PDA

View Full Version : A Tribute to the Big Men! List your top 10 All-Time Centers: GO!



lol, please
05-26-2015, 04:43 PM
I'll kick off this soon-to-be epic thread with a bang! There's no shame in lol, Please' game, here's my list:

Wilt
SHAQ ATTAQ
KAJ
Hakeem the Dream
Ewing
Russell
Mikan
Robinson
Malone
Yao Ming

valade16
05-26-2015, 05:21 PM
Is this greatest as in accomplishments or simply who you think was the best at their best? 2 totally different lists for me.

lol, please
05-26-2015, 05:26 PM
Is this greatest as in accomplishments or simply who you think was the best at their best? 2 totally different lists for me.
Best at their best. I guess accomplishments wise my list would he different as well. You have to keep in mind that some accomplishments are team/tandem based and some factors are out of your control.

Minimal
05-26-2015, 06:20 PM
Wilt
Shaq
Hakeem
KAJ
Prime Sabonis
Robinson
Russell
Ewing
Zo
Howard
Walton
Malone
Mikan

InRoseWeTrust
05-26-2015, 06:47 PM
Hakeem
...
...
...
...
x 1000
...
Everyone else.

AllBall
05-26-2015, 09:34 PM
Wilt
Shaq
Hakeem
KAJ
Prime Sabonis
Robinson
Russell
Ewing
Zo
Howard
Walton
Malone
Mikan

Mourning <3

flea
05-26-2015, 09:43 PM
Wow Howard getting a mention. I guess it's not out of the realm of possibility but having watched so much of him I tend to harp on his faults. Still I know he won't be in my top 10. His 09 run to the Finals was pretty impressive. People act like Lebron moved mountains around here when he won the East in 07, Howard's run was just as impressive considering the teams he went through and the severe lack of talent on that squad (I love Turk but you're not in a great spot with him as your 2nd best player).

D-Leethal
05-26-2015, 09:50 PM
KAJ, Dream, Shaq, Wilt, Russell

2nd 5 is a lot more interesting than the 1st.

Chronz
05-26-2015, 10:03 PM
strictly in terms of talend and impact

wilt
kareem/shaq
dream
moses
russell
drob

struggling with the rest

rockets-fan
05-26-2015, 10:10 PM
Wilt
Shaq
Hakeem
KAJ
Prime Sabonis
Robinson
Russell
Ewing
Zo
Howard
Walton
Malone
Mikan

Yao?!? The man was amazing!

ohreally
05-26-2015, 10:20 PM
Wilt
Kareem
Olajuwon
Ewing
Russell
Mikan
Reed
Shaq
Robinson
Malone

mightybosstone
05-26-2015, 10:26 PM
Off the top of my head without too much thought, my list would look something like this:
1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
2. Wilt Chamberlain
3. Hakeem Olajuwon
4. Shaquille O'Neal
5. Bill Russell
6. Moses Malone
7. David Robinson
8. Bill Walton
9. Willis Reed
10. Patrick Ewing

mightybosstone
05-26-2015, 10:31 PM
Wow Howard getting a mention. I guess it's not out of the realm of possibility but having watched so much of him I tend to harp on his faults. Still I know he won't be in my top 10. His 09 run to the Finals was pretty impressive. People act like Lebron moved mountains around here when he won the East in 07, Howard's run was just as impressive considering the teams he went through and the severe lack of talent on that squad (I love Turk but you're not in a great spot with him as your 2nd best player).

I don't think Dwight belongs in any top 10 list of centers. But I do think he'd get real consideration if I stretched it to top 20 and could make a halfway decent case for top 15. The guy is unquestionably a Hall of Famer and might be the most dominant defensive big man since Ben Wallace started to decline.

mightybosstone
05-26-2015, 10:37 PM
Wilt
Shaq
Hakeem
KAJ
Prime Sabonis
Robinson
Russell
Ewing
Zo
Howard
Walton
Malone
Mikan

I'm sorry, but did you just put Sabonis as fifth on our list? This is an NBA list, not a list of "what if" players. Sabonis wouldn't crack my top 30 centers in the history of the NBA, much less fifth. And the lack of Willis Reed is a little puzzling, especially considering you have Mourning and Howard on the list.

