Shaquille O’Neal: Where He Ranks with 10 Best Centers in NBA History
Reports say that Shaquille O'Neal will be signing with the Boston Celtics to fill the spot of injured center Kendrick Perkins.
Shaq is regarded as one of the best centers in NBA history, but where does he rank in the top 10 to ever play the game?
10. Bill Walton
Walton’s career stretched over 13 years, as he played for the Portland Trail Blazers, San Diego/Los Angeles Clippers, and Boston Celtics.
Regarded as one of the best passing centers to have ever played the game, Walton was a fantastic team player who was able to draw the double team and find his open man.
Titles: Two (1977, 1986)
9. David Robinson
Robinson spent 14 years with the San Antonio Spurs and made huge contributions to his team.
He was a center with a unique quickness who brought an excellent rebounding ability to his position. In 1992 he was honored as Defensive Player of the Year.
Titles: Two (1999, 2003)
8. Artis Gilmore
A former ABA superstar, Gilmore was picked up by the Chicago Bulls in 1976 as his former team, the Kentucky Colonels, had folded. In 1983 he was traded to the San Antonio Spurs, and he then rejoined the Bulls in 1988 and finished his career as a Boston Celtic.
Gilmore remains the NBA leader in career field goal percentage at 59.9 percent, but he has yet to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Titles: One (ABA)
7. Patrick Ewing
Ewing played his 17 years in the NBA with the New York Knicks, Seattle SuperSonics, and Orlando Magic.
One of the most consistent centers in history, Ewing was known as the best outside shooting center of his time. With all of this talent, you’d think he would have at least one ring.
6. Moses Malone
Malone had plenty of experience with plenty of teams in his 21 years in the NBA. He played for the Utah Stars, Spirits of St. Louis, Buffalo Braves, Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, Washington Bullets, Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks, and San Antonio Spurs.
Malone was unstoppable with his scoring and is regarded as the best offensive rebounder to ever play the game. In fact, he led the league in rebounding six times in seven years (1979-1985).
Titles: One (1983)
5. Shaquille O'Neal
And now we come to Shaq. Although in recent years we haven’t seen Shaq’s star power on the court, he definitely deserves a spot amongst these great centers.
Along with Shaq’s larger-than-life presence (both with his physical being and personality), his basketball IQ and abilities have led him to many titles and have secured his place in basketball history.
Titles: Four (2000, 2001, 2002, 2006)
4. Hakeem Olajuwon
Hakeem spent 18 years in the NBA with the Houston Rockets and the Toronto Raptors.
He was a sort of basketball freak of nature with his height, speed, and agility. Hakeem was also able to lead his Rockets to back-to-back NBA titles.
Titles: Two (1994, 1995)
3. Wilt Chamberlain
Chamberlain played for the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, and Los Angeles Lakers. One of the greats, Chamberlain was not only one of the best centers in history, but he was also one of the best players to ever play in the NBA.
Wilt was unstoppable. He was able to win titles without a strong supporting cast, even averaging 48.5 minutes per game in 1961-62.
Titles: Two (1967, 1972)
2. Bill Russell
Russell spent his entire 13 years with the Boston Celtics, and he was able to bring them 11 titles!
Perhaps the greatest champion in basketball, his 11 rings pretty much speak for themselves.
Titles: 11 (1957, 1959-1966, 1968-1969)
1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem was the greatest. Period. He wasn’t just the greatest center to ever play the game. He was the best player to ever play the game.
He was an All-Star…19 times!
He was a finals MVP…at age 38!
And then there was his “sky-hook.”
Without question, Kareem belongs at No. 1 and will remain there for decades to come.
Titles: Six (1971, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988)