The Best Centers All Time NBA: Top Rank Peak Performance And Career Value

The Best Centers All Time NBA: Top Rank Peak Performance And Career Value

The NBA is home to some of the best athletes in the world. These athletes come in all shapes and sizes, but one position has always been considered the most important: the center. The center is the backbone of any good basketball team.

They are responsible for rebounding, defending the paint, and scoring. Throughout the history of the NBA, there have been many great centers. Here are the best centers all time NBA.

Best NBA Centers Of All Time

1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Best NBA Centers Of All Time - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar


Los Angeles Lakers (1969–1975), Milwaukee Bucks (1975-89)


Six-time MVP (1970–71, 1971–72, 1973–74, 1975–76, 1976–77, 1979–80), twice Finals MVP, 19–time All-Star, 15–time NBA All–NBA selection, ten-time All–D selection, Rookie of the Year (1969–70), and Hall of Fame inductee.


6 (1971, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988)

Career stats

2.6% FG, 24.6 PPG, 11.2 RPG, 2.6 BPG, and 11.2 RPG

The player

The most MVPs of anyone. The most career points of anyone. More significant than anyone’s career Win Shares. Said, Abdul-career Jabbar’s may be the most comprehensive ever. Micah Adams of ESPN Stats & Information

The most unstoppable shot in NBA history was his sky hook. He could also pass, play defense, and make free throws.’s Rob Peterson

No NBA player has blended peak performance with longevity ever better than Abdul-Jabbar. Amazingly, Abdul-Jabbar won Finals MVP awards 14 years apart. — ESPN Insider Kevin Pelton

While the general public frequently ignores him in debates regarding the NBA best player, league insiders and legends never fail to bring him up — Chris Broussard, ESPN The Magazine.

2. Wilt Chamberlain

Wilt Chamberlain


Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers (1965–68), Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors (1959–65). (1968-74)


Rookie of the Year (1959–60), Finals MVP (1972), 13-time All-Star, 10-time All-NBA selection, two-time All-D selection, four-time MVP (1959–60, 1965–66, 1966–67, 1967–68), and Hall of Famer


2 (1967, 1972)

Career stats

30.1, 22.9, 4.4, and.540 field goal percentages

The player

In every sense, Chamberlain was larger than life. ESPN Insider Bradford Doolittle

A real-life Superman who shocked the world with his previously unheard-of combination of strength, talent, and athleticism. The most dominant person in terms of statistics in American sports history. No one will ever come close to matching the records he set. the Broussard

Throughout two seasons, Wilt averaged 47.6 points, and for 12 straight seasons, he averaged 20 or more rebounds per game. The basketball’s greatest attacking force ever. Paul Peterson

The NBA modified the painted area’s dimensions to balance his dominance on the block. — Adams

Bill Russell

3. Bill Russell


Celtics of Boston (1956-69)


Hall of Famer, 12-time All-Star, 11-time All-NBA selection, five-time MVP (1957–1958, 1960–61, 1961–62, 1962–63, 1964–65), 12-time All-Star selection, and All-D selection (1968–1969)


11 (1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969)

Career stats

15.1 PPG, 22.5 RPG, 4.3 APG, with an FG percentage.440

The player

A defensive mastermind who personified the concepts of team, leader, and champion. The greatest victor in American sports history. the Broussard

No player had a more significant impact on the game or produced more winning plays than Russell, who was never an outstanding scorer. — Adams

When it counted, he rose to the occasion. According to my measurements, Russell was the only all-time great who provided a bigger proportion of his overall worth during the postseason.

