Top Ten Centers in NBA History

The Best NBA Centers All-Time.

 

Throughout the history of the NBA, centers have mostly dominated the game (Michael Jordan’s tenure notwithstanding). A center has been chosen league MVP 25 times in the 54 year history of the award, and players I would call a “center/forward” have been chosen another four times, giving players in the middle more than half the total awards. Fifteen centers and three center/forwards were selected among the Fifty Greatest Players in NBA History, and when the best player of all-time is debated, a center is usually mentioned. These are my choices for the best centers in the history of the NBA.

 

The Greatest in Action

the Big Dipper
the Big Dipper
Kareem
Kareem
Russ
Russ
Shaq
Shaq
The Dream
The Dream
Mo
Mo
Artis
Artis
Ewing
Ewing
The Admiral
The Admiral
The Big Redhead
The Big Redhead

The Greatest Centers: My list

 

1. Wilt Chamberlain: 1045 career games played, 2 NBA titles; NBA 4th all-time scoring leader with 31,419 career points; NBA all-time rebound leader with 23,924; 57th NBA all-time assist leader with 4,643; NBA 17th all-time field goal percentage leader 54%; blocked shots statistics were not kept by the NBA during Chamberlain’s career; Chamberlain holds numerous records in scoring, rebounding and durability categories. He is the only player in NBA history to average more than 40 points in a season (Wilt averaged over 50 one year) or score 100 in a game. He also won seven scoring, nine field goal percentage and eleven rebounding titles, and once led the league in assists. He never fouled out of a game and average 48.5 minutes per game one season.

2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: 1,560 career games played, 6 NBA titles; NBA all-time scoring leader with 38,387 career points; NBA 3rd all-time rebound leader with 17,440; NBA 34th all-time assist leader with 5,560; NBA 8th all-time field goal percentage leader 55.9%; Abdul-Jabbar’s claim to durability rivaled Chamberlain’s as he led the NBA in games and minutes played all-time while scoring in double figures in 787 straight games. He was also selected to the NBA All-Star Team 19 times. Abdul-Jabbar ranks 3rd all-time in blocked shots, a remarkable accomplishment considering blocked shots weren’t counted the first four years of his career.

3. Bill Russell: 963 career games played, 11 NBA titles; NBA 121st all-time scoring leader with 14,522 career points; NBA 2nd all-time rebound leader with 21,620; NBA 83rd all-time assist leader with 4,100; blocked shots statistics were not kept by the NBA during Russell’s career; Russell’s 11 titles in 13 seasons ties him with the NHL’s Henri Richard for most championships won by an athlete in a North American sports league. Would likely trail only Chamberlain and Abdul-Jabbar in blocked shots if complete statistics were available for these three players. Russell is the only player other than Chamberlain to grab more than 50 rebounds in a game.

4. Shaquille O’Neal: 1125 career games played, 4 NBA titles; NBA 5th all-time scoring leader with 27,707 career points; NBA 15th all-time rebound leader with 12,622; NBA 176th all-time assist leader with 2,932; NBA 3rd all-time field goal percentage leader 57.7%; 7th all-time blocked shots leader with 2642 blocks; At 7’1” tall and 325 pounds, O’Neal is one of the largest players ever to wear an NBA uniform. Although he dominated opponents with size and strength, O’Neal is a gifted athlete. He once brought down an NBA goal (not the rim or backboard, the entire goal) with a dunk. Note: All stats current at time of writing.

5. Hakeem Olajuwon: 1,238 career games played, 2 NBA titles; NBA 8th all-time scoring leader with 26,946 career points; NBA 11th all-time rebound leader with 13,748; NBA all-time blocked shots leader with 3,830 blocks; NBA 7th all-time steals leader with 2,162; NBA 150th all-time assist leader with 3,058; Began his career with Ralph Sampson as half of their “Twin Towers”. Olajuwon won back-to-back titles with Houston in 1994-1995, defeating Patrick Ewing’s Knicks and Shaquille O’Neal’s Magic, respectively. In the 1993-94 season he became the only player in NBA history to win the NBA's MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, and Finals MVP awards in the same season.

6. Moses Malone: 1455 career games played (1329 NBA games played), 1 NBA title; NBA 6th all-time scoring leader with 27,409 career points and 6th all-time in combined NBA/ABA career points with 29,580 points; NBA 5th all-time rebound leader with 16,212 and 3rd all-time in combined NBA/ABA rebounds with 17,834; Malone was the first player to go pro out of high school, signing with the ABA’s Utah Stars. He played for 10 teams in his 20 year career, but his best years were with the Houston Rockets (where he single-handedly carried them to the NBA finals in 1981) and Philadelphia 76ers, where he teamed with Julius Erving to win the title.

