Sports

The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s 

Ranker NBA
Originally by
Updated October 13, 2018 3.2k votes 689 voters 16.9k views 23 items

List Rules Vote 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! 
list ordered by
1
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Center from New York City, New York, United States of America
2
Hakeem Olajuwon is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Center from Lagos, Nigeria
3
Moses Malone is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Power forward and Center from Virginia
4
Patrick Ewing is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Center from Kingston, Jamaica
5
Robert Parish is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Center from Shreveport, Louisiana
6
Artis Gilmore is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Center from Chipley, Florida
7
Ralph Sampson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Center from Harrisonburg, Virginia, United States of America
8
Bill Laimbeer is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Bball guy added Center from Boston, Massachusetts, USA

The first center to incorporate the three into his game.

9
Bill Walton is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Center from La Mesa, California, United States of America
10
Bob Lanier is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Center from Buffalo, New York
11
Darryl Dawkins is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Center from Orlando, Florida
12
Arvydas Sabonis is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Center from Kaunas, Lithuania
13
Bob McAdoo is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Power forward and Center from Greensboro, North Carolina
14
Wes Unseld is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Center from Louisville, Kentucky
15
Brad Daugherty is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Center from Black Mountain, North Carolina, United States of America
16
Mark Eaton is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Center from Westminster, California
17
Jack Sikma is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Keith Yamamoto added Power forward and Center from Kankakee, Illinois

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.

18
Vlade Divac is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Center from Prijepolje, Serbia
19
Bill Cartwright is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Center from Lodi, California
20
Tree Rollins is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Center from Winter Haven, Florida
21
Kevin Duckworth is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Kevin Duckworth Center from Harvey, Illinois
22
Caldwell Jones is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
23
Sam Lacey is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Center from Indianola, Mississippi