Best All Time NBA Centers

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Chin Diesel

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Jabbar
Chamberlain
Russell
Olajuwon
Shaq

Jabbar and Wilt were the two most unstoppable players in the history of the league. Offense, defense, athleticism and changing rules of the game because of their ability. Jabbar may be most underappreciated player based on his collegiate and NBA accomplishments.
Russell was a great anchor surrounded by talent but couldn't compete offensively. Just not that good on half the floor.
Like Olajuwon slightly better than Shaq. When Jordan went bye bye for two years Olajuwon took out Robinson, Ewing and Shaq while all were in their primes.
 
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Jabbar
Chamberlain
Russell
Olajuwon
Shaq

Jabbar and Wilt were the two most unstoppable players in the history of the league. Offense, defense, athleticism and changing rules of the game because of their ability. Jabbar may be most underappreciated player based on his collegiate and NBA accomplishments.
Russell was a great anchor surrounded by talent but couldn't compete offensively. Just not that good on half the floor.
Like Olajuwon slightly better than Shaq. When Jordan went bye bye for two years Olajuwon took out Robinson, Ewing and Shaq while all were in their primes.
For the stints that he was healthy, and excluding his later years as a role player for the Celtics, Bill Walton was great offensively and defensively and dominated a game. Yao Ming was also dominant. If you judge by pure results of team wins, then you have a strong case for Bill Russell as the best ever.
 

Mr. French

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I never saw any of the old time greats, but it's tough to not say Jabbar, Russell and Wilt ...

The two best Centers I've ever watched are Shaq and Hakeem. Shaq had that "if he wants to he can score any time" thing that you see and feel but sometimes can't put into words. Hakeem was so skilled and such a great overall player, no center back then moved like that, and most still don't. If they do, they don't combine it with his skill set.
 
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Have you seen Bill Russell play?
This is a silly rebuke. Many on this board have not seen Russell, Wilt, Kareem, etc. play in person. Does the fact we haven't seen them play detract from their greatness?

Any given player's greatness can only be defined by comparing them to their peers and era. That's why comparing players across generations is also silly and irrelevant.

The man won 11 rings and was by far the best player on his team.
 
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Kareem is the Hank Aaron of the NBA. Still the all-time points leader and far, far ahead of all of the players who are discussed as the "greatest of all time".

6 titles (same as Jordan)
6 MVPs (most of all time, Jordan/Russell with 5)
19x All Star
3rd most rebounds all time (Wilt and Russell 1-2)

Never, ever, ever discussed as the greatest of all time. Not really even at his own position!
 
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Wilt was the most impressive.

Hakeem was just incredible for a few years. he’s probably under rated in the big picture.
 

Mr. French

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Kareem is the Hank Aaron of the NBA. Still the all-time points leader and far, far ahead of all of the players who are discussed as the "greatest of all time".

6 titles (same as Jordan)
6 MVPs (most of all time, Jordan/Russell with 5)
19x All Star
3rd most rebounds all time (Wilt and Russell 1-2)

Never, ever, ever discussed as the greatest of all time. Not really even at his own position!
Totally agree, but also there IS a reason for that ... he wasn't necessarily the most dominant but he had the greatest overall career. That's how Hank was too. Incredibly consistent, always great, and played for a darn long time.
 
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shaq, russell, wilt, hakeem, kareem all top five, no matter how you spin it. Bill walton could've been really great if not for the injuries, but lets not forget he won 6th man of the year award on a championship team as a center...i don't think a center has ever won that before. Was a major reason for the Celtics title in 86. Great stuff
 
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Patrick Ewing might have been on this list if he never became addicted to the fade-away.
 

Chin Diesel

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Totally agree, but also there IS a reason for that ... he wasn't necessarily the most dominant but he had the greatest overall career. That's how Hank was too. Incredibly consistent, always great, and played for a darn long time.
Jabbar was incredibly dominant. Offensively and defensively. Yeah his last 5-6 years were only very good but from college to his first 12 years in NBA are all-time great.
 
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Totally agree, but also there IS a reason for that ... he wasn't necessarily the most dominant but he had the greatest overall career. That's how Hank was too. Incredibly consistent, always great, and played for a darn long time.
He wasn't dominant? He was 88-2 in college. The year before he was drafted, the Bucks were 27-55. His first year, they went 56-26 (2nd best in the conf) and in year 2 they had 66 wins including 20 straight. Should i go on?
 
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This is a silly rebuke. Many on this board have not seen Russell, Wilt, Kareem, etc. play in person. Does the fact we haven't seen them play detract from their greatness?

Any given player's greatness can only be defined by comparing them to their peers and era. That's why comparing players across generations is also silly and irrelevant.

The man won 11 rings and was by far the best player on his team.
Each of these guys had their own unique qualities and skills.. Yes I saw Russell play(vs Wilt).. He was a defensive savant who consistently won big games on the biggest stages.. He did not have the offensive skills of Jabbar/Wilt/Walton.. He just won championships..IMO.. An important criteria for the "best".. Era and style of play and the team they played on.. All influenced their careers.
 

Mr. French

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Re: Kareem - Never said he wasn't dominant, I said he wasn't the most dominant. He wasn't the most flashy.

I even started my post with "TOTALLY AGREE."

I agree with the premise of the original Kareem statement, and I believe he's in the top 5 all-time, probably 3rd. PLAYERS, not just centers. I didn't watch him in his prime, but I can still say that fairly safely. Was he as dominant as Wilt? Probably not, but was he better? Yes. That's all I'm saying.

He was compared to Hank Aaron here, which is a great comparison - super long careers, consistently great but maybe not the flashiest nor the MOST dominant.
 
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Never said he wasn't dominant, I said he wasn't the most dominant. He wasn't the most flashy.

I even started my post with "TOTALLY AGREE."

I agree with the premise of the original Kareem statement, and I believe he's in the top 5 all-time, probably 3rd. PLAYERS, not just centers. I didn't watch him in his prime, but I can still say that fairly safely. Was he as dominant as Wilt? Probably not, but was he better? Yes. That's all I'm saying.

He was compared to Hank Aaron here, which is a great comparison - super long careers, consistently great but maybe not the flashiest nor the MOST dominant.
I would take Kareem over Wilt based on his overall skill set and individual/team accomplishments..
 

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