At the core of sports, winning is impossible to challenge Russell’s career. The Doolittle

Shaquille O'Neal

4. Shaquille O’Neal


Los Angeles Lakers (1996-2004), Miami Heat (2004-08), Phoenix Suns (2008-09), Cleveland Cavaliers (2009-10), Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic (1992-96), and (2010-11)


Rookie of the Year, MVP (1999–2000), three-time Finals MVP, 15-time All-Star, 14-time NBA All-Star, and three-time All-D selection (1992-1993)


4 (2000, 2001, 2002, 2006)

Career stats

10.9 RPG, 2.3 BPG.582 FG percent, 23.7 PPG, and 10.9 RPG

The player

Possibly the last great center in NBA history and the best center of his generation. In addition to dominating opponents with his size and strength, he had a smooth touch around the rim and led the Lakers to three consecutive NBA championships. Paul Peterson

Despite being surprisingly agile and athletic, he is the biggest, most powerful force the game has ever known. He was so outstanding that despite winning four titles, some people believe he still underachieved. the Broussard

When basketball analytics was young, the “Shaq test” was useful for assessing player metrics: if O’Neal wasn’t the best player per minute, your system wasn’t working properly.

A powerful presence on the defensive end and possibly an even bigger presence in the locker room. The Wilt Chamberlain of the contemporary game, he was.’s Marc Stein

Hakeem Olajuwon

5. Hakeem Olajuwon


Toronto Raptors (1984–2001), Houston Rockets (2001-02)


Defensive Player of the Year twice, Finals MVP twice, two-time MVP (1993–94), 12-time All-Star, 12-time All-NBA, nine-time All-D pick, and Hall of Fame inductee.


2 (1994, 1995)

Career stats

.512 FG percent, 21.8 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 3.1 BPG, and 11.1 RPG

The player

He was a trailblazer in the way that he introduced footwork and quickness to post-play. Because Hakeem was virtually the Rockets’ lone star, surrounded by a wealth of talented secondary players, the first of Houston’s two back-to-back championships was particularly noteworthy. Over the years, there haven’t been many NBA champions with this kind of one-star architecture. — Stein

Created and mastered movements never previously or since seen by a huge guy. He was also the best defensive center who wasn’t Bill Russell. the Broussard.

Olajuwon’s journey is remarkable. When he moved to Houston for college, he only had one skill: the capacity to play volleyball while taking shots from rivals. Three decades later, players of the All-Star quality visit Hakeem to study the basics of post-play. The Doolittle

Olajuwon claimed that “The Dream Shake” was something he invented while playing soccer, not basketball, which is a testament to his physical prowess. — Adams

6. Moses Malone

Moses Malone


The Philadelphia 76ers (1982–86, 1993–94), Washington Bullets (1986–88), Atlanta Hawks (1988–91), Milwaukee Bucks (1991–93), San Antonio Spurs, Utah Stars (1974–75), Spirits of St. Louis (1975–76), Buffalo Braves (1976), Houston Rockets (1976–82), Philadelphia 76ers (1982–86, 1993–94), (1994-95)


Twelve-time All-Star, eight-time All-NBA selection, two-time All-D selection, three-time MVP (1978–79, 1981–82, 1982–83), finals MVP (1983), and Hall of Famer


1 (1983)

Career stats

20.3, 12.3, 12.3, 1.3, and.495 for field goal percentage

The player

Malone was the best player in the NBA for two to three years, and you know you’re terrific when you become synonymous with an adjective, which for Malone was “relentless.” Malone outworked opponents on his route to the Hall of Fame. The Doolittle

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He was the master of lunch-bucket basketball, and with Dr. J, the ’83 Sixers became one of the best teams in history. He was an unstoppable force on the offensive glass. the Broussard

Malone might be the only NBA superstar who describes himself as a nomad. Malone played for nine clubs, including his time in the ABA, making him the most mobile Hall of Famer. — Adams

Malone is undoubtedly the least admired of the eight players who received three MVP titles. Paul Peterson

David Robinson

7. David Robinson


Spurs San Antonio (1989-2003)


Defensive Player of the Year (1991–92), Rookie of the Year (1989–90), 8-time All-D pick, 10-time All-Star, 10-time All-NBA, MVP (1994–95), and Hall of Fame inductee


2 (1999, 2003)