KnicksorBust
05-26-2015, 10:42 PM
Kaj
hakeem
shaq
wilt
moses
walton
drob
reed
anderson varejao
ewing

flea
05-26-2015, 10:46 PM
I don't think Dwight belongs in any top 10 list of centers. But I do think he'd get real consideration if I stretched it to top 20 and could make a halfway decent case for top 15. The guy is unquestionably a Hall of Famer and might be the most dominant defensive big man since Ben Wallace started to decline.

Don't know about unquestionably a HOFer, hasn't done enough yet for me to say that. As for his defense, it is nothing compared to what it was in 2011 and before. Tim Duncan also exists still.

mightybosstone
05-26-2015, 10:59 PM
Don't know about unquestionably a HOFer, hasn't done enough yet for me to say that. As for his defense, it is nothing compared to what it was in 2011 and before. Tim Duncan also exists still.

If you look at the qualifications for players to make the Hall of Fame, Dwight Howard crossed over to guaranteed Hall of Famer years ago:
- Eight straight All-Star appearances and All-NBA teams
- Five All-Defensive teams
- Three Defensive Player of the Year awards
- Top 5 in MVP voting four times
- 13th in career RPG and 4th in career TRB%
- 21st in career BPG and 23rd in career BLK%
- 21st in career TS% and 5th in career eFG%
- 66th in career WS and 39th in career WS/48
- Career 18/13/2/2/1 guy
- Career 20/14/3/1/1 guy in the playoffs (ridiculous for this era)
- Took an Orlando team to the Finals that had no business going to the Finals

That's without a doubt a Hall of Famer's resume. I'm not really sure how you can prove otherwise. He's not just a Hall of Famer. He's probably a top 75 player all-time in the league.

KnicksorBust
05-27-2015, 05:28 AM
Don't know about unquestionably a HOFer, hasn't done enough yet for me to say that. As for his defense, it is nothing compared to what it was in 2011 and before. Tim Duncan also exists still.

If you look at the qualifications for players to make the Hall of Fame, Dwight Howard crossed over to guaranteed Hall of Famer years ago:
- Eight straight All-Star appearances and All-NBA teams
- Five All-Defensive teams
- Three Defensive Player of the Year awards
- Top 5 in MVP voting four times
- 13th in career RPG and 4th in career TRB%
- 21st in career BPG and 23rd in career BLK%
- 21st in career TS% and 5th in career eFG%
- 66th in career WS and 39th in career WS/48
- Career 18/13/2/2/1 guy
- Career 20/14/3/1/1 guy in the playoffs (ridiculous for this era)
- Took an Orlando team to the Finals that had no business going to the Finals

That's without a doubt a Hall of Famer's resume. I'm not really sure how you can prove otherwise. He's not just a Hall of Famer. He's probably a top 75 player all-time in the league.

I actually really thought there was a chance he was going to end up with the most DPOY in history.

SpeeMN
05-27-2015, 07:55 AM
Wilt (statistically best ever)
Shaq (pure dominance)
Hakeem (pure talent)
Kareem
Russell
Robinson
Reed
Moses

Mikan
Ewing
Ming
Mourning
Unseld
Gilmore
McAdoo
Lanier
Bellamy
Thurmond
Walton
Mutombo

I didn't get to watch half of these players play. My list goes long for that reason.

eso
05-27-2015, 08:14 AM
Shaq
Wilt
The Dream
Kareem
Russell
Robinson
Malone
Reed
Ewing
Ming

Amazing how many are from the same era.

FraziersKnicks
05-27-2015, 08:18 AM
In terms of absolute peak play:

Shaquille O'Neal
Hakeem Olajuwon
Wilt Chamberlain
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
David Robinson
Moses Malone
Patrick Ewing
Bill Russell

In terms of overall careers:

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Shaquille O'Neal
Wilt Chamberlain
Hakeem Olajuwon
Bill Russell
Moses Malone
David Robinson
Patrick Ewing

Shaq and Wilt is a really tough one for me. I know Wilt was a freak of nature but I have to take his unbelievable numbers with a pinch of salt. No player would average 48.5 MPG in the 90's or 50/26.