7. Artis Gilmore: 1,329 career games played (909 NBA games played), no NBA titles, 1 ABA title. NBA 97th all-time scoring leader with 15,579 career points and 19th all-time in combined career points with 24,941 points; NBA 42nd all-time rebound leader with 9,161 and 5th all-time in combined NBA/ABA rebounds with 16,330; NBA all-time field goal percentage leader 59.9%; Perhaps the best pure center never to win an NBA title, Gilmore spent five years in the ABA and won the championship in 1975. Gilmore’s best years were in Chicago and San Antonio, where he hit over 60% from the field for six consecutive years.

8. Patrick Ewing: 1,183 career games played, no NBA titles; NBA 15th all-time scoring leader with 24,815 career points; NBA 23rd all-time rebound leader with 11,607; NBA 6th all-time in blocked shots with 2,894; Ewing is arguably the best center never to win a pro basketball championship—his Knicks team reached the finals twice, falling to Houston and San Antonio. Ewing was selected by New York in the first-ever NBA draft lottery in 1985. He was an eleven-time NBA All-Star and a member of the original Olympic “Dream” team. Known originally as a defensive player, he displayed a strong offensive game as well.

9. David Robinson: 987 career games played, 2 NBA titles; NBA 29th all-time scoring leader with 20,790 career points; NBA 29th all-time rebound leader with 9,497; NBA 5th all-time in blocked shots with 2,954; Robinson joined the Spurs for the 1989-1990 season and led them to the greatest single season turnaround in NBA history at the time. Robinson teamed with Tim Duncan to form the second-generation “TwinTowers” and was a member of the original Olympic “Dream” team. A ten-time NBA All-Star, his career statistics would be even more impressive if he hadn’t fulfilled a two-year commitment with the United States Navy.

10. Bill Walton: 468 career games played, 2 NBA titles; scored 6,215 career points, not enough to place on all-time lists; NBA 210th in all-time rebounds with 4,923. Foot and ankle injuries limited Walton’s career, so his accomplishments are more difficult to quantify statistically. Walton led an unremarkable Portland team to the NBA championship in 1977, defeating a far more talented Philadelphia team in the finals. Walton also played for the 1986 Celtics team that won an NBA title. An outstanding passer, shot blocker and defensive player, Walton was considered to have a remarkable understanding of the geometry of the game.

My next ten centers all-time are: Willis Reed, Nate Thurmond, Robert Parrish, Dave Cowens, Wes Unseld, Walt Bellamy, Bob Lanier, George Mikan, Dikembe Mutombo, and Sam Lacey.

My top center/forwards all-time are: Tim Duncan, Elvin Hayes, Kevin McHale, Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett, Bob McAdoo, Jack Sikma, Alonzo Mourning, Ralph Sampson and Dan Issel.

My ten biggest disappointments at center (not the worst) are: Joe Barry Carroll, Benoit Benjamin, Tito Horford, Kwame Brown, Sam Bowie, Marvin Webster, Shawn Bradley, Darryl Dawkins, LaRue Martin, and Kent Benson.

A statistic nothing short of amazing is the fact that five centers from my “disappointment” list played for the New Jersey Nets. Can you name them?

 

 

 

Cast your vote for the best!

Who was the greatest center in the history of the NBA?

  • Wilt Chamberlain
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • Bill Russell
  • Shaquille O'Neal
  • Hakeem Olajuwon
  • Moses Malone
  • Artis Gilmore
  • David Robinson
  • Patrick Ewing
  • Bill Walton
  • Other
See results without voting

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Comments 37 comments

tony0724 profile image

tony0724 6 years ago from san diego calif

Looks like you have them pretty much covered . A good solid list here . I have a feeling we will be adding Dwight Howard to this list at some point . And I am kinda surprised Nate Thurmond is not in here somewhere .


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Tony, thanks for your comments. Nate Thurmond and Willis Reed were actually my next two choices, and I was debating whether or not to include them ahead of Bill Walton and David Robinson or Patrick Ewing. I also wonder who Knicks fans prefer--Reed, who anchored the team when they won two titles; or Ewing, who really did give everything he had to the Knicks, but just couldn't get them over the top.

And, yeah, in a few more years I suspect Dwight Howard will start making his way into all-time lists.