Career stats

10.6 RPG, 3.0 BPG, 21.1 PPG, and.518 FG percentage

The player

A lefty who was exceptional on both ends and had small forward speed. The Admiral served as the focal point for a small-market team that desperately needed one and, later, as Tim Duncan’s sidekick. Duncan graciously relinquished his position as the franchise’s face. — Stein

Robinson was a model team player and leader. He was skilled enough to lead the league in scoring and was among the league’s finest defenders. The Doolittle

Robinson frequently outperformed Hakeem Olajuwon in the regular season thanks to his effective style of play, even though he wasn’t as effective in the playoffs. The Pelton

The starting point of a Spurs dynasty that has endured for decades. the Broussard

8. Patrick Ewing

Patrick Ewing


Seattle SuperSonics (2000–01), New York Knicks (1985–2000), and Orlando Magic (2001-02)


Rookie of the Year (1985–1986), 3-time All-D selection, 3-time All-NBA selection, 11-time All-Star, and Hall of Fame inductee



Career stats

504 FG percent, 21.0 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 2.4 BPG, and 9.8 RPG

The player

A force is acting on the floor’s ends. Because he never brought New York a championship, Ewing is frequently overlooked and underappreciated. However, he never had a healthy perennial All-Star teammate in his heyday. the Broussard

All of New York’s achievements in the 1990s were built on his tenacity and defensive presence. The Doolittle

Ewing had the unfortunate situation of playing against David Robinson, Hakeem Olajuwon, and being in the same conference as Michael Jordan. — Adams

Ewing might have been the league’s top center if he had emerged ten years later. The Pelton

9. George Mikan

George Mikan


The Minneapolis Lakers (1947–1956) also participated in the NBL and BAA.


4-time All-Star, 6-time NBA All-Star, and Hall of Fame inductee


7 (1947-NBL, 1948-NBL, 1949-BAA, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954)

Career stats

.404 FG percent, 23.1 PPG, 13.4 RPG, 2.8 APG, and 13.4 RPG

The player

Long before Wilt, Kareem, and Shaq ever donned the purple and gold, Mikan—the Lakers franchise’s first great center—brought glory to the team. — Adams

The one NBA player that has been the hardest to rate. A physical advantage quickly vanished as the league got more athletic, making him dominant in his period. The Pelton

Although we lack the tools to fully assess Mikan’s influence on the court, it is still evident more than 50 years after he stopped competing: the 24-second clock was created as a result of him. The Doolittle

A shooting exercise is named after him. Because of him, the league widened the lane. Teams stalled to reduce his offensive effectiveness. George Mikan had the biggest influence on the early NBA. Paul Peterson

10. Bill Walton

Bill Walton


Boston Celtics (1984–88), San Diego/Los Angeles Clippers (1979–79), and Portland Trail Blazers (1974–79) (1985-87)


Sixth Man of the Year (1985–86), MVP (1977–78), Finals MVP (1977), two-time All-Star, two-time All-NBA selection, two-time All-D selection, and Hall of Fame inductee.


2 (1977, 1986)

Career stats

10.5 RPG, 3.4 APG, 2.2 BPG, 13.3 PPG

The player

A center-position passer is standing alone. Only injuries have ever stopped him—not any players. He most likely would have established a dynasty in Portland had he been in good condition. the Broussard

One of the greatest team players in history, a John Wooden player par excellence. The Doolittle

Few best centers of all time NBA, if any, were as effective with the outlet pass as Walton. When he was healthy, he competed with Kareem for the title of the best center in the 1970s. Paul Peterson

Sixth Man of the Year, MVP, MVP of the Finals, and two-time champion. Because of unresolved foot issues, it’s not bad for someone who practically never reached their prime. — Adams

Let’s look at other basketball positions to see which is the most important

11. Bob McAdoo

Bob McAdoo

Top honors

Two NBA championships, one MVP, two All-NBA choices, and five All-Star selections.

NBA standings

67th in blocks, scoring and rebounding.

The player

Bob McAdoo was a monster scorer who led the league in scoring three times in a row, including once when he averaged 34.5 points a game. He also had a variety of post moves to terrorize opponents.