His numbers certainly would've been impressive playing in that rich big man era but nothing close to what he did in the 60's I don't believe. He took 40 shots a game when he averaged 50. That is absolutely insane. I would love to see him put up that many shots against Dikembe, Ewing, Hakeem or D-Rob.

IKnowHoops
05-27-2015, 09:03 AM
Peak/Career
Shaq/Shaq
Drob/Wilt
Dream/Kareem
Wilt/Dream
KAJ/Drob
Patrick/Russell
Russell/Moses
Moses/Patrick
Mikan/Mikan
Walton/Walton

Hawkeye15
05-27-2015, 09:16 AM
KAJ/Wilt

Shaq/Dream

Russell/Moses/Drob

after that, idk

Hawkeye15
05-27-2015, 09:17 AM
If you look at the qualifications for players to make the Hall of Fame, Dwight Howard crossed over to guaranteed Hall of Famer years ago:
- Eight straight All-Star appearances and All-NBA teams
- Five All-Defensive teams
- Three Defensive Player of the Year awards
- Top 5 in MVP voting four times
- 13th in career RPG and 4th in career TRB%
- 21st in career BPG and 23rd in career BLK%
- 21st in career TS% and 5th in career eFG%
- 66th in career WS and 39th in career WS/48
- Career 18/13/2/2/1 guy
- Career 20/14/3/1/1 guy in the playoffs (ridiculous for this era)
- Took an Orlando team to the Finals that had no business going to the Finals

That's without a doubt a Hall of Famer's resume. I'm not really sure how you can prove otherwise. He's not just a Hall of Famer. He's probably a top 75 player all-time in the league.

Dwight is a player who will no doubt be looked at in a higher regard when he is gone. But the general public just doesn't like him, nor do many of the players. He will get his due, in time.

mightybosstone
05-27-2015, 09:23 AM
Mikan gets way, way too much credit in these kinds of conversations. I'm sorry, but have you ever watched highlights of the guy? For his era, he might have been considered athletic, but he would be a statue in the game today. We're also talking about a career 40% shooter who played all but 37 games in his career in the pre-shot clock era. Also, he played essentially six and a half seasons of basketball of basketball. That's it.

Sure, I give him credit for being the most dominant force of his era. But his era was of a completely different sport practically. The level of athleticism and talent from the early 50s to the mid-late 60s when Wilt, Russell, West and Oscar played jumped so dramatically. If he had come into the league 10 years later, he might not have even been a top five big man in the league.

effen5
05-27-2015, 09:26 AM
Hakeem might be the most talented skilled fundamentally sound big man to ever play the game.

If he played in this era....nobody would be able to stop him.

valade16
05-27-2015, 09:57 AM
Mikan gets way, way too much credit in these kinds of conversations. I'm sorry, but have you ever watched highlights of the guy? For his era, he might have been considered athletic, but he would be a statue in the game today. We're also talking about a career 40% shooter who played all but 37 games in his career in the pre-shot clock era. Also, he played essentially six and a half seasons of basketball of basketball. That's it.

Sure, I give him credit for being the most dominant force of his era. But his era was of a completely different sport practically. The level of athleticism and talent from the early 50s to the mid-late 60s when Wilt, Russell, West and Oscar played jumped so dramatically. If he had come into the league 10 years later, he might not have even been a top five big man in the league.

Agreed.

Are people seriously saying that if you had a time machine right now and got prime George Mikan to play in a game you'd actually want him to play for your team over prime:

Bill Walton
David Robinson
Dwight Howard
Patrick Ewing
Alonzo Mourning

Seriously?

FlashBolt
05-27-2015, 10:20 AM
I'm not giving Dwight a top ten pass here... Sorry. He lacks intent to dominate and as a center with that kind of physique, he has never taken advantage of that ever. He was a great defender in his Orlando days but really, what is his one post move? Dribble, dribble, dribble, left hook?

flea
05-27-2015, 01:03 PM
If you look at the qualifications for players to make the Hall of Fame, Dwight Howard crossed over to guaranteed Hall of Famer years ago:

You might be right, and his prime defense was something to behold. I've only seen a handful of guys able to dominate the paint, glass, and pick and rolls simultaneously like he used to be able to. But with the back injury, decline, Lakers mess, etc. I'm not sure how his decline phase will go. I guess if Zo is a HOFer then Howard has every right (love Zo but IMO he was not a HOF caliber player). Basketball HOF is weird though.

