NBA The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s  

Ranker NBA
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2.2k votes 517 voters 12.3k 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
198 51
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks
2
203 54
Hakeem Olajuwon is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Houston Rockets, Toronto Raptors
3
131 42
Moses Malone is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Washington Wizards, Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers
4
122 48
Patrick Ewing is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Orlando Magic, Seattle Supersonics, New York Knicks
5
64 47
Ralph Sampson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets
6
46 31
Brad Daugherty is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Cleveland Cavaliers
7
29 5
Robert Parish is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, Golden State Warriors
8
67 48
Artis Gilmore is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls
9
47 35
Bob Lanier is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons
10
56 46
Bill Walton is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Portland Trail Blazers, Boston Celtics, San Diego Clippers
11
33 20
Bill Laimbeer is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Bball guy added Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons

The first center to incorporate the three into his game.

12
44 42
Darryl Dawkins is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets
13
42 41
Wes Unseld is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Washington Wizards, Baltimore Bullets
14
32 30
Bill Cartwright is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Seattle Supersonics, New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls
15
37 33
Vlade Divac is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Sacramento Kings, Charlotte Hornets, Los Angeles Lakers
16
43 40
Bob McAdoo is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Buffalo Braves
17
37 35
Arvydas Sabonis is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Portland Trail Blazers
18
30 28
Jack Sikma is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Keith Yamamoto added 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.

19
16 5
Mark Eaton is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Utah Jazz
20
20 24
Kevin Duckworth is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Washington Wizards, Portland Trail Blazers, Milwaukee Bucks
21
18 27
Tree Rollins is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Atlanta Hawks, Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic
22
13 28
Caldwell Jones is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets
23
10 24
Sam Lacey is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
Kansas City Kings, Cincinnati Royals, Brooklyn Nets