CBN’s Top 10 Centers in NBA History

We’re shining the spotlight on some of the most durable players at the “center” of it all.

Typically the strongest and tallest players of a team, centers are valued for their ability to rebound, protect the rim and make shots from around the basket.

That’s why this week is all about the top centers in league history. Beginning with #10 and moving our way up to the all-time best of the best, here are the top 10 best centers in the history of the NBA:

Dikembe Mutombo

10. Dikembe Mutombo

A center who made his mark as one of the league’s top shot-blockers of all time, the incredible 8x All-Star and Hall-of-Famer Mutombo won four Defensive Player of the Year awards while also leading the NBA in blocks for three consecutive years - twice leading in rebounding.

Alonzo Mourning

9. Alonzo Mourning

From 1997-2000, Mourning was a beast who led the Miami Heat to four consecutive Atlantic Division Titles. Across his eight seasons, this 7x All-Star was selected to the All-Rookie First Team in addition to 2 All-NBA and All-Defensive selections. Mourning also won the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year Award in both 1999 and 2000.

Patrick Ewing

8. Patrick Ewing

Remembered best for carrying the New York Knicks with his scoring and defensive talents, Ewing posted career averages of 21.0 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. Not to mention, the 11x All-Star and big man made some of the most impressive jump shots the league had seen.

Moses Malone

7. Moses Malone

Spanning over five years from 1978 to 1983, the 13x All-Star Malone had averages of 26.8 points and 15.4 rebounds per game, all while winning three MVPs and a championship - which easily wins him a spot at #7 in our Top 10 Centers in NBA History list.

David Robinson

6. David Robinson

Coming in at #6, the 10x All-Star and 2x title winner known famously as “The Admiral” averaged at least 23 points per game across his first seven seasons. This star center made 8 NBA All-Defensive Teams, parting ways with his NBA career in 2003 after winning his second title.

Hakeem Olajuwon

5. Hakeem Olajuwon

Known for his signature Dream Shake and regarded as one of the best two-way players in NBA history, “The Dream” Olajuwon led the Houston Rockets to the Finals during his second season in 1986 where they would go on to lose to the Boston Celtics. However, when the Rockets returned to the Finals in 1994, Olajuwon helped carry his team to a title that would turn into two back-to-back championships.

Shaquille O’Neal

4. Shaquille O’Neal

The 4x champions and 15x All-Star “Shaq” O’Neal was undeniably a force to be reckoned with on the court. With the Orlando Magic he defeated MJ and the Chicago Bulls in 1995 en route to the Finals, to later bask in his prime with the Los Angeles Lakers alongside the late Kobe Bryant.

3. Wilt Chamberlain

3. Wilt Chamberlain

With career averages of 30.1 points, 22.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists, the 13x All-Star and 2x champion Chamberlain won his titles in 1967 with the Philadelphia 76ers, and in1972 with the Los Angeles Lakers. Anyone who knows and loves the game remembers Chamberlain as a legendary center - coming in hot at just a mark below his 8x playoffs rival Russell who won seven of those series.

Bill Russell

2. Bill Russell

In his 13-year career, the 12x All-Star Russell won an astounding 11 championships - going down in history as the greatest defender of his era. With the NBA Finals MVP trophy named after him, this Celtics King would have made records in blocks and steals had they been an official league statistic during his career.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Without a doubt, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one memorable NBA player. Remembered best for his signature skyhook, this 6x champion and 19x All-Star had 20 outstanding seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers. He also won 3 consecutive NCAA championships at UCLA alongside 3 straight consensus All-Americans.

And that wraps up our list! We hope you enjoyed our compilation of the Top 10 Best Centers in NBA History who always leave us feeling inspired when we reflect on their unparalleled skills.