Minimal
05-27-2015, 02:13 PM
Yao?!? The man was amazing!
He was great, but he unfortunately had a short career and wasn't really a 30 PER player if we look at it. I just can't put him over these guys.

mightybosstone
05-27-2015, 02:14 PM
You might be right, and his prime defense was something to behold. I've only seen a handful of guys able to dominate the paint, glass, and pick and rolls simultaneously like he used to be able to. But with the back injury, decline, Lakers mess, etc. I'm not sure how his decline phase will go. I guess if Zo is a HOFer then Howard has every right (love Zo but IMO he was not a HOF caliber player). Basketball HOF is weird though.

I think Zo and Dwight are both Hall of Famers, and they certainly are based on the current standards. Both guys are probably top 20-25 players at the center position all-time. When you consider that's probably the most stacked position of any single position in league history, how can they not be in the Hall of Fame?

Let's assume for a second that every position is equal even though it's not. If you let in only the top 25 players at every position, you're talking about roughly 125 players in the history of the NBA. Considering the league is more than 60 years old, that's roughly two players for every year of the league. That seems fair to me. I actually went and counted the number of players in the Hall and there's 168. So based on those standards, Zo and Dwight are both absolutely worthy of cracking the Hall as they're unquestionably each among the 168 best players who ever played the game of basketball.

Personally, think the standards for the Basketball Hall of Fame are way too lenient. If you were never a top 5-10 guy in the league, I don't think you should get voted in unless your college or International career was something truly spectacular. But both Zo and Dwight would still qualify under that barometer.

Minimal
05-27-2015, 02:18 PM
I'm sorry, but did you just put Sabonis as fifth on our list? This is an NBA list, not a list of "what if" players. Sabonis wouldn't crack my top 30 centers in the history of the NBA, much less fifth. And the lack of Willis Reed is a little puzzling, especially considering you have Mourning and Howard on the list.
Yeah I did. We talk about all-time best centers and their impact/abilities on the floor. In his prime Sabonis was unstoppable, he was really strong and skillful player, there wasn't a thing on the court he couldn't do. He was like LeBron of the centers. There is a reason he is in basketball hall of fame. He came to NBA after his prime and so many injuries behind him and even then he played great. I don't know much about Willis Reed to be fair, except for the fact he is career 18.6 PER and .156 WS/48 player, and it just happens Sabonis was 21.2 PER and .200 WS/48 player on his last legs in NBA.

mightybosstone
05-27-2015, 02:34 PM
Yeah I did. We talk about all-time best centers and their impact/abilities on the floor. In his prime Sabonis was unstoppable, he was really strong and skillful player, there wasn't a thing on the court he couldn't do. He was like LeBron of the centers. There is a reason he is in basketball hall of fame. He came to NBA after his prime and so many injuries behind him and even then he played great. I don't know much about Willis Reed to be fair.

If your list is just of basketball players and not specifically of the NBA, then I guess a very small argument could be made for Sabonis in the top 10. But I would never include Sabonis on any top centers list because we never got to see the peak player compete at the highest level. The 30-plus year-old Sabonis never even cracked an All-Star team or All-NBA team in the NBA. And while he might have been past his prime, the guy still played 470 games in the NBA, so that's enough of a sample size that a top 10 all-time center should have been able to prove something.

In international play? Maybe he was good enough to sniff the top 10 list. But we'll never really know the guy's potential, which is why it's ridiculous to include him on this list, IMO.

Minimal
05-27-2015, 02:38 PM
If your list is just of basketball players and not specifically of the NBA, then I guess a very small argument could be made for Sabonis in the top 10. But I would never include Sabonis on any top centers list because we never got to see the peak player compete at the highest level. The 30-plus year-old Sabonis never even cracked an All-Star team or All-NBA team in the NBA. And while he might have been past his prime, the guy still played 470 games in the NBA, so that's enough of a sample size that a top 10 all-time center should have been able to prove something.

