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
1,874 734
Hakeem Olajuwon is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Hakeem Olajuwon Houston Rockets, Toronto Raptors

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2
1,716 739
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks

3
1,733 746
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
1,762 679
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
1,507 588
Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Bill Russell Boston Celtics

6
998 433
David Robinson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

7
896 331
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
884 324
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
542 393
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
499 353
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
501 321
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
419 231
Robert Parish is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Robert Parrish Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, Golden State Warriors

13
499 373
George Mikan is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
George Mikan Los Angeles Lakers

14
409 294
Willis Reed is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Willis Reed New York Knicks

15
449 114
Tim Duncan is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
tom-charbono added Tim Duncan

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16
547 385
Yao Ming is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Yao Ming Houston Rockets

17
298 202
Artis Gilmore is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Artis Gilmore Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls

18
294 215
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
268 180
Wes Unseld is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Wes Unseld Washington Wizards, Baltimore Bullets

20
294 213
Ben Wallace is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Ben Wallace Washington Wizards, Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers

21
222 180
Dave Cowens is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Dave Cowens Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks

22
234 127
Elvin Hayes is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Elvin Hayes Washington Wizards, Baltimore Bullets, Houston Rockets

23
210 163
Bob Lanier is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Bob Lanier Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons

24
424 420
Dwight Howard is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Dwight Howard Orlando Magic

25
230 138
Pau Gasol is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
ChrisGoulart added Pau Gasol Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies

26
212 114
Arvydas Sabonis is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
EliasOmarEsgdaille added Arvydas Sabonis Portland Trail Blazers

27
200 103
Bob McAdoo is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Bob McAdoo Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Buffalo Braves

28
168 114
Vlade Divac is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
EliasOmarEsgdaille added Vlade Divac Sacramento Kings, Charlotte Hornets, Los Angeles Lakers

29
158 189
Ralph Sampson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Ralph Sampson Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets

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30
154 81
Marc Gasol is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Marc Gasol Memphis Grizzlies

31
123 161
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
194 169
Bill Laimbeer is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
wiabux added Bill Laimbeer Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons

33
283 176
Karl Malone is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Karl Malone Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers

34
139 79
DeMarcus Cousins is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Kate Perry added DeMarcus Cousins

35
94 88
Brad Daugherty is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
EliasOmarEsgdaille added Brad Daugherty Cleveland Cavaliers

36
150 183
Amar'e Stoudemire is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Amar'e Stoudemire Phoenix Suns

37
151 64
Kevin Garnett is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
tom-charbono added Kevin Garnett Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves

38
131 121
Jack Sikma is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
danmedsker added Jack Sikma Seattle Supersonics, Milwaukee Bucks

39
151 139
DeAndre Jordan is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
DillönBlüto added DeAndre Jordan

40
88 52
Mark Eaton is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Mark Eaton Utah Jazz

41
91 33
Anthony Davis is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Kate Perry added Anthony Davis

42
84 65
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
88 61
Chris Webber is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
lauren-charbono added Chris Webber Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers

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44
73 48
Andre Drummond is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Kate Perry added Andre Drummond

45
83 68
Rik Smits is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Rik Smits Indiana Pacers

46
60 59
Brook Lopez is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Brook Lopez Brooklyn Nets

47
75 63
Al Horford is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Al Horford Atlanta Hawks

48
99 77
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
60 41
Hassan Whiteside is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Kate Perry added Hassan Whiteside

50
79 98
Žydrūnas Ilgauskas is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
idominas added Žydrūnas Ilgauskas Cleveland Cavaliers