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Top 5 NBA Centers of all time

Yash Matange
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 13 Sep 2017, 17:05 IST

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When the NBA began back in 1946, it was all about the big men. The team with the tallest player won and if there were two players equally imposing, it came down to who could out-skill whom. In the 1960s and 70s, almost every major league accolade was won by a big man, namely the duo of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain.

As decades rolled on, the dependency on the center position (the team's big men) dwindled. And with the current fast paced nature of the league, it gets ever so difficult for the 7-footers to stay with the play.

However, in the decades that have gone by there have been players who've made a name for themselves at the center position. "Made a name" is a huge understatement.

Here are the top 5 from the list of those players.

#5 Hakeem Olajuwon

Hakeem Olajuwon
Hakeem Olajuwon

Career Averages: 21.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, 3.1 blocks, 51.4% FG

Notable Achievement: Only player to win NBA MVP, Finals MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season

Hakeem Olajuwon is the reason Houston Rockets can hold their head high. They are probably the last team in NBA history to have won not one but two championships with a roster constituting of just one star.

Olajuwon was the founding father of the unstoppable post-move - the Dream Shake. Star players since his time have gone back to him, even when he is in his 60s, to perfect their post-game. He was close to unguardable in the post and to make matters worse for the defence he also had an effective mid-range jumper in his arsenal.


Olajuwon was effective not only on offence but also on defence. He is the all-time leader in blocks with 3830 and is a two-time winner of the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year Award.

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Published 13 Sep 2017, 17:05 IST
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