Ranking The Top 25 Greatest Centers Of All Time –


The NBA has seen some of the largest and most dominant players in central positions. Great men of all times like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell – great men have often been the reason teams have won NBA titles. Although the position of the great man has changed greatly over the years, he has persisted to this day.

Going back to history, it’s time to rank the top 25 centers based on their impact, praise and dominance throughout their careers.

25. Walt Bellamy


Championship : 0

Player statistics : 20.1 PPG, 13.7 PPG, 2.4 PPG, 0.7 PPG, 0.6 BPG.

Honor: 4x All-Star, 1961 Rookie of the Year, Hall of Fame.

Walt Bellamy is a Hall of Fame player who has been a workhorse in painting. He is best known for his iconic rookie season, in which he was voted Rookie of the Year with a ridiculous 31.6 PPG and 19.0 RPG.

24. Mark Gazelle


Championship : 1

Player statistics : 14.6 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 3.4 APG, 0.9 SPG, 1.4 BPG

Honor: 3 stars, 2x NBA selection, 2012 All-Conference team selection, defensive player of the year 2012.

Pau Gasol may be the best known Gasol, but Marc Gasol is the strong younger brother who was the dominant centre. His defensive ability has earned him All-Star status over the years and he even won an NBA title with the Raptors in 2018. Make no mistake, Gasol’s defensive leadership and passivity is the main reason the Raptors have an NBA title.

23. Nate Thurmond


Championship : 0

Player statistics : 15.0 PPG, 15.0 RPG, 2.7 APG, 0.5 SPG, 2.1 BPG

Honor: 7x All-Star, 5x All-Defensive Team selection, Hall of Fame

Nate Thurmond was a defensive monster who made a name for herself as a defender of the perimeter. His bouncing characters are insane, and he’s one of the most legendary players on the defensive. Thurmond’s team members were happy with his impact, as he was one of the greatest protectors of the paint.

22. Neil Johnston


Championship : 1

Player statistics : £19.4, £11.3, £2.5.

Honor: 6 times All-Star, 5 times NBA selection, 3 times point guard, Hall of Fame.

Neil Johnston had a very skilful hook shot that made him one of the most feared goalkeepers of the 1950s. He has been the top scorer in the NBA for three consecutive years and will go down in history as one of the top scorers.

21. Yao Ming


Championship : 0

Player statistics : 19.0 PPG, 9.2 PPG, 1.6 PPG, 0.4 PPG, 1.9 BPG.

Honor: 8x All-Star, 5x NBA All-Star, Hall of Fame.

The greatest Chinese athlete in history, Yao Ming, was a pioneer in the NBA. Especially for the Houston Rockets, Yao has brought an incredible number of professional basketball fans to North America. But Yao wasn’t just a cultural icon, he was a dominant player when he was healthy, and probably a top ten center when he never got hurt. He had a soft touch and a huge size at 7’6, so you can only imagine if he stays healthy.

20. Mourning for Alonzo


Championship : 1

Player statistics : 17.1 PPG, 8.5 PPG, 1.1 PPG, 0.5 PPG, 2.8 PPG

Honour: 7x All-Star, 2x NBA selection, 2x All-State selection, 2x defensive player of the year, 2x block champion, Hall of Fame

The grief included everything about the center that did everything to win. He loved to defend, even in his late thirties, and is one of the scariest shot blockers of all time. But at its peak, Alonzo was a monster. He was a man in the prime of his life from 20 to 10 years old and later became a major player and defender for the Heath 06, which won an NBA title.

19. Bob Lanier


Championship : 0

Player statistics : £20.1, £10.1, £3.1, £1.1, £1.5.

Honor: 8x All-Star, Hall of Fame.

Bob Lanier has scored 20-10 throughout his career thanks to a balanced offensive game. Lanier was able to score on the inside with a hook and also managed to fire a shot from the outside, making it a challenge for the defence. Lanier has entered the Hall of Fame and the Top 20.