12. Toby Unseld

Toby Unseld

Top honors

They include one NBA championship, one MVP, one All-NBA 1st Team selection, and five All-Star selections.

NBA rank

136th in assists and 13th in rebounds

The player

Wes Unseld was one of the most physically intimidating centers ever despite being only 6-foot-7 because of his amazing strength and sturdy build. In addition to being one of the best finishers in the low post in NBA history, Unseld averaged 14.0 rebounds per game throughout his career and led the league in that category in 1974–75.

13. Robert Parish

Robert Parish

Top honors

Four NBA championships, two All-NBA choices, and nine All-Star selections.

NBA rank

8th in rebounding, 10th in blocks, 28th in scoring, and 87th in steals

The player

Robert Parish, the starting center on those storied Celtics teams of the 1980s, was a terrific complement to players like Bird and McHale because he was ready to do all the grunt work in the paint while also offering a reliable scoring punch. Regarding career rebounds and blocks, Parish stands in the top 10.

14. Willis Reed

Willis Reed

Top honors: Include two NBA championships, two Finals MVPs, one MVP, five All-NBA selections, seven All-Star selections, and one selection to the All-Defensive 1st Team.

NBA rank

63rd in rebounds

The player

Willis Reed, a big man who was slightly undersized in stature but not in talent or sheer will, is best known for stumbling onto the court for Game 7 of the 1970 Finals for New York and making his first two shots despite having a bad thigh. He is now regarded as one of the greatest Knicks of all time. Reed was a formidable shot blocker and rebounder despite being only 6-foot-9.

15. Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard

Top honors

One NBA championship, five All-NBA 1st Team honors, eight All-Star selections, three Defensive Player of the Year titles, and four All-Defensive 1st Team selections.

NBA rank

57th in scoring, 57th in blocks, and 11th in rebounds

The player

When he played with the Magic for several seasons, Dwight Howard was at one point the best big man in the NBA. Howard was a tremendous athlete for his size and would frequently soar for rebounds, block shots, or complete alley-oops. The future Hall-of-Famer Howard is reaching the Top 10 in NBA history for both rebounds and blocks as he enters the last stretch of his career.

16. Dave Cowens

Dave Cowens

Top honors

Include two NBA championships, one MVP, three All-NBA 2nd Team picks, eight All-Star selections, and one first-team All-Defensive selection.

NBA rank

235th in assists, 193rd in scoring, and 35th in rebounds

The player

Along with Bill Russell, another hero of the Boston Celtics, Dave Cowens of Florida State is one of just two players in the history of the NBA to earn League MVP while not being selected to the First Team All-NBA. In his prime, he was a ball of fire who averaged 15.2 rebounds throughout his eight-year career.

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17. Artis Gilmore

Artis Gilmore

Top honors

One All-Defensive 2nd Team pick and six All-Stars.

NBA rank

128th in scoring, 51st in rebounding, and 25th in blocks

The player

Artis Gilmore played 12 seasons in the NBA, where he established himself as one of the most lethal low-post scorers in history, but most of his effect was felt in the ABA, where he even won an MVP award. Gilmore was one of the hardest covers for opposing bigs every night and led the league in field goal percentage for four consecutive years.

18. Nate Thurmond

Nate Thurmond

Top honors

Include selection to five All-Defensive Teams and seven All-Star teams.

NBA rank

10th in rebounding, 161st in scoring, and 237th in blocks in the NBA

The player

Nate Thurmond, one of the best rebounders in basketball history, averaged 14 or more rebounds in his 14 seasons in the NBA, including two seasons where he averaged over 20 per game. Thurmond was also a capable scorer; over his career, the Hall of Famer averaged at least 20 points per night five times.

19. Nikola Jokic

Nikola Jokic

Top honors

Include one MVP, two choices to the All-NBA 1st Team, and three All-Stars.

