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Today is:
Top Five Centers in NBA History
By Clayton Ruley

I've heard the talk about Shaq and his NBA legacy so I decided to put my top five centers in the NBA up for your comments.


1. Wilt Chamberlain (Warriors, 76ers, Lakers: 1959-1973) – The numbers are astounding and he did more with less than any other center on this list! Two-time champion with two teams and many regard them as two of the top five teams of all-time (The 1967 76ers and 19'72 Lakers). Rookie Of The Year (1960), Four time MVP (60, 67-68), NBA Finals MVP (72) They made rules to stop his dominance while they made rules to help players like Michael Jordan! Career averages of 30.1 points, and 22.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists. Led league in total assists in 1968!

Greatest Skill or Move: Hard to tell. He did it all being bigger, stronger and could leap higher than the competition as witnessed by the numbers! I'd think his jumping ability.


2. Kareem Abdul Jabbar (Bucks, LA Lakers 1969-1989)   - All-Time leading scorer, six-time champion and did it with two teams (Milwaukee 71' and Los Angeles '80,'82, '85, '87 and '88)! Rookie of the year (1970), Six-time regular season MVP (71,72, 74, 76,77,80) and two-time Finals MVP (71,85). Career averages of 24.6 points, 11.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists.

Greatest Skill or Move: The Sky Hook, One swooping shot that was virtually unblockable! I only say Wilt knock it down in archived footage!


3. Bill Russell (Celtics: 1956- 1969) – He has 11 rings in 13 years (1957, '59, '60, '61, '62, '63, '64, '65, '66, '68, '69) and made players better as witnessed by his team full of hall of fame teammates during his reign (8 to be exact)! He was a player-coach on their last two championship teams (68-69) and was the first African-American to coach a NBA champion and the greatest Boston Celtic ever by all who speak. Five time regular season MVP (58, 61-63, 65). Had career averages of 15.1 points, 22.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists


Greatest Skill or Move: The Blocked Shot. Made it an art form before it was counted as a stat! Usually kept the ball in play and that led to the Celtics patented fastbreak!

4.Hakeem Olajuwon (Rockets, Raptors: 1984- 2002) – Brought the center out of the paint especially in half court sets and had plenty of moves to boot (just ask David Robinson, Shaq and Ewing)! Two-time champion with the his second hometown Houston Rockets, one time regular season MVP (1994) and two time Finals MVP (94-95). Career averages of 21.8 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists. Won defensive player of the year, regular season and finals MVP in same season (1994)

Greatest Skill or Move: The Dream Shake. A finesse

move that got him to the hoop without the wear and tear most center have to take. Also a good jumper from 15 feet in!

5.Shaquille O'Neal (Magic, LA Lakers, Heat: 1992- Present)   – Most dominate center in this past decade (but not as dominating as he could be! More defensive and rebounding would up him on the list! Four-time champion (1999-2001, 2006) and three time NBA Finals MVP (2000-2002) . One-time regular season MVP (2000). Took three teams to the NBA Finals! Career averages of 26.3 points, 11.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists.

Greatest Skill or Move: The Monster Dunk! Usually coming a spin move he called "The Black Tornado" this dunk will break the hands of any attempts to block it!  




Who's your pick for the best center in the NBA's history? Discuss that and more on the GeoBoards!






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