18. Robert Parish

http://server.digimetriq.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/1609161794_377_Ranking-The-Top-25-Greatest-Centers-Of-All-Time--.jpg-.jpg Mandatory credit : Tim DeFrisco/ALSPORT

Championship : 4

Player statistics : 14.5 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 1.4 APG, 0.8 SPG, 1.5 BPG

Honor: 9x All-Star, 2x NBA All-Star, Hall of Fame.

Robert Parish was a great two-sided player who was crucial to the Boston Celtics. He won 4 NBA titles and came second. Parish is a valued member of the Hall of Fame and a great restorer and blocker. As good as the Celts are, they probably wouldn’t have 4 titles if it wasn’t for the community service.

17. Artis Gilmore


Championship : 0

Player statistics : 18.8 PPG, 12.3 PPG, 2.3 PPG, 0.6 PPG, 2.4 BPG.

Honor: 6x All-Star, 1977 All-Defensive team selection, Hall of Fame.

Artis Gilmore has done everything possible in professional basketball, from winning as MVP to multiple All-Star appearances. Mr. Gilmore was named MVP and Rookie of the Year during the ABA years, so his NBA awards don’t seem very impressive. As a talent, Gilmore is in the top 20, and there’s no doubt about that.

16. Dikembe Mutombo


Championship : 0

Player statistics : 9.8 PPG, 10.3 PPG, 1.0 PPG, 0.4 PPG, 2.8 BPG

Honor: 8x All-Star, 3x NBA selection, 6x defense team selection, 4x defense player of the year, 3x block champion, Hall of Fame

Dikembe Mutombo, one of the most dominant defensive players. His height helped, but Mutombo was a master at blocking blows. His finger wobbles when the shot is fired is legendary, and Dikembe is one of the most popular players of all time. Mutombo was a beast at its peak with the Hawks and easily earned a place in the Hall of Fame.

15. Bill Walton


Championship : 2

Player statistics : 13.3 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 3.4 APG, 0.8 SPG, 2.2 BPG

Honor: 1977 MVP, 1976 MVP final, 2x All-Star, 2x NBA All-Star selection, 2x All-Defensive Team selection, 1976 Block Champion, 1985 Sixth man of the year, Hall of Fame

Bill Walton should have had a much longer career, but unfortunately injuries shortened it. Walton remained the most dominant actor in history and a first-class leader. He was MVP and is considered a top 10 center, at least if he was never injured. Walton had a size and talent and an impressive presence that continues to this day. Walton is a real jewel for the competition and the best center in the world.

14. George Mikan

http://server.digimetriq.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/1609161796_862_Ranking-The-Top-25-Greatest-Centers-Of-All-Time--.jpg-.jpg Credit : Getty Images

Championship : 5

Player statistics : £23.1, £13.4, £2.8

Honor: 4 stars, 6x NBA selection, 3x playmaker, Hall of Fame.

George Mikan, often considered the first real NBA superstar, was a dominant center in the beginning. Mikan was the first person to put the Lakers on the map and deserves to be mentioned in the top 15. Old school legends talk about Mikan’s influence. His numbers and achievements are definitely worth a Hall of Fame, and he will forever be known as the original Lakers giant.

13. Dave Cowens


Championship : 2

Player statistics : 17.6 PPG, 13.6 PPG, 3.8 PPG, 1.1 PPG, 0.9 PPG.

Honor: 1972 MVP, 8-fold All-Star, 3-fold NBA All-State, 3-fold All-State, 1970 Rookie of the Year, Hall of Fame.

Cowens was a Boston Celtics legend who won two NBA titles, made eight All-Star teams and was the league’s top player in 1972-73. A valued member of the Hall of Fame, Cowens accomplished everything in basketball before hanging up his boots in 1983.

12. Dwight Howard


Championship : 1

Player statistics : 16.7 PPG, 12.3 PPG, 1.4 PPG, 0.9 PPG, 1.9 BPG.

