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Monday, August 9th, 2010 at 5:54 pm  |  55 responses

Polladaday: Greatest Center of All Time?

There was a great deal of commenting on the Shaq video posted last Friday and a lot of debate over who is the greatest center to ever set foot on an NBA court.

Who is the greatest center of all time?

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  • http://brainonscrew.tumblr.com cramzy

    DREAM!!!!…I’m biased as hell tho. He was my introduction to the Nba

  • http://brainonscrew.tumblr.com cramzy

    umm…where’s Kareem?!!!!

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Where the hell is Luc Longley?! J/K we’ll never truly know, but wouldn’t it be fun as hell to watch them all go at it in their prime though?

  • http://SLAMonline.com Schneezy

    @cramzy. true that. my bad. poll has been updated

  • Dave

    Moses Malone needs to be added.

  • fatmencantjump

    In terms of skill hakeen the dream’s greatest

  • Joe

    Olajuwon was great, but Bill Russell has more rings than his hands can hold.

  • nicSow

    I don’t understand why Shaq is not the top vote getter on this poll… To me he is the best center of all time and the only player who has been as dominant as Shaq was Wilt Chamberlain. When Shaq was in his prime, nobody could stop him, it was not even funny how he rolled over the competition. Only minus for Shaq is his work ethic..

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    Dream all day.

  • EJ

    Hakeem’s got the most votes?? He’s one of my favorite players of all time and the most skilled big man ever, but I vote SHAQUILLE O’NEAL.

  • http://www.twitter.com/JoshElam JE

    pretty surprising results so far.

  • JTaylor21

    No love for Kareem, dude has a compelling case to be numero uno on every top 5/10 all time list.

  • http://soulbanger.tumblr.com tapion786

    wow. i voted hakeem but def didn’t expect him to be at the top of the list.. he was a guard in a big man’s body

  • pennydunk_1

    Where’s Keith Closs?

  • LA Huey

    co-sign cramzy. Dream was the only pivot to get it all done without an All-Star teammate. 1993-94 Rockets are still my all-time favorites.

  • Joe

    Hakeem had Drexler

  • The Philosopher

    Kareem. Period.

  • http://www.slamonline.com JL

    over the whole career and complete package with championships it’s gotta be kareem. hakeem is probably the most skilled and fastest though. russell’s offense wasn’t good enough (i’m not sure but everyone keeps talking about his defense) and wilt didn’t seem to be a big winner vs being a stat maker. shaq was just too damn lazy. he coulda been amongst the best. instead he had potential. So much potential and talent.

  • Atrain

    Dream was good but c’mon, ahead of Kareem and Wilt is a joke. The argument is even there for Russell except nobody saw the guy play.

    But nobody was a better center than Kareem. Played long, greatest move ever, rings + mvps

  • logues

    umm… no cherokee parks?

  • Mr. TKO

    I voted Hakeem in order to at least let him go out with a couple of votes to his name, imagine my Shock/surprise when I found out that he was leading the poll!

    I didn’t think he would beat the classical guys, Wilt and Kareem etc… but he’s always been my favorite center. 1st he’s Nigerian (rep my country) 2nd. If you watch ESPN Classic and see how skilled and cerebal he was, you can’t help but be impressed. 3rd He’s still Nigerian (my mom met him when he was still in Nigeria btw) but you have to realize that he was a kid who had never played basketball until he was practically an adult but he ended up being better than almost every single center that has ever played the game.

    You have to respect that perseverance and dedication.

    I wish all my favorite centers would spend their summers with him. I’m looking at you Bynum!

  • MikeC.

    Hakeem played with two All-Stars(Pip and Barkley don’t count since they were shuffled in and shuffled out at a pretty quick pace). Drex was a perennial All-Star (admittedly his prime was with Portland, but he still handled Penny in the Finals), and Otis Thorpe. Thorpe also had the biggest damn hands I’ve ever seen. I’m pretty sure dude could palm a car.

  • JTaylor21

    Dave is right, where is Moses Malone. Just re-watched the 83 finals and dude outright was the better player than kareem in that series.

  • MikeC.

    Also, how can it not be Kareem? Rookie of the Year. 6-time champ. 6-time MVP. 2-time Finals MVP. One of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players. Second All-time games played. 3rd All-time in rebounds. 3rd All-time in blocked shots. 1st All time in: points, minutes, field goals made, All-Star Selections and All-Star games played. He was also number 1 all-time in looking like a extraterrestrial googly-eyed weirdo winning-machine. Huzzah for Kareem!!! Kareem was so good, his Lakers jersey is the only non-Knicks jersey I own. I rest my case. Case closed.

  • MikeC.

    I am OUTRAGED by this list’s exclusion of Jerome James!

  • wally

    Phuck this poll, know your history , Russell and Wilt , no one else.

  • wally

    what a joke

  • Dweezil

    Sure, Bill Russel was a great player, and no one is gonna come close to 11 rings in this era, but he wasn’t even the greatest center in his era. He was a great leader and a defender and could add in some offence, but him being the greatest big man is like saying that Robert Horry is the greatest Power Forward, and that Sam Jones in the greatest Poind Guard.
    Dream was definetly the most skilled big man, but not the greatest. Sure, the Rockets dominated the Magic in the ’95 Finals, but a young Shaq kept up with a prime Hakeem pretty damn well.
    Shaq easily gets my vote, in his prime, nobody could stop him. He was head and shoulders over the whole league in 2000. Not to mention that he held is own as a youngster in one of the greatest eras of big men.

