Top 15 Best NBA Centers of All Time You Should Know (Up to 2017)

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KMazing – There is no doubt that basketball has become one of the most popular sports in the United States. The sport found by James Naismith in 1891 has produced the best players in the NBA. Not surprisingly, the United States national team has always been the frequent winner of basketball gold medal in the Olympic.

Just like football, basketball also implements a positioning system for every player in a team. Among the existing positions in basketball, the center position is the most crucial position for a team. The Center is required to have similar defensive and attacking techniques and of course ability. Therefore the center is considered the key to team play. In the NBA itself, many reliable centers have become the foundation of the team and achieved the legendary status. Here we have 15 of the best that came from a different era of NBA. Enjoy !

Disclaimer: the rank of the centers is picked by the writer tean so they are not representing any mean of abilities or achievement.


15. DeAndre Jordan

He is a monster with amazing rebounding ability and fantastic defense contributions. Although his shooting and free throw skills are not in line with his survival skills, he remains a key player behind the success of LA Clippers. The average incision is 11.2 ppg, 12.6 rpg, and 1.7 blocks per game which brings Clippers to the top three of the western standings. Obviously, he deserved to be crowned as one of the best center of the NBA at this time.

Alonzo Mourning

Mourning was number 2 in the 1993 draft, a position just below Shaquille O’Neal. What makes it special is its great ability in defense. In his first two seasons, he scored 21 points, 10 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game. Even in 1999 and 2000 respectively, Mourning was awarded the NBA Defensive Player of the Year. The peak of his career can be said when he gave a championship title for the Miami Heat in 2006. For this achievement, Heat retired the number 33 that Mourning used when he used to an active basketball player.

Nate Thurmond

Nate Thurmond is known as a player who has good skills as a rebounder, passer, and defender. The complete package owned by the former 72-year-old basketball player has earned him the nickname “Nate The Great”. With seven NBA All-Star titles and NBA MVP 2 times, Nate became a living legend of the highly respected Cleveland Cavaliers team. The row of clubs that Nate has put his skills on are the Golden State Warriors, Chicago Bulls, and Cleveland Cavaliers. He was active in the NBA from 1963 to 1977.

Willis Reed

Willis career professionally in the NBA started from 1964 to 1974. He is known to have excellent leadership skills, to successfully deliver the New York Knicks to achieve absolute victory in 1970 and 1973. Willis also quite sharp to be placed in the position of power forward, because his courage to confront his opponent. Having decided to retire in 1974, Willis had coached the Knicks for 1977-1978 and 1988-1988. Willis is the 7th NBA All-Star holder and NBA Most Valuable Player in 1970.

George Mikan

George Mikan is a former professional NBA basketball player who achieved his heyday while playing for the Minneapolis Lakers team. Michael Jordan is often called to have the same style of play with George. This bespectacled man is active in the NBA from 1946 to 1956. The living legend of basketball of the United States died in 2005, and the funeral ceremony was attended by many basketball stars who idolize him. In fact, a Shaquille O’Neal recognizes George as an irreplaceable inspiration for him.

Patrick Ewing

Wild. One suitable word pinned to Patrick Ewing, the living legend of the New York Knicks. As a center, he is so dominant in scoring numbers and doing block. On his peak performance, he can incised average 28.6 points, 10.9 rebounds and 4.0 blocks in the period of 38 minutes per game. He is also noted as the most scored basketball player in the history of the New York Knicks, which is 23,665 points.

Dwight Howard

Given how his off-court shenanigans have affected the open view of him, Dwight Howard might just have moved toward becoming the underrated player. He simply turned 32 years of age, however as of now has won five bouncing back titles (the fourth-most in NBA history) and is one of ten players to normal 18 or more focuses and 12 or more bounce back per amusement over his initial 10 seasons in the class, and is the first to do it since Hakeem Olajuwon.

