The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

23k votes 3.5k voters 72k 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
  • 87 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
Z
G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 1,182
    - 481

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

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1,181
    - 488

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

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1,304
    - 490


    Houston Rockets, Toronto Raptors

    ;
  4. 4
    + 993
    - 361


    Boston Celtics

    ;
  5. 5
    + 1,159
    - 408


    Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers

    ;
  6. 6
    + 721
    - 266


    ;
  7. 7
    + 611
    - 206


    Washington Wizards, Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers

    ;
  8. 8
    + 613
    - 210


    Orlando Magic, Seattle Supersonics, New York Knicks

    ;
  9. 9
    + 365
    - 222


    Los Angeles Lakers

    ;
  10. 10
    + 347
    - 193


    Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets

    ;
  11. 11
    + 339
    - 222


    Portland Trail Blazers, Boston Celtics, San Diego Clippers

    ;
  12. 12
    + 353
    - 221


    Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat

    ;
  13. 13
    + 306
    - 212


    New York Knicks

    ;
  14. 14
    + 280
    - 156


    Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, Golden State Warriors

    ;
  15. 15
    + 377
    - 253


    Houston Rockets

    ;
  16. 16
    + 206
    - 35

    added by tom-charbono

    ;
  17. 17
    + 207
    - 145


    Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls

    ;
  18. 18
    + 201
    - 160


    Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, San Francisco Warriors

    ;
  19. 19
    + 189
    - 127


    Washington Wizards, Baltimore Bullets

    ;
  20. 20
    + 156
    - 122


    Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks

    ;
  21. 21
    + 150
    - 119


    Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons

    ;
  22. 22
    + 297
    - 291

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Orlando Magic

    ;
  23. 23
    + 145
    - 87


    Washington Wizards, Baltimore Bullets, Houston Rockets

    ;
  24. 24
    + 181
    - 148

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Washington Wizards, Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers

    ;
  25. 25
    + 143
    - 65

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

    ;
  26. 26
    + 127
    - 60

    ranked low on reranks & added by EliasOmarEsgdaille
    Portland Trail Blazers

    ;
  27. 27
    + 116
    - 134

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

    ;
  28. 28
    + 139
    - 69

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

    ;
  29. 29
    + 83
    - 122

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

    ;
  30. 30
    + 132
    - 109

    added by wiabux
    Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons

    ;
  31. 31
    + 107
    - 64

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

    ;
  32. 32
    + 81
    - 34


    Memphis Grizzlies

    ;
  33. 33
    + 186
    - 131


    Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers

    ;
  34. 34
    + 55
    - 26

    added by Kate Perry

    ;
  35. 35
    + 93
    - 89

    added by danmedsker
    Seattle Supersonics, Milwaukee Bucks

    ;
  36. 36
    + 93
    - 142

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Phoenix Suns

    ;
  37. 37
    + 70
    - 33

    ranked low on reranks & added by tom-charbono
    Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves

    ;
  38. 38
    + 57
    - 54

    added by EliasOmarEsgdaille
    Cleveland Cavaliers

    ;
  39. 39
    + 88
    - 92

    added by DillönBlüto

    ;
  40. 40
    + 40
    - 19


    Utah Jazz

    ;
  41. 41
    + 46
    - 36


    Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets

    ;
  42. 42
    + 48
    - 32


    Indiana Pacers

    ;
  43. 43
    + 50
    - 32

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

    ;
  44. 44
    + 30
    - 10

    added by Kate Perry

    ;
  45. 45
    + 59
    - 58

    added by idominas
    Cleveland Cavaliers

    ;
  46. 46
    + 39
    - 27


    Atlanta Hawks

    ;
  47. 47
    + 27
    - 15

    added by Kate Perry
    New Orleans Pelicans, Chicago Bulls

    ;
  48. 48
    + 38
    - 40

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

    ;
  49. 49
    + 47
    - 47


    Chicago Bulls

    ;
  50. 50
    + 26
    - 16

    added by Kate Perry
    Portland Trail Blazers

    ;
122 +

Something missing? Add it!

L List Options 2 Rerank List B Comments & Embed z Share Next List >