The player

Nikola Jokic will undoubtedly be ranked far higher than he is on this list when the NBA releases their NBA100 list in 25 years, and HoopsHype publishes our own HoopsHype100 list before them. Jokic can score, rebound, and – most impressively – create from the five-point line. Basketball has never seen a bigger passing big man than the big Serbian, and it will be interesting to see where his career goes from here.

Dikembe Mutombo

20. Dikembe Mutombo

Top honors

Include selection to eight All-Star teams, two NBA All-Star teams, four Defensive Player of the Year awards, and six All-Defensive teams.

NBA rank

20th in rebounds, second in blocks

The player

Dikembe Mutombo, one of the best shot blockers in NBA history, had an impressive career despite having little ability to score because of his ability to guard the paint and grab rebounds in the low post.

Walt Bellamy

21. Walt Bellamy

Bellamy was one of the NBA’s most dominant players in the early years of his career. Averaging 31.6 points and 19 rebounds per game while shooting 51.9 percent from the field, Bellamy won Rookie of the Year honors in his first season.

Bellamy concluded his career as the 11th best rebounder of all time, failing to average double-digit points and rebounds only five times in his 17 seasons. Bellamy has a 20.1-point scoring average, and in addition to his rebounding, he has made the All-Star game four times.

22. Alonzo Mourning

Alonzo Mourning

Mourning, better recognized for his time wearing a Miami Heat jersey than a Charlotte Hornets one, gave Miami its first championship in franchise history in the 2005–06 season.

The seven-time All-Star is ranked 11th in career blocks and has twice led the NBA in that category for an entire season. In addition, Mourning was named Defensive Player of the Year twice in his career. He has averaged 17.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game.

23. Elvin Hayes

Elvin Hayes

In the history of the NBA, Hayes was among the top rebounders and scorers at his position. He concluded his career ranked fourth in lifetime rebounds and tenth overall in points.

Hayes outperformed his rivals as a rookie, averaging 28.4 points and 17.1 rebounds each night. In his 16-year career, Hayes had a 12.5 average in rebounding and twice led the league in that category.

Along with being chosen for 12 All-Star games, Hayes and Wes Unseld won the NBA championship with the Washington Bullets in 1977.

Bob Lanier

24. Bob Lanier

Lanier was a top-tier center for the Detroit Pistons and one of the league’s greatest rebounders and scorers. Lanier averaged at least 21 points and 11 rebounds during his first season in 1970 and continued to do so for the following seven years. The center for the Pistons would compete in 8 All-Star games and win the All-Star MVP honor in 1973. Lanier has averaged 20.1 points and 10.1 rebounds over his career.

Jerry Lucas

25. Jerry Lucas

With the 17th-most rebounds in his career, Lucas is one of the best rebounders of all time (12,942). Lucas won Rookie of the Year in 1963, All-Star Game MVP in 1964, and was a 7-time All-Star throughout his Hall of Fame career. Lucas had at least 11 rebounds per game in 11 of his 13 NBA seasons. He averaged 21.1 boards per game in 1965, which was his greatest rebounding year. While playing with the New York Knicks in 1972, Lucas also captured the NBA title.

Ben Wallace

26. Ben Wallace

Ben Wallace, one of the best defensive players in league history, had a big impact on the game despite only averaging 5.7 points per game throughout his 17-year career. The four-time All-Star also won four Defensive Player of the Year titles and once led the league in blocks and rebounds (tied for most on this list). Wallace won a championship in 2003 with the Detroit Pistons and was selected to the NBA All-NBA team five times.

27. Yao Ming

Yao Ming

Yao Ming participated in every NBA All-Star game during his eight seasons there. Ming was a top-tier big man in the league before injuries ended his career early. Throughout his Hall of Fame career, he earned a spot on the All-NBA team five times. In 2005, Ming had his greatest season, averaging 25 points, 9.4 rebounds, and two blocks per game.

28. Bill Laimbeer

Bill Laimbeer

Laimbeer is recognized as one of the roughest NBA players ever and was a member of the “Bad Boy” Detroit Pistons, one of the most famous teams in history. Laimbeer appeared in at least 79 regular season games thirteen times during his 15-year career. With the Pistons, he won two championships and was selected to the All-Star game four times.