  • EJ

    IT’S DJ MBENGA!!!!!!!!!!

  • Yesse

    It’s a tough one. Shaq was probably the most raw and dominating player (Wilt was good, but not as good as Shaq), but then again Hakeem was a smart player, so for me it would be between those guys. Then again i might pick Kareem.

  • Yesse

    Bill was good too and if we talk about the time back then i would probably pick him, but in todays basketball i don’t think Bill would be as good, but he has achieved so much that he could be picked too.

  • ben

    Bad Poll, you have to define what you mean by great. Everybody is going to vote with his own definition.

  • JRGougeon

    Where is Moses?

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    Out of everyone one on the list Hakeem was the most talented (quadruple double) and he has the rings to go along with it so I think he is the best hands down. He was just overshadowed bc of the Jordan era.

  • unrel

    kareem.. no other big man comes close.. maybe lacked in some areas compared to the other mentioned bigs.. but kareem is the greatest center of all time.. why?.. because chick hearn said so..

  • unrel

    seriously, though.. cap’ won on every level.. can win the game for you with a hook shot or on the freethrow line.. maybe not a force like wilt/shaq.. but dominated (see list of most points in history).. was able to play two styles.. half court and uptempo.. ran the floor well and kept up with the showtime lakers.. one on one defense and help defense was great.. highest IQ of the names mentioned.. great teammate.. can post and hit a jumper.. i just have to look at the list.. and see who would win one on one.. and kareem is the only one that i feel comfortable saying that can beat each one of those guys in their prime..

  • Overtime

    Two words: SHAWN. BRADLEY.

  • Conoro

    Wow. The fact that Abdul-Jabbar is not number one here is a testament to the intelligence nearly everyone here lacks…

  • hangtime Hec

    Really? I mean you couldn’t go wrong with any of the centers there. I dont think picking a certain center would be a lack of intelligence but just a matter of preference.

  • http://www.borntocompete.com Money$hot

    This is a very debatable topic especially with all these great centers. I would have to put Kareem over Hakeem with Kareem having six rings, won championships with two different teams, has the most points ever as an NBA center and an unstoppable sky hook. With that sky hook I believe he could score in any era. But, I still give to Russel as the top center. Not only did he win 11 rings, u have to realize in played in an era where not many people wanted him to succeed that’s a lot of pressure but impressed me the most about him is the year he won a chip as a player/coach. As far as I know he is the only NBA player to officially do that.

  • http://www.slamonline.com wayno

    y’all know my vote…Shaq all the way.

  • me

    Money$hot: Pat Riley has won a chip as player and coach as well. He played on the 71-72 Lakers with Wilt…

  • http://slamonline.com GotHandles?

    THE DIESEL

  • Conoro

    @hangtime Hec

    Yeah, I know. I was just being a jerk.

  • http://www.stonesthrow.com Michael NZ

    Hakeem.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    Z

  • LA Huey

    Just to clarify, Drexler joined the Rockets for the 2nd title. Dream got it done as the lone All-Star on his team. I wouldn’t argue if anyone wanted to put Kareem or Russell ahead of him though.

  • ListenThink

    . . . I’m the first guy to say that somebody is better than me. I was the first guy to say Hakeem Olajuwon beat me in the [1995] NBA finals. He killed me. He dominated me. I didn’t go, ‘Oh, he’s traveling. They had experience. Wah-wah-wah.’ I’m a man. Hakeem Olajuwon dusted my butt…”

    -Shaquille O’Neal

    “ If I had to pick a center [for an all-time best team], I would take Olajuwon. That leaves out Shaq, Patrick Ewing. It leaves out Wilt Chamberlain. It leaves out a lot of people. And the reason I would take Olajuwon is very simple: he is so versatile because of what he can give you from that position. It’s not just his scoring, not just his rebounding or not just his blocked shots. People don’t realize he was in the top seven in steals. He always made great decisions on the court. For all facets of the game, I have to give it to him. ”

    -Michael Jordan

  • ListenThink

    . . . I’m the first guy to say that somebody is better than me. I was the first guy to say Hakeem Olajuwon beat me in the [1995] NBA finals. He killed me. He dominated me. I didn’t go, ‘Oh, he’s traveling. They had experience. Wah-wah-wah.’ I’m a man. Hakeem Olajuwon dusted my butt…”

    -Shaquille O’Neal

  • ListenThink

    “ If I had to pick a center [for an all-time best team], I would take Olajuwon. That leaves out Shaq, Patrick Ewing. It leaves out Wilt Chamberlain. It leaves out a lot of people. And the reason I would take Olajuwon is very simple: he is so versatile because of what he can give you from that position. It’s not just his scoring, not just his rebounding or not just his blocked shots. People don’t realize he was in the top seven in steals. He always made great decisions on the court. For all facets of the game, I have to give it to him. ”

    -Michael Jordan

  • giogolo

    the crowd has spoken..to bad this ain’t the 50′s-50′s70′s. Much respect to wilt and russel.
    also so shaq and kareem.

  • hoodsnake

    David Robinson. MVP , DPOY , scoring champ , block shots champ , rebounding champ , 71 point game (yeah i know it was against the clips) , olympic golds , all-star , etc

  • JD

    Wilt Chamberlain obviously what do some people not get about 100 points, or 50.1ppg or 55 Boards in one game? No disrespect to any of the others all are greats too

  • Tyler

    Wilt is stat wise the best center ever! But he did play in an era was he was the only real 7 footer. IMO The Dream had the best move set ever for a bigman

  • eyad

    hakeem the dream, bar none.

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