Thanks again.


ThomasWMutherJr profile image

ThomasWMutherJr 6 years ago from Topeka, KS

Sam Lacey?

SAM Lacey??

Sam not-with-standing, a good list. Regrettably, I'd have to jettison Walton, even though he's one of my favorite players and when (ever so briefly) healthy, was truly a great one. But he only had one and one-half exceptional years, alas. The year Portland won it all, he was in a class with greatest who ever played, and the next year, he was even better--until injury forced him out. He was never the same. He was a great addition to Boston for 2 years much later, but he was, after all, a back-up, and Parrish and McHale were clearly superior players--at that time. IF Walton could have remained healthy, I think he would be up there in 2 or 3 position. His defense, rebounding, and passing were all superior to Jabbar's--superior to just about anybody's (Chamberlain and Russell are the only ones I would rate higher in those 3 categories).

And speaking of Artis Gilmore, you could do an article on the most frustrating NBA series. Mine would be the San Antonio/Lakers match-up where Artis played his heart out, dominated Jabbar completely, but lost thanks to the utter collapse of their supposed star (I refuse to mention his name). That was Gilmore's finest hour.

Cheerio!


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Tom! You gotta show Slammin' Sam some love! Do you realize he almost had 10,000 points and rebounds in his career? (He was about 300 rebounds shy, I think...) Do you realize the Kings tried to replace him at center for virtually his entire career and couldn't get it done? Do you recall that his passing skills were said to rival Alvin Adams'?

I am chuckling to myself as I write these words, but I did like Lacey, and frankly, I couldn't think of anyone better unless I started going with the guys I refer to as the center/forwards. (At the same time, I did the list off the top of my head and could have forgotten someone...)

OK, who would you list as the 20th best center in the NBA? It isn't that easy to come up with a guy.

Now, a Sam Lacey story. I was at a Kings game, and on the back of the ticket it said if the Kings score 110 points (a near-impossibility in the modern game unless Phoenix is playing), you could redeem it for a free Big Mac at McDonald's. The Kings had 108, and Bill Robinzine got a rebound and whipped a pass down to Lacey, standing alone at the other end of the court. (I can't remember exactly why Lacey was alone at the other end of the court, but anyway...) Lacey takes the pass, dribbles toward the basket as the clock is running out, and... dribbles away, leaving the score at 108 and no Big Macs for the fans. He was actually booed and probably never knew why.

I thought about replacing Walton on my list with Nate Thurmond or perhaps Willis Reed, but like you, I really enjoyed watching Walton when he was healthy and sentiment won out.

I remember the LA-San Antonio series--for all we know, the Laker's dynasty in the '80s might have taken a completely different turn if the Spurs won that series. The Spurs might have even started something of a dynasty if they had played in the Finals, but like the Jayhawks of 1984, it was not to be.

Thanks for your comments, Tom.


The Donkey profile image

The Donkey 6 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

I think it's funny how your top 4 centers are from Boston and Los Angeles. Truly shows how great the rivalry it is and how great of talent they both get. Pretty good top 10.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Donkey, thanks for reading. I hadn't noticed until you mentioned it that the top for centers all played for the Lakers or Celtics, but yup, they sure did. Seems like the Lakers have always shopped around for the best centers.

Thanks for your comments on my list, they are appreciated.


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago

Nice hub. I love Shaq and Patrick Ewing. In fact I think this position is kind of iffy. For example, some great players like Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki are listed as power forwards, but most of the time I see them do the center's job.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Om Paramapoonya, thanks for commenting. For the sake of my list, I included only players that played the center position exclusively. Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Dirk Nowitzki in the present and folks like Kevin McHale from the old days certainly could have qualified, but I thought I would save center/forwards for another list.

Thanks for commenting, I appreciate your opinion.


Dj Woods 6 years ago

I thought David Robinson should have been ranked at least 7 because he helped the spurs to two NBA titles and also a 10 time all star


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

DJ Woods, thanks for reading.

I debated placing Robinson ahead of Patrick Ewing in the 8th position, but went with Ewing because of his career statistics. A valid consideration for elevating Robinson might be based upon the fact that Robinson waited two years to enter the NBA, skewing all-time stats in favor of Ewing. The same argument can be made for Gilmore, who labored five years in the ABA before coming to Chicago.

I believe the top six are better than any other center (although some might argue the order I've placed them in, as well). Ewing, Robinson and Gilmore comprise a second tier that also includes Walton and Willis Reed and Nate Thurmond. The second tier was more difficult to evaluate than the first tier.

