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The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s

Updated October 13, 2018 4.3k votes 836 voters 21.3k views23 items

List RulesVote up the best NBA centers that played in the 1980s based on their performances during that decade.

In the NBA, the greatest NBA centers from the 80s were the missing piece of the puzzle on any team. The "big man" is normally the tallest man on the team, with a lot of strength and body mass. It's a necessary component for a successful team, so naturally, the greatest NBA centers from the 80s makes for a great list to look through! Vote for your favorites among the best 80s NBA centers and vote down the ones you don't think are among the best NBA centers!

When discussing the top 1980s NBA centers, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has got to be in the conversation. Patrick Ewing and Hakeem "The Dream" are also considered some of the best NBA Centers of the 1980s.

So take a look at this best NBA centers 80s and vote for your favorites! 
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  • 1
    351
    112

    Hakeem Olajuwon

    Houston Rockets, Toronto Raptors
  • 2
    291
    84

    Moses Malone

    Washington Wizards, Atlanta Hawks
  • 3
    345
    111

    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

    Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks
  • 4
    206
    87

    Patrick Ewing

    New York Knicks, Orlando Magic
  • 5
    115
    43

    Robert Parish

    Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets
  • 6
    129
    85

    Artis Gilmore

    Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls
  • 7
    104
    78

    Bill Laimbeer

    Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons

    The first center to incorporate the three into his game.

  • 8
    109
    91

    Ralph Sampson

    Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings
  • 9
    85
    61

    Jack Sikma

    Seattle Supersonics, Milwaukee Bucks

    This discussion is about the best centers of the 80s.  During that decade Sikma was named to play in 6 All Star Games and posted one of the highest defensive rebounding percentages in the league. While not a great shot blocker he played solid man to man D and he was adept at sliding over to close off passing and driving lanes.  He was an outstanding passer with both the outlets and from both the high and low posts in a set offense. He was a clutch shooter who could score from both the low and midrange areas and his free throw shooting was superb.  Unseld, Lanier, Lacy, Gilmore, McAdoo and Walton were all fine centers in their primes but their primes were in the 70s. Rollins and Jones were both better shot blockers than Sikma, but they lagged behind him as rebounders, passers and scorers. Duckworth and Divacs had their moments but they never played up to Sikma's level.

  • 10
    88
    78

    Bob Lanier

    Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons
  • 11
    84
    65

    Bob McAdoo

    Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets
  • 12
    82
    75

    Darryl Dawkins

    Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers
  • 13
    53
    36

    Mark Eaton

    Utah Jazz
  • 14
    97
    100

    Bill Walton

    Portland Trail Blazers, Boston Celtics
  • 15
    79
    75

    Brad Daugherty

    Cleveland Cavaliers
  • 16
    65
    66

    Bill Cartwright

    Seattle Supersonics, New York Knicks
  • 17
    77
    77

    Arvydas Sabonis

    Portland Trail Blazers
  • 18
    75
    80

    Wes Unseld

    Washington Wizards, Baltimore Bullets
  • 19
    41
    49

    Tree Rollins

    Atlanta Hawks, Houston Rockets
  • 20
    39
    52

    Kevin Duckworth

    Washington Wizards, Portland Trail Blazers
  • 21
    55
    88

    Vlade Divac

    Sacramento Kings, Charlotte Hornets
  • 22
    29
    48

    Caldwell Jones

    Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers
  • 23
    18
    58

    Sam Lacey

    Kansas City Kings, Cincinnati Royals