29. Neil Johnston

Neil Johnston

Johnston was one of the most productive players of his time throughout his brief (8-year) NBA career. He also led the league in minutes played in his second and third NBA seasons.

From 1952 to 1954, he led the league in scoring three times in a row. The five-time All-Star and 1955 NBA champion of the Philadelphia Warriors is a member of the Hall of Fame.

Jack Sikma

30. Jack Sikma

Sikma assisted in Seattle’s first and only NBA title during the 1978–1979 campaign. Sikma had 15.6 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 1 block per game throughout that season.

Sikma made seven All-Star teams towards the conclusion of his career, was selected once to the All-Defensive team and was later inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Dolph Schayes

31. Dolph Schayes

One of the best rebounding and shooting bigs of his time was Shayes. Only three times in his 15 NBA seasons did Schaye average fewer than 10 rebounds per game, and his lifetime free-throw shooting is 84.9 percent. He was named to the NBA All-NBA team twelve times and led the league in rebounds in 1954. In addition, Schayes is a Basketball Hall of Famer.

Brad Daughtery

32. Brad Daughtery

Another notable name on this list, Daughtery, had a short NBA career. Daughtery played in the NBA for 8 seasons and was a member of the 1991–92 All–NBA team on five occasions.

33. Dan Issel

Dan Issel

Issel had one of the best rookie campaigns when he first entered the league in 1970. While winning the ROY title, he averaged 29.9 points, 13.2 rebounds, and 2 assists per game. Issel won MVP of the All-Star Game the next year. Issel won an ABA title in 1974 and made seven All-Star appearances throughout his career.

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Arvydas Sabonis

34. Arvydas Sabonis

Arvydas Sabonis, the father of current Indiana Pacers forward Domantas, was a highly skilled big man in the NBA. The All-Rookie team was selected in 1995 while the Hall of Famer averaged 14.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per contest.

Clyde Lovelette

35. Clyde Lovelette

Lovelette was an excellent interior scorer and rebounder, similar to many of the greatest NBA centers of all time on this list. Lovelette had an 11-year career and made the All-Star game four times while also collecting three NBA titles.

His career averages per game are 9.5 rebounds and 17 points. Lovelette was a big player who shot 75.7 percent from the charity stripe throughout his career, which was above average for large men.

Mark Eaton

36. Mark Eaton

Eaton was a great shot blocker, even if he wasn’t quite as good a scorer and rebounder as many of the players on this list. Eaton, fourth all-time in blocks, entered the NBA at 26, which is far older than players today.

He would spend all 11 of his NBA seasons with the Utah Jazz, where he four times led the league in blocks. In 1984, when he blocked 5.6 shots per game on average, he had his finest shot-blocking season. Eaton has earned Defensive Player of the Year twice and averages an astounding 3.5 blocks per game in his career.

37. DeMarcus Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins

People seem to forget just how dominant Cousins was, even though he has had injury issues for the past couple of seasons. Before his brief stays in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Cousin was a formidable player for the Sacramento Kings.

Seven times in his career, Cousins has averaged more than 11 rebounds and 22 points. Even in the middle of the 2010s, the four-time All-Star was recognized as the NBA’s top center.

38. Al Horford

Al Horford

Despite being past his prime, Horford is still among the best centers NBA all time. He has been selected to the defensive team five times in 2017. In four of his career seasons, including a career-high 5 assists per game in 2016, Horford has averaged at least 4 assists per game. Horford has a lifetime 36.1 percentage from three and is a fantastic shooter at the five.

39. Pau Gasol

Pau Gasol

Gasol is a 6-time All-Star and a 2-time NBA champion and is regarded as one of the best international players. Regarding career blocks, Gasol is ranked 21st and was named Rookie of the Year in 2001 while playing for the Memphis Grizzlies.

