Ranking the 25 Greatest Centers in NBA History

25. Dan Issel

Even though most of his accolades are a result of his play in the ABA, Issel was no slouch once he made his way to the NBA. He averaged over 20 points in six of his nine NBA seasons, and if you include his ABA statistics, those averages bump to over 22 points and nine rebounds for his career. He was an All-Star in each of his six ABA seasons, and in 1971-72, he put up an astounding 30 points and 11 rebounds per game. Issel was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993 as a member of both the Kentucky Colonels and the Denver Nuggets.

Image Source: YouTube

24. Alonzo Mourning

Had it not been for a serious kidney condition keeping him off the court throughout his 30’s, Mourning might have ended up even higher on our list. Prior to his diagnosis, he put up numbers that helped earn him a Hall of Fame induction in 2014. He was a regular 20-point, 10-rebound center throughout the ’90’s. He truly excelled on the defensive end of the floor — averaging around three blocks per game throughout his career. Mourning was also the recipient of two Defensive Player of the Year Awards. Lastly, Mourning was a seven-time All-Star. There is no doubt that when healthy, ‘Zo was one of the best centers that the league had ever seen.

Image Source: Rocky Widner/Getty Images

23. Artis Gilmore

Like Dan Issel, Gilmore spent time with the Kentucky Colonels of the ABA. He was the league MVP in 1972 — which then was parlayed into becoming the No. 1 Overall selection in the 1976 dispersal draft (when the ABA merged with the NBA). Once in the NBA, Gilmore was a six-time All-Star. In his entire professional basketball career, Gilmore averaged over 18 points and 12 rebounds per game. At 7’2”, he was also a force on the defensive end. Gilmore was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011. In over 1,300 career games, he made himself known as one of the best centers to ever play.

Image Source: YouTube