I will give consideration to your sugestion that Robinson deserves a higher ranking. Thanks for your comments.

Mike


Matt 6 years ago

Great top 10 but I would have to agree that The Admiral deserves a nice bump. Certainly ahead of Ewing, Robinson did score 71 in a single game (good for 3rd highest and even higher than Jordan's career high) and won awards for Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and MVP. Also, he has 2 championships on his resume. I think I'd have to throw him in there just ahead of Artis simply because he really does boast a much better resume.

Great post, as always


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Matt, thanks for reading. While I never changed the order of the list, perhaps I still should. You and some others might have convinced me that David Robinson deserves to be rated higher than I have him. I will confess personal bias perhaps entered into my rankings a bit. I always thought Robinson slightly underachieved, despite his obvious accomplishments, and wondered how much Tim Duncan might have been responsible for Robinson's success. Robinson couldn't win a title before Duncan's arrival, but Duncan continued winning after he retired. I also suspected that Ewing's physical skills perhaps eroded more quickly than the public realized, and he was willing his body to achieve what he did through much of his career. Watching Ewing as a collegian and watching him as a pro after his first five seasons, and he appears a different person.

That being said, I may indeed consider moving Robinson up, at least ahead of Ewing. I am a huge fan of Artis Gilmore, and I would have to give that a little more thought. If I move them up, I will credit you and DJ Woods for convincing me through this discussion.

Thanks again for a most well-considered response.

Mike


Richard Stephen 6 years ago

I like you list and it is hard to argue with your choices but it seems a little skewed toward more modern players. I would like to have seen George Mikan on this list not only because of his dominance at the position but for how he changed the game ushering in the age of the big man in basketball. The NBA only existed for his last 7 years before retiring and many of his stats were skewed as a result and many, like shot blocking, weren't even kept. He was the prototypical big man and the cause of several rule changes because of his dominance. Just saying ...


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Richard, thanks for reading. I did skew the list a bit toward players in Bill Russell's era and later because I thought Russell's play changed the game in a way that would have made it difficult for a player in Mikan's time to dominate. I thought about it long and hard, and while George Mikan certainly dominated during his time in the NBA, I wasn't certain Mikan would have been one of the best, had he played in another era. I think he could have succeeded in any era, but I couldn't convince myself he would be great. It is easier to project backward through eras than forward, of course--especially since I wasn't born yet in Mikan's heyday.

I will say that any player good enough to lead to rules changes deserves consideration, and I did give Mikan some thought. I just wasn't able to convince myself that Mikan could be considered with the other players I mentioned. While I consider my top ten pretty solid, I might rethink my second ten and perhaps include him.

Thanks for your comments and insights, I am appreciative. Take care.

Mike


joeyang095 profile image

joeyang095 6 years ago

in my opinion kareem was the best

artis gilmore shouldn't be on this list

where's the original big man mikan?

dwight howard will eventually go on this list

good job


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Joeyang, thanks for reading. An argument could be made for Kareem as the best center of all time, and perhaps the best player of all time, but I still believe Chamberlain was better. I will defend the exclusion of George Mikan by referring to my comment directly above your own. I also believe Gilmore belonged--his game was certainly on a level with folks like Patrick Ewing and David Robinson.

Our differences notwithstanding, I appreciate your stopping by and commenting. Thanks again.

Mike


Godwin Nwando profile image

Godwin Nwando 6 years ago from San Diego

Another great article, although I think that Kareem was a better center in the game.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Godwin, thanks for reading. Kareem was indeed a great center, and one could make a case that his third season as a pro was as good as Wilt's. Wilt scored 40% of his teams points on 50.6% shooting; Kareem scored 30% on 57.4% shooting. Kareem grabbed just 2.8% less of his team's available rebounds and won 14 more games that season. Pretty good numbers.

That being said, I still believe that if both players were the same age when they entered the NBA, Wilt would have been considered the superior player. Wilt played Kareem tough in head-to-head matchups while ten years older. I also believe that Wilt would lead the NBA in rebounding no matter what era he played in. He might not average 25 rebounds a game, but he would lead the league. There is no way to know that for certain, of course, but a young Wilt would rebound with any modern player. He is the only NBA player to grab 10 or more rebounds in every game of his NBA career--a remarkable feat.

Thanks for stopping by, Godwin. I have appreciated your interest very much. Take care, my friend.