In international play? Maybe he was good enough to sniff the top 10 list. But we'll never really know the guy's potential, which is why it's ridiculous to include him on this list, IMO.
Just as I mentioned Sabonis was 21.7 PER and .200 WS/48 player on his last legs/past prime in NBA. How many NBA centers do we have in the NBA right now who are as good? Interesting thing Marc Gasol PER this season is 21.7 and .186 WS/48 and he is considered to be the best center in the NBA...

lol, please
05-27-2015, 03:21 PM
I think Zo and Dwight are both Hall of Famers, and they certainly are based on the current standards. Both guys are probably top 20-25 players at the center position all-time. When you consider that's probably the most stacked position of any single position in league history, how can they not be in the Hall of Fame?

Let's assume for a second that every position is equal even though it's not. If you let in only the top 25 players at every position, you're talking about roughly 125 players in the history of the NBA. Considering the league is more than 60 years old, that's roughly two players for every year of the league. That seems fair to me. I actually went and counted the number of players in the Hall and there's 168. So based on those standards, Zo and Dwight are both absolutely worthy of cracking the Hall as they're unquestionably each among the 168 best players who ever played the game of basketball.

Personally, think the standards for the Basketball Hall of Fame are way too lenient. If you were never a top 5-10 guy in the league, I don't think you should get voted in unless your college or International career was something truly spectacular. But both Zo and Dwight would still qualify under that barometer.
While I disagree vehemently about Dwight and consider him vastly overrated, I agree with most of the points made in this post. Very well said MBT, very well done.

KnicksorBust
05-27-2015, 03:27 PM
Dwight's offensive game has been underrated. He commanded double teams throughout his career and there was post-season dominance when he wasn't.

Hawkeye15
05-27-2015, 04:22 PM
Dwight's offensive game has been underrated. He commanded double teams throughout his career and there was post-season dominance when he wasn't.

that is all Orlando did, get shooters and dump it out to Dwight. It worked pretty well.

D-Leethal
05-27-2015, 04:27 PM
Dwight's offensive game has been underrated. He commanded double teams throughout his career and there was post-season dominance when he wasn't.

It takes two to tango in a pick and roll, three if you credit the scheme. Dwight was part of a great team system but he was never a great offensive player.

D-Leethal
05-27-2015, 04:28 PM
that is all Orlando did, get shooters and dump it out to Dwight. It worked pretty well.

Dumping to Dwight implies he was settled in the post calling for the ball. They pick and rolled it to Dwight, they didn't dump it to the post.

flea
05-27-2015, 04:59 PM
Having watched a lot of the Magic then, I'd guess they posted him up maybe 10-15 times a game (something like 1/5 or a bit less of their half-court possessions). I'm sure a stat exists somewhere to tell you exactly but I doubt I'm off by too much. Against inferior defenders it was a pretty solid option, but otherwise it was sort of average at best. He is really turnover prone (a) because he has limited moves and loves going baseline (b) because he's a poor passer that turned into just a below average one by his prime and (c) he has a low IQ and was slow to react to doubles, even though SVG kept shooters camped out all around.

You can look at his FG% and PPG and think he was good but he wasn't. He was probably above average for his position but that's it. Pick and rolls, he was better (still has lead hands though). Putbacks and offensive glass, great. Dump-offs, great. He wasn't a liability in Orlando but he seems like he many times now - if you're a turnover prone player without a good ISO game and you can't shoot or pass it's really hard to be a + offensive player.

But really, after a Turk or Nelson P&R posting him up was the best option. He's on a team now where he's probably the 4th or 5th best option in the halfcourt (even lower when Motejiunas is healthy). Those weren't great offensive teams in Orlando, but they were solid.

Hawkeye15
05-27-2015, 05:13 PM
Dumping to Dwight implies he was settled in the post calling for the ball. They pick and rolled it to Dwight, they didn't dump it to the post.

this did both. Dwight was still getting deep catches the majority of the time.

ManningToTyree
05-27-2015, 05:33 PM
No order
Shaq
Wilt
Kareem
Hakeem
Duncan
Russell
Robinson
Malone
Ewing
Reed