Since the birth of the NBA the center position has anchored some of the greatest teams in league history. It is widely believed that an outstanding center is the foundation for building a championship team. In fact, the game’s first dominant giant was a man named George Mikan. He so thoroughly dominated the game he forced the NBA to widen the lane and institute the goaltending call. Mikan played ten seasons winning titles in five of them.
In the 60’s it was all about Russell and Wilt. These two men dominated the game and their era like no others in history. Over a twelve year period, Russell and Chamberlain combined to win nine MVP awards. Russell would also win 11 titles with the Celtics (8 in a row) and Chamberlain would set an NBA record that still stands by scoring 100 points in a single game.
The 70’s and 80’s saw such stars as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar a 6 time NBA Champ & MVP. Others greats were Bill Walton, Willis Reed, Wes Unseld, three time MVP Moses Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon and Robert Parish all helped lead teams to titles. The late 80’s & 90’s saw a pipeline of talented big men emerge. Franchise changing centers like, Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo, David Robinson & Shaquille O’Neal made the 90’s arguably the most competitive era of centers ever. The position has seen a bit of a drop off of talent in the 21st century but nonetheless remains a cornerstone to developing a winning team.
So here is my list of the top 10 NBA Centers of All-Time.