Honor: 8x All-Star, 8x NBA selection, 5x All-Defensive Team selection, 3x defensive player of the year, 2x block champion.

It may seem surprising, but Dwight Howard is in the top 12 centers. It is undeniable that Dwight was in the prime of his life and led a magical team to the finals in 2009. Dwight was three times defensive player of the year and one of the best defensive players of all time by his ability to block shots and his presence of paint. Dwight was a problem in painting and was one of the best centers in the world for more than a decade.

11. Bob McAdoo


Championship : 2

Player statistics : £22.1, £9.4, £2.3, £1.0, £1.5.

Honor: 1974 MVP, 5-fold All-Star, 2-fold NBA World Series Winner, 3-fold Point guard, 1972 Hall of Fame Rookie of the Year.

Bob McAdoo was a pure centre-position scorer, averaging 22.1 PPG and 9.4 RPG in his career. McAdoo was the MVP of the league, 3 times top scorer and rookie of the year in his first 4 seasons in the league. He emerged on the NBA scene and became a key player for a Los Angeles Lakers team that won two NBA titles.

10. Willis Reed


Championship : 2

Player statistics : 18.7 PPG, 12.9 PPG, 1.8 PPG, 0.6 PPG, 1.1 BPG.

Honor: 1969 MVP, 2 times MVP in the finals, 7 times All-Star, 5 times NBA qualifier, 1 time selected for the defense team, 1964 Rookie of the Year, Hall of Fame.

Let’s talk about a player who has arrived at a crucial moment: Reed won two MVP titles in the finals and two NBA titles with the New York Knicks. One of the most respected and experienced winners in the history of the competition, Reed is a valued member of the Hall of Fame and a 7-fold All-Star who ranks among the top 10 centers in history.

9. Wes Neld


Championship : 1

Player statistics : 10.8 PPG, 14.0 PPG, 3.9 PPG, 1.1 PPG, 0.6 PPG.

Honor: 1968 MVP, 1977 MVP Finale, 5x All-Star, 1x NBA All-Star selection, 1968 Rookie of the Year, Hall of Fame

Wes Unseld was the strongest when he played in the league. Neld was a fantastic rebounder, a great passer and a dominant defensive player. Neld won the NBA title and MVP in the NBA finals in 1977, as well as the competition MVP and rookie of the year in 1968-69. It is clear that Neseld is a top 10 center and one of the icons of the old center basketball.

8. Patrick Ewing


Championship : 0

Player statistics : 21.0 PPG, 9.8 PPG, 1.9 PPG, 1.0 PPG, 2.4 PPG.

Honor: 11 times All-Star, 7 times NBA selection, 3 times All-Region selection, 1985 Rookie of the Year, Hall of Fame.

Patrick Ewing is a game legend and a good example of a good, old-fashioned man who wanted to win at all costs. He has never won a title, but has been in 11 all-star teams and is a member of the Hall of Fame. Ewing is in the top ten because of his consistent work with the New York Knicks, which is non-negotiable.

7. Moses Malone


Championship : 1

Player statistics : 20.6 PPG, 12.2 PPG, 1.4 PPG, 0.8 PPG, 1.3 BPG.

Prizes: 3x MVP, MVP of the 1982 finals, 12x All-Star, 8x All-NBA, 2x Defensive End Selection, Hall of Fame….

People don’t seem to know how big Moses Malone was. When the Big Five are mentioned, Moses must be mentioned as an honourable mention that simply misses the point. The late great Moses Malone won everything in the competition, including NBA titles and MVP awards in the finals. He was the embodiment of a dominant old school that used power and skill to conquer boards and painting.

6. David Robinson


Championship : 2

Player statistics : £21.1, £10.6, £2.5, £1.4, £3.0

Honor: 1994 MVP, 10-fold All-Star, 10-fold NBA All-Star, 8-fold All-Star, 1991 Defensive Player of the Year, 1993 Scoring Champion, 1993 Blocking Champion, 1991 Blocking Champion, 1989 Rookie of the Year, Hall of Fame.