Mike


Jax 5 years ago

Shaq and Russell better than Hakeem. NO

Shaq and Russll were blessed to be on great teams full of hall of famers.

Dream>Shaq>Russell


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 5 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Jax, I appreciate your comments but respectfully disagree. Shaq was never on a team full of hall-of-fame players. He played with a young Kobe Bryant still coming into his own, and won with a supporting cast of guys like Rick Fox, Derrek Fisher and Ron Harper. He did win a title with Dwayne Wade in Miami, but even that team was hardly great after Wade and O'Neal.

Yes, Bill Russell played with many great players and they certainly helped him achieve his many accomplishments, but Russell's rebounding, defense and shot blocking were matched only by Wilt Chamberlain.

They are all great players, however, and any ranking of this type can always be open to debate and disagreement.

Thanks again for stopping by.

Mike


jumpguru profile image

jumpguru 5 years ago from Boston, Mass

Nice work man, made an interesting read , voted up :)


Studnia 5 years ago

Great job, very comprehensive knowledge! My list though would like this:

wilt

kareem

hakim

shaq

bill r.

ewing

robinson

malone

walton

d.howard

great job,

regards


starlite77 4 years ago

I can tell you never saw Bill Russell in his prime.

He dominated each game so much, is team won 11 NBA titles!!

He is on top of all of them for me.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 4 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

jumpguru, thanks for stopping by. I appreciate the kind words.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 4 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Studnia, thanks for your comments. Except for the order we placed them in, we have the same players on the list except one, which I take as a compliment. In truth, Dwight Howard might soon be on my list--the guy is truly amazing. Take care.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 4 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Starlite, you are correct--I didn't see Bill Russell in his prime, although I saw him play and watched games on ESPN Classic from his earlier days. I do acknowledge his greatness--not only for his tremendous athletic ability, but I believe his understanding of the game of basketball has been rivaled by only a few players (Larry Bird and Bill Walton, to name two).

I still believe Wilt Chamberlain was the best player of all time (not just the best center), and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was close behind. I am respectful of your opinion, and share your appreciation of Russell's game.

Mike


onthegrind profile image

onthegrind 4 years ago from Florida, United States

Good list. I could also see maybe moving Bill Russell up a spot (maybe even to number one). Gets hard to decide up there though. But maybe that's just the Boston homerism coming out of me! Regardless, I enjoyed the read. Thanks.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 4 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Thanks for reading, Onthegrind. I understand homerism--while I have defended Wilt Chamberlain as the best center and perhaps the greatest player of all time, some have accused me of favoritism because Wilt played college basketball at KU in my hometown of Lawrence. I think with the top three centers, you probably can't go wrong in any order you place them.

Thanks again.

Mike


yalin 4 years ago

Good list. I could not watch Wilt, Russell and Artis at all, and could watch only later days of Kareem. That's why I cannot say anything, but Wilt's scoring and rebounding stats are sick! Shaq was the most dominant, Hakeem the Dream was the most aesthetic, the Admiral was the most athletic, but I personally think that Ewing was the best during his prime. Most people think that Hakeem is better by far and it is not even close. But even while looking at the stats, it is simple that between 1989-92 Ewing was the best of these. He was shooting, defending, fighting and he was unstoppable at 89-90. He deserved to be named MVP that year in my opinion. He was not that appreciated, because his style was a bit vulgar, compared to Hakeem. Hakeem is overall better than Ewing, because Ewing faded out physically because of knee and back injuries and on the contrary, Hakeem renewed his prime at age of 30's. 1994 Finals was really great. Ewing was not that good offensively, but he fought with Hakeem that well and made more rebounds and blocked more shots. In my opinion, overall Hakeem is the best of the three, but Ewing was the best at his prime, though it was not that long.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 4 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Yalin, thanks for your comments. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Patrick Ewing, and I wished he could have broken through and won a title when he dueled with Hakeem Olajuwon in the 1994 Finals--especially since Olajuwon won a title again the next year.

You are absolutely correct when you point out that Ewing's game was perhaps not as refined aesthetically as Robinson's or Olajuwon's, but Ewing could score, rebound and defend. I also think no one knew to what extent injuries robbed from his game throughout his career. When he played at Georgetown, his combination of strength, speed and agility rivaled anyone's, including Olajuwon. He changed as a pro--he was slower and couldn't jump as high. Granted, eventually that happens to everyone, and Ewing was so good he was still an amazing player, but I found it curious that his game changed so much. We never knew to what degree injuries hurt his game, but clearly it did. I wish he could have won a title because no one tried harder than he did.

