  4. 4
    + 1,352
    - 513


    Houston Rockets, Toronto Raptors

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  5. 5
    + 1,037
    - 384


    Boston Celtics

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  6. 6
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    - 285


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  7. 7
    + 641
    - 220


    Washington Wizards, Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers

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  8. 8
    + 640
    - 223


    Orlando Magic, Seattle Supersonics, New York Knicks

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  9. 9
    + 379
    - 244


    Los Angeles Lakers

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  10. 10
    + 369
    - 213


    Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets

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  11. 11
    + 377
    - 229


    Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat

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  12. 12
    + 358
    - 234


    Portland Trail Blazers, Boston Celtics, San Diego Clippers

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  13. 13
    + 322
    - 220


    New York Knicks

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  14. 14
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    - 167


    Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, Golden State Warriors

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  15. 15
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    - 271


    Houston Rockets

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  16. 16
    + 243
    - 48

    added by tom-charbono

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  17. 17
    + 221
    - 153


    Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls

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  18. 18
    + 213
    - 169


    Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, San Francisco Warriors

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  19. 19
    + 201
    - 135


    Washington Wizards, Baltimore Bullets

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  20. 20
    + 167
    - 129


    Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks

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  21. 21
    + 311
    - 304


    Orlando Magic

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  22. 22
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons

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  23. 23
    + 157
    - 90


    Washington Wizards, Baltimore Bullets, Houston Rockets

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  24. 24
    + 197
    - 155


    Washington Wizards, Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers

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  25. 25
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    ranked low on reranks & added by ChrisGoulart
    Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies

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  26. 26
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    - 65

    added by EliasOmarEsgdaille
    Portland Trail Blazers

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  27. 27
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets

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  28. 28
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    ranked low on reranks
    Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Buffalo Braves

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

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  30. 30
    + 139
    - 115

    added by wiabux
    Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons

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  31. 31
    + 113
    - 69

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

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  32. 32
    + 91
    - 41


    Memphis Grizzlies

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  33. 33
    + 70
    - 31

    added by Kate Perry

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  34. 34
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    Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers

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  35. 35
    + 82
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    added by tom-charbono
    Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves

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  36. 36
    + 100
    - 148

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Phoenix Suns

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  37. 37
    + 61
    - 57

    added by EliasOmarEsgdaille
    Cleveland Cavaliers

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  38. 38
    + 95
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    added by danmedsker
    Seattle Supersonics, Milwaukee Bucks

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  39. 39
    + 98
    - 97

    added by DillönBlüto

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  40. 40
    + 56
    - 35


    Indiana Pacers

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  41. 41
    + 44
    - 22


    Utah Jazz

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  42. 42
    + 56
    - 34

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

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  43. 43
    + 50
    - 39


    Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets

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  44. 44
    + 38
    - 14

    added by Kate Perry

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  45. 45
    + 44
    - 31


    Atlanta Hawks

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  46. 46
    + 32
    - 18

    added by Kate Perry
    New Orleans Pelicans, Chicago Bulls

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  47. 47
    + 61
    - 62

    added by idominas
    Cleveland Cavaliers

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  48. 48
    + 57
    - 46


    Washington Wizards, Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors

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  49. 49
    + 42
    - 44

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

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  50. 50
    + 32
    - 20

    added by Kate Perry
    Portland Trail Blazers

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