The Admiral may have been a little underestimated because of Tim Duncan when he entered the league as the team’s best player, but Robinson was an incredible cross. He won the MVP award, had leadership qualities, defended the edge well and was a defensive beast. One of the most iconic and respected members of the Hall of Famers, Robinson just missed the top five.

5. Hakim Olajuwon


Championship : 2

Player statistics : £21.8, £11.1, £2.5, £1.7, £3.1.

Honor: 1993 MVP, 2 times MVP in the finals, 12 times All-Star, 12 times MVP in the NBA finals, 9 times MVP in the finals, 2 times MVP in defense, 3 times Block Champion, Hall of Fame MVP.

Hakeem The Dream Olajuwon took advantage of the absence of Michael Jordan in 1994 and 1995 to win two consecutive titles and the MVP title. Hakeem was so dominant that he even manipulated the Bulls because no one could match him. Hakim had everything and won the DPOY and MVP awards. Hakeem is undoubtedly in the top five.

4. Bill Russell


Championship : 11

Player statistics : £15.1, £22.5, £4.3.

Honor: 5-time MVP, 12-time All-Star, 11-time National Basketball Association All-Star, 1968 National Basketball Association All-Star, Hall of Fame.

The biggest winner of all time, Russell won 11 rings as part of the Boston Celtics dynasty. When Russell was on the team, the Celtics were completely untouchable. No one defended the advantage like Russell, and he had perhaps the greatest defensive influence in history. Pure leader and winner, Russell is definitely in the top five.

3. Wilt Chamberlain


Championship : 2

Player statistics : £30.1, £22.9, £4.4.

Honor: 4x MVP, 1971 MVP Finale, 13x All-Star, 10x All-NBA, 2x All-Defensive Team selection, 7x scoring champion, 1959 Rookie of the Year, Hall of Fame.

Wilt Chamberlain belongs in the history books. His records speak for themselves, including his record for 100-point and 50-point matches. Wilt was taller and more athletic than anyone he played with in his time, which may have contributed to his greatness. But he did it anyway and became a legend in the game as the third best center in history.

2. Shaquille O’Neal


Championship : 4

Player statistics : 23.7 PPG, 10.9 RPG, 2.5 APG, 0.6 SPG, 2.3 BPG

Honor: 1999 MVP, 3x MVP Finale, 15x All-Star, 14x All-NBA, 3x All-Defensive Team Selection, 2x Score Champion, 1992 Rookie of the Year, Hall of Fame

3 MVP, 4 rings, and the most dominant physicality of all time. Shaq was unstoppable in his prime because a few defenders couldn’t stop him from scoring. He owned the board and intimidated the teams more than any other great man. Even as a great man, Shaq was very athletic and skillful, which is why he is number 2 on this list.

1. Karim Abdul-Jabbar

http://server.digimetriq.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/1609161800_331_Ranking-The-Top-25-Greatest-Centers-Of-All-Time--.jpg-.jpg Photo : Andrew D. Bernstein/NVAE via Getty Images

Championship : 6

Player statistics : 24.6 PPG, 11.2 PPG, 3.6 PPG, 0.9 PPG, 2.6 BPG

Honours: 6x MVP, 2x MVP in the final, 19x All-Star, 15x All-NBA, 11x All-Defensive team selection, 2x Scoring Champion, 4x Block Champion, 1969 Rookie of the Year, Hall of Fame.

Without a doubt, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the best centre of all time. He has the highest records, won at every level and made the most unstoppable move in the history of the Sorors at Skyhook. In his 40 years, Kareem has been a dominant player who has been a force on both sides of the field.

Karim had an average of 24.6 PPG, 11.2 RPG, 3.6 PNG and 2.6 BPG. Kareem also made 19 All-Star teams, 15 NBA teams, 11 All-Defensive teams, 6 MVP’s and 6 NBA titles. Not to mention the fact that Kareem leads all players with a total of 38,387 points, for Karl Malone, who has a total of 36,928 points.

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