Thanks for your comments, I appreciate them a great deal.

Mike


yalin 4 years ago

If John Starks could do a modest 3/11 3-pointer, instead of a horribly 0/11, maybe now we could feel sorry for Hakeem 'the Dream'. Actually Ewing was considered as the best center of the league in these years, maybe only in Texas people were thinking it was Hakeem, I don't know. During the series, he was double-teamed frequently by Thorpe and Hakeem. It was 6th match, as far as I remember, the duel was really interesting. Both giants scored around 25, both even scored 3-pointers.. In that game Patrick blocked 8 shots and tied the record of any NBA finals. The 7th match was close in most of terms. But that was not Starks' day..


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 4 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Yalin, you are correct about Starks and what could have been during that series. Starks didn't even need to shoot well--just a little better. Particularly since Olajuwon won the next year as well, I always wished the Knicks could have taken this series. Ewing gave his all and (in my opinion) carried that team into the Finals.

Mike


djwc6 4 years ago

mike,another great article on a subject in which great debates are had in sports pages,blogs,youtube and other places.I often wondered how people went about ranking the players on their lists,did they use a specific set of criteria that was applied equally to all players or did they use a more arbitrary system of intangibles,awards and legacy perhaps mixed in with stats which were applied randomly against different players.Then I thought about my lists,which consisted mostly of my favorite players,how would I rank them and would I be satisfied with the end result if I used a set of criteria and applied it equally? Well to keep a long story not quite as long what I decided to use for my criteria was the players pra (points+rebounds+assists).I take the players regular season career total pra and divide it by the record total pra (kareems 61487) then i take the players career average pra and divide it by the record career avg pra (wilts 57.4) then I do the same for the players playoff total pra and career playoff average pra and finally add all four values to get the total value and rank them from highest to lowest.So am I satisfied with my results,very! Are they perfect? of course not,with any system there will be some weaknesses.do they work,you tell me.According to my system wilt chamberlain comes in as the #1 center with a rating of 3.9583 #2 kareem @ 3.3889 (which also places him slightly ahead of jordan in my total player list) Bill Russell #3,Shaq#4,Hakeem#5,Moses#6,Ewing#7,Gilmore#8,Robinson #9 and Robert Parish #10.I've rated only about 30 centers so far and it looks like sam lacey comes in on my list at #27,but were's waldo,I mean walton,unfortunately due to his numerous and serious injuries he can only be listed at best at #30.now I'm not saying that Walton at his best wasn't better than alot of the players higher on my list,but my list is what they accomplished and walton just wasn't at his best for a long enough period.For the record #11-25 cowens,bellamy,mikan,zelmo beaty,lanier,unseld,thurmond,howard,sikma,reed,laimbeer,kerr,paultz,and mourning.


medfly 2 years ago

\Nobody ever mentions Bob Mcadoo!

Bob Mcadoo League leading scorer 3 times over 30/per game,oh and he

avg 14 rebs and 2.5 blks those yrs! Over his first 8yrs he avg 27 pts 12.5

rebs and 2+ blks. 15yrs in the nba over 20 pts 10 rebs 1.5 blks. Rookie of

the yr, NBA MVP, 2 championships.

Equal career #s w/ 4-6 , but better in prime comparison. Way better #s than the last 4 on the list


medfly 2 years ago

Kareem,Wilt, Hakeem,Shaq,Russell,McAdoo, Malone Gilmore,Thumond,Robinson


Chris 22 months ago

I can only imagine how history would remember Hakeem if he had gotten to play with oscar robertson and magic johnson like kareem did


iBleedGreen 7 months ago

Nice list, but can't help but disagree with your ranking of The Admiral. Yes, he didn't win till Duncan arrived, but has any other great player won without a good supporting cast? Robinson had to play for seven different coaches compared to Duncan's one. The Spurs were shuffling players in and out during most of his career. Duncan had the luxury of playing for one coach on a proven team while being mentored by one of the classiest players in sports history in David Robinson, so there was very little pressure on him to come in and be a savior. I mention this because people forget how inconsistent and dysfunctional the Spurs were before Duncan arrived.

Having said that. Prime David Robinson more than held his own against the great centers of the 90's. He should at least be in the sixth spot. The guy has a ROY award, MVP, DPY, Two Gold Medals, One of four players with a Quadruple Double, Has led the league in Scoring, Rebounding, and Blocked shots, Two championship rings... what more do you need?

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