40. Joakim Noah

Joakim Noah

Noah has recently been in and out of the NBA but was a defensive powerhouse at his peak. He has been named to the All-Star team twice and the All-Defensive team three times. Noah received First Team All-NBA recognition and was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2013. Noah had a 5.4 assist per game average during that same season.

41. Ralph Sampson

Ralph Sampson

Sampson has a career average of 15.4 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game. He has been selected to four All-Star games. He was a member of the 1984 All-NBA squad and the winner of the MVP award for the All-Star Game. A Hall of Fame induction served as the pinnacle of Sampson’s career.

42. Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid

Embiid has only played in four NBA seasons, two of which he missed due to injury, but he has unrivaled potential. Embiid a three-time All-Star with a game average of 24.1 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks. In his young career, Embiid has made two All-Defensive teams, making him a formidable force on the defensive end.

43. Karl Anthony-Towns

Karl Anthony-Towns

Towns have all the credentials to become a future Hall of Famer after five NBA seasons. He scores 22.7 points, pulls down 11.8 rebounds, and assists 2.8 times a game. Towns have experienced some individual success (2 All-Star appearances), but his team must also succeed to advance up this ranking.

44. Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Ilgauskas was frequently ranked as LeBron James’ second-best Cleveland player. He averaged 13 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game throughout his 13-year career, twice making the All-Star game.

45. Mychal Thompson

Mychal Thompson

Thompson, the first overall pick in 1978, had a respectable NBA career. Thompson averaged 13.7 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game throughout thirteen seasons. Despite never being selected for an All-Star game, Thompson won the NBA championship twice.

Arnie Risen

46. Arnie Risen

Given his selection to four All-Star teams and two NBA Championships, Risen was one of the better centers of the 1950s. The Hall of Famer averaged 12 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game throughout his career.

Rik Smits

47. Rik Smits

During his twelve-year career, Smits never played for a team besides the Indiana Pacers. In his career, Smits was a very productive player who shot 50.7 percent from the field and qualified for the All-Star game in 1997.

Bill Cartwright

48. Bill Cartwright

As a rookie in 1979, Cartwright made the All-Star game, demonstrating his early-career talent. He recorded 21.7 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game on average throughout the season. Cartwright won three NBA Championships throughout the course of his 15-year career, despite never being selected for another All-Star game.

49. Marc Gasol

Marc Gasol

Marc Gasol, a 3-time All-Star and 2-time All-NBA selection, has been one of the top centers in the NBA since the late 2000s. His best season as an individual was in 2012, when he was named on the All-Defensive team and awarded Defensive Player of the Year. Gasol assisted the Toronto Raptors in 2019 as they captured their first championship in their history. He is also Pau Gasol’s brother, another person on this list.

50. DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan

One of history’s most skilled and accurate big men is Jordan. He has won two championships in rebounding and was a once-all-star. Thanks to his defensive prowess, Jordan has been named to the All-Defensive team twice. Jordan’s lifetime field goal percentage of 66.9 percent is the highest on this list.


Is Wilt the greatest center ever?

Others will assert that the best player in the sport’s history is center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, forward Larry Bird, or guard Magic Johnson. Most rankings agree that Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan are the greatest two NBA players in history.

Could Michael Jordan lose to Wilt Chamberlain?

Ten times Jordan was the league’s top scorer, and he used that advantage to win six championships and six final MVP awards. Since Wilt had to stop scoring to win a championship, and Jordan didn’t have to stop scoring to win a championship, Jordan became the greatest scorer of all time throughout his career.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: The greatest center of all time?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is, without a doubt, the greatest center of all time. He holds the most records, has triumphed at every level, and his skyhook technique is the most unstoppable in sorors history. Kareem was a force on both sides of the court and a dominant player well into his 40s.


The best centers of all time in NBA are a group of players who have left their mark on the league in a big way. These are players who have dominated the paint and helped their teams to a lot of success. The players have been the most dominant at their position and have impacted the game. If you’re a fan of the NBA, you’ll definitely want to check out this guide.

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