Bill Walton

One of the considerable what-uncertainties in NBA history, Bill Walton by all methods would have wound up higher on this rundown, yet for a rash of wounds that damaged his Hall of Fame vocation. In the wake of missing the playoffs as he fought damage in each of his initial two years in the class, a sound Walton drove the Trail Blazers to the title in his third NBA season on the quality of his inside play as he drove the association in the two pieces and bounce back per diversion, partaking in 65 games (the most he’d ever play in a season for Portland). He broke his foot amid his MVP-winning effort the next year, and it was all declining from that point as Walton would miss three full seasons with wounds lastly resign for good in 1987.

David Robinson

Although often compared to Tim Duncan, David Robinson has its own place in the hearts of the loyal fans of San Antonio Spurs. He was born on August 6, 1965, in Key West, Florida and is known by the nickname “The Admiral”. Throughout 1989 to 2003, his career was so brilliant with the achievement of the NBA All-Star title 10 times.

In addition to a career as a basketball player, David is a US Navy officer. Before being recruited by the San Antonio Spurs, David first passed the test to enter the Navy and was able to perform his service for one whole year.

Wilt Chamberlain

Wilt Chamberlain had a professional career in the NBA from 1959 to 1973. The man who was born in Philadelphia, August 21, 1936, was once joined Harlem Globetrotters, Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, and Los Angeles Lakers. The 13-time NBA All-Star champion enjoys his glory while joining the Los Angeles Lakers. Until now, no longer known NBA basketball player who is not selfish like Wilt. The nickname “The Big Dipper” was given to Wilt when he was in his victorious day.

Moses Malone

Moses Malone is a former United States basketball player who once played for Buffalo Braves (now Los Angeles Clippers), Houston Rockets, Philadephia 76ers, Washington Bullets (now Washington Wizards), Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks and San Antonio Spurs. The holders of 12 NBA All-Stars enjoys his heyday while joining the Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers. Moses is listed as one of the basketball players in the list of 50 greatest basketball players of the NBA. His nickname was “Chairman of the Boards” and “Big Mo”.

Bill Russell

This left-handed shooter is the top standout of the most robust center player in NBA history. Active from 1956 to 1969, Bill had won 11 times from 13 seasons he played. Great is not it? The man who is now 80 years old became a living legend Boston Celtics and had coached the team from 1966-1969. Winning 12 NBA All-Star titles and 5 times NBA Most Valuable Player is not just a champion of rebound and blocking, his free shots are also known to tell.

Hakeem Olajuwon

Not many center-positioned players got huge fans because of its entertaining performance in the field. Most of them are always adored for their tough and persistent game, with no side entertaining it at all. However, not so with the basketballer from Nigeria, Hakeem Olajuwon. He had tried to become a soccer player before seriously pursuing his career in NBA, Hakeem won 12 NBA All-Star career throughout his career. Players who are active from 1984 to 2002 has a ‘stance’ mainstay “Dream Shake”. The Houston Rockets should thank Hakeem who contributed greatly to the victories of 1994 and 1995.

Three times selected as the NBA blocks leader (1990, 1991, and 1993) and even now, he is the record holder as the highest-achieving block player in the NBA history of 3,830 blocks.

Shaquille O’Neal

Beast. It can be said that O’Neal is the most dominant center in the history of the NBA. His body is a hugely tall, making it very difficult for anyone to prevent him from scoring points or rebounds. He successfully collected four NBA championship rings (2000,2001, 2002 and 2006), one NBA MVP (2000), and he was even awarded two NBA scoring champions (1995 and 2000).

Shaquille O’Neal is not only famous for his basketball career, but also his musical career. In 1993, O’Neal had released a successful rap album on the market, titled “Shaq Diesel”. O’Neal won 15 NBA All-Star titles throughout his career and 3 NBA Finals MVP from 2000 to 2002.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul Jabar had a career in the NBA since 1969 until 1989. Owner number 33 at the back in Los Angeles Lakers and has a very long career, so he was given the nickname “Old Kareem” by the fans. Kareem is the holder of 6 NBA MVP titles and 19 NBA All-Star titles. This record that until now could not be break by another basketball player. Kareem had the real name of Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr. before finally changing it legally in 1998, after choosing to convert to Islam.