The center position was often the focal point of championship teams at the start of the NBA. Big men dominated the league in the first few decades of the sport, and even though their contribution has stalled a bit in recent years, we still see some great bigs (with styles different to those from the past) dominate the game.
To choose only 10 centers from NBA history is a challenging task, because a number of superstars who've played at the position have dominated the league.
NBA Rankings: Top 10 centers in the history of the league
Though the history of the NBA is full of many superstar big men, in this article, we will select the 10 best from that talent pool.
Without further ado, let us take a look at this NBA ranking of the top 10 centers in the history of the league.
#10 Patrick Ewing
Unfair criticism has often been levelled at Patrick Ewing's NBA career because he did not give a title to the New York Knicks franchise during his 15-year stint in The Big Apple. Still, in reality, he never really got to play with enough talent around him.
Ewing's 17-year NBA career was fantastic - 11 NBA All-Star appearances, seven All-NBA selections, three All-Defense selections, and even a Rookie of the Year award.
In his first 13 NBA seasons, Ewing never averaged less than 20 points per game. He averaged 23.5 points per game during that 13-year span, along with 10 rebounds and 3 blocks per game.
24,815 career points from a player who was expected to be defense-driven illustrate how good Ewing was. The title evaded him, as his best chance in 1994 fell apart against Hakeem Olajuwon's Houston Rockets, but Ewing deserves great respect for his NBA career.
#9 Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard's presence in this list might be a little antipathic for some, but he had one of the best 'primes' of any center. DH was an absolutely dominant presence on both ends of the court during his best years.
Though he is now a role player for the reigning NBA champions, the LA Lakers, Howard's career is definitely worthy of the Hall of Fame.
With the Orlando Magic, Howard averaged 18 points, 13 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game. Though he has had some bad years recently, Howard is still a 17-point 12-rebound player over the course of his career, which is extraordinary.
Howard is a three-time winner of the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award. He has led the NBA five times in rebounds per game, and twice in blocks per game. An NBA championship, eight All-NBA selections and five selections to the All-Defense teams are testaments to Howard's caliber.
He also led the 2009 Orlando Magic to the NBA Finals, as he got past the Kevin Garnett-less Boston Celtics and defeated LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals.