Best All Time NBA Centers

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8893

Curiouser
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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!
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?
Kareem. Top 3 player of all time, regardless of position. Absurdly underappreciated.
Kareem didn't work hard enough on defense and really tried hard only during the playoffs.

 
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1 Kareem

2. Hakeem

3. Russell

4 Shaq

5. Wilt

6. Parish

7 Ewing
 
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the Q

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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.
Fwiw the NBA did Change the rules to stop Shaq in the early 2000s
 
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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
If you combine longevity, and playing at a high level for a long time, you're close but Tim Duncan is ahead of Olajuwon.

It's very hard to compare basketball players through different eras because the changes in the game are so rapid. My pick is Kareem, but if you want to argue Wilt, Russell or Shaq, I have no problems.
 

Mr. French

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I would take Kareem over Wilt based on his overall skill set and individual/team accomplishments..
I agree.

Wilt was so insanely talented, and I can't speak to it without watching his games when they happened, but SOMETHING is off about a guy that can't win at a higher level. He obviously had plenty of things on his mind, like 10,000 "things."
 
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In order-

Kareem
Wilt
Russell
Hakeem
Shaq
Moses
Robinson
Ewing
Willis Reed
Bill Walton

Honorable mention-
Alonzo Mourning
Bob Lanier

Duncan, Elvin Hayes, and Bob McAdoo not included because I think of them more as power forwards

What could have been- Bill Walton one of the few best ever without the injuries, Sabonis one of the best ever without the injuries and had he come over here a decade earlier, Yao possibly sneak into top 10 without injuries.
 

amidagoat

Amida was the goat
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In order-

Kareem
Wilt
Russell
Hakeem
Shaq
Moses
Robinson
Ewing
Willis Reed
Bill Walton

Honorable mention-
Alonzo Mourning
Bob Lanier

Duncan, Elvin Hayes, and Bob McAdoo not included because I think of them more as power forwards

What could have been- Bill Walton one of the few best ever without the injuries, Sabonis one of the best ever without the injuries and had he come over here a decade earlier, Yao possibly sneak into top 10 without injuries.
Dwight Howard?
 

Chin Diesel

Power of Love
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If you combine longevity, and playing at a high level for a long time, you're close but Tim Duncan is ahead of Olajuwon.

It's very hard to compare basketball players through different eras because the changes in the game are so rapid. My pick is Kareem, but if you want to argue Wilt, Russell or Shaq, I have no problems.
I always had Duncan as a PF and he is #1 all-time on PF list.
 
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Kareem was one of those players opponents would marvel during the layup lines. Leading NBA scorer as a Center, think about that. Whether he's the best or not if I had to pick one Center in their prime, it's Jabbar.
 

gtcam

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Wilt, Russell and Jabbar after that there is everyone else
Those 3 did everything and everything at a zenith no one else comes close
Wilt and Russell would completely dominate today
 
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A bit off topic but when I was a kid I went to a Russell vs Wilt game in the old Boston Garden. I am talking maybe 1962 and Wilt I believe was on the Philadelphia Warriors. Celtics were way behind but came back to win. Things I remember the best was we sat near the top row and could barely see the court because of all the cigarette smoke, that's right they allowed smoking in the arena and that Russell played really hard and Wilt barely broke a sweat.
 
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Wilt, Russell and Jabbar after that there is everyone else
Those 3 did everything and everything at a zenith no one else comes close
Wilt and Russell would completely dominate today
I agree about Russell and Wilt dominating today
 
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Would Alcindor/Jabbar still developed his sky hook if the dunk had not been banned? In my opinion players had better skills from 2-10 feet from the basket in the era where the dunk was banned.
 
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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.
Bill Walton, when healthy was great. He could score, Great rebounder and defender and the best passing big man I saw at the time. His career was greatly shortened by injuries. Considering the injuries, I would not place him among the top centers in NBA history.
 
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Russell.
Jabbar
Wilt
Shaq
Hakeem
Whole bunch of Old timers like Reed, Unseld, Cowens, Walt Bellamy who are somewhere on the all time list.
Ewing, Parrish were more than servicable.
I am only talking pros here because college is a whole nother story.
Bob Lanier...BIG fast.
 
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A bit off topic but when I was a kid I went to a Russell vs Wilt game in the old Boston Garden. I am talking maybe 1962 and Wilt I believe was on the Philadelphia Warriors. Celtics were way behind but came back to win. Things I remember the best was we sat near the top row and could barely see the court because of all the cigarette smoke, that's right they allowed smoking in the arena and that Russell played really hard and Wilt barely broke a sweat.
Not sure of the year, but a similar experience... and had to lie across the seats to see the whole floor. Can't believe they got money for those seats. It was as bad as the poles in Fenway.
 

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