The center is arguably one of the most important positions on the court. The right center can defend the basket and make the difference in a game-making throw, helping a team to either win or lose.
Over time, there have been some truly stand-out centers who showed just how important the position could be. Here are our top picks from recent NBA history:
Playing for the San Antonio Spurs, Duncan is often discussed for his role as a power forward, but he has made his mark as a center. Thanks to his work in both roles, he has been named an NBA All-Star a whopping 15 times, and he is the only player to be named to the All-NBA and All-Defensive Teams in all of his first 13 seasons. He may have only started playing basketball on a lark when he was in the ninth grade, but he proved to be a natural.
Olajuwon played for both the Houston Rockets and the Toronto Raptors, and thanks to his work as center, he helped the Rockets win championships in both 1994 and 1995. He is widely considered to be one of the best centers in NBA history, and he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.
Wallace was traded to the Portland Trailblazers after playing for the Washington Bullets. Thanks to his outstanding work as a center, he was instrumental in helping the Trailblazers get to the Western Conference Finals in 1999 and 2000. He was then named an NBA All-Star in 2000 and 2001. Later, he went on to play for the Atlanta Hawks and the Detroit Pistons.
The center doesn’t always get a lot of respect, but these all-star players have shown why it should. These men have made their mark and helped bring their team to success.