basketball The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
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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
2,117 939
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

2
2,265 892
Hakeem Olajuwon is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Hakeem Olajuwon Houston Rockets, Toronto Raptors

3
2,226 862
Shaquille O'Neal is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Shaquille O'Neal Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers

4
2,111 934
Wilt Chamberlain is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Wilt Chamberlain Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia Warriors

5
1,835 719
Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Bill Russell Boston Celtics

6
1,182 538
David Robinson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

7
1,062 413
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
1,044 416
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
583 451
George Mikan is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
George Mikan Los Angeles Lakers

10
636 522
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
639 170
Tim Duncan is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
tom-charbono added Tim Duncan

12
496 306
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
575 410
Alonzo Mourning is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Alonzo Mourning Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat

14
580 447
Bill Walton is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Bill Walton Portland Trail Blazers, Boston Celtics, San Diego Clippers

48 Famous Couples with Huge Age Differences

15
709 473
Yao Ming is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Yao Ming Houston Rockets

16
470 365
Willis Reed is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Willis Reed New York Knicks

17
364 242
Artis Gilmore is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Artis Gilmore Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls

18
354 259
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
314 229
Wes Unseld is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Wes Unseld Washington Wizards, Baltimore Bullets

20
565 516
Dwight Howard is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Dwight Howard Orlando Magic

21
374 276
Ben Wallace is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Ben Wallace Washington Wizards, Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers

The Top Current NBA Players

22
260 219
Dave Cowens is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Dave Cowens Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks

23
284 156
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
249 199
Bob Lanier is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Bob Lanier Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons

25
284 154
Arvydas Sabonis is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
EliasOmarEsgdaille added Arvydas Sabonis Portland Trail Blazers

26
303 176
Pau Gasol is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
ChrisGoulart added Pau Gasol Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies

27
241 130
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
201 112
Marc Gasol is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Marc Gasol Memphis Grizzlies

The Best NCAA Centers of the 2010s

29
359 215
Karl Malone is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Karl Malone Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers

30
184 217
Ralph Sampson is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Ralph Sampson Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets

31
207 108
DeMarcus Cousins is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Kate Perry added DeMarcus Cousins

32
201 146
Vlade Divac is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
EliasOmarEsgdaille added Vlade Divac Sacramento Kings, Charlotte Hornets, Los Angeles Lakers

33
226 88
Kevin Garnett is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
tom-charbono added Kevin Garnett Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves

34
141 186
Walt Bellamy is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Walt Bellamy Atlanta Hawks, Baltimore Bullets, New Orleans Jazz

35
214 201
Bill Laimbeer is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
wiabux added Bill Laimbeer Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons

The Greatest U.S. Vice Presidents of All Time

36
158 139
Jack Sikma is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
danmedsker added Jack Sikma Seattle Supersonics, Milwaukee Bucks

37
120 106
Brad Daugherty is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
EliasOmarEsgdaille added Brad Daugherty Cleveland Cavaliers

38
182 161
DeAndre Jordan is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
DillönBlüto added DeAndre Jordan

39
177 204
Amar'e Stoudemire is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Amar'e Stoudemire Phoenix Suns

40
103 71
Mark Eaton is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Mark Eaton Utah Jazz

41
106 80
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

42
132 49
Anthony Davis is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Kate Perry added Anthony Davis

The Greatest Missouri Basketball Players of All Time

43
114 82
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

44
92 73
Andre Drummond is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Kate Perry added Andre Drummond

45
104 85
Rik Smits is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Rik Smits Indiana Pacers

46
101 87
Al Horford is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Al Horford Atlanta Hawks

47
95 62
Hassan Whiteside is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Kate Perry added Hassan Whiteside

48
136 103
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
80 61
Tyson Chandler is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
Kate Perry added Tyson Chandler New Orleans Pelicans, Chicago Bulls

50
58 27
Dirk Nowitzki is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time
TRENT13 added Dirk Nowitzki Dallas Mavericks