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The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s

Updated October 13, 2018 4.0k votes 751 voters 18.7k 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
    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
    330
    89

    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

    Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks
  • 2
    Hakeem Olajuwon is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
    328
    108

    Hakeem Olajuwon

    Houston Rockets, Toronto Raptors
  • 3
    Moses Malone is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
    263
    78

    Moses Malone

    Washington Wizards, Atlanta Hawks
  • 4
    Patrick Ewing is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
    209
    83

    Patrick Ewing

    Orlando Magic, Seattle Supersonics
  • 5
    Robert Parish is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
    102
    31

    Robert Parish

    Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets
  • 6
    Artis Gilmore is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
    115
    84

    Artis Gilmore

    Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls
  • 7
    Bob Lanier is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
    89
    64

    Bob Lanier

    Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons
  • 8
    Bill Laimbeer is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
    92
    71

    Bill Laimbeer

    Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons

    The first center to incorporate the three into his game.

  • 9
    Bob McAdoo is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
    84
    57

    Bob McAdoo

    Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets
  • 10
    Ralph Sampson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
    100
    88

    Ralph Sampson

    Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings
  • 11
    Bill Walton is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
    99
    91

    Bill Walton

    Portland Trail Blazers, Boston Celtics
  • 12
    Wes Unseld is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
    78
    66

    Wes Unseld

    Washington Wizards, Baltimore Bullets
  • 13
    Arvydas Sabonis is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
    79
    59

    Arvydas Sabonis

    Portland Trail Blazers
  • 14
    Darryl Dawkins is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
    81
    72

    Darryl Dawkins

    Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers
  • 15
    Brad Daugherty is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
    70
    73

    Brad Daugherty

    Cleveland Cavaliers
  • 16
    Mark Eaton is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
    45
    33

    Mark Eaton

    Utah Jazz
  • 17
    Jack Sikma is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
    67
    60

    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.

  • 18
    Vlade Divac is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
    58
    67

    Vlade Divac

    Sacramento Kings, Charlotte Hornets
  • 19
    Bill Cartwright is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
    53
    63

    Bill Cartwright

    Seattle Supersonics, New York Knicks
  • 20
    Tree Rollins is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
    39
    46

    Tree Rollins

    Atlanta Hawks, Houston Rockets
  • 21
    Kevin Duckworth is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
    31
    50

    Kevin Duckworth

    Washington Wizards, Portland Trail Blazers
  • 22
    Caldwell Jones is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
    29
    51

    Caldwell Jones

    Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers
  • 23
    Sam Lacey is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s
    19
    50

    Sam Lacey

    Kansas City Kings, Cincinnati Royals
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