For Shaq’s 35th Birthday ESPN saw fit to rank the top 10 centers of all time and I can’t disagree with #1 at all.
As for his achievements: 1967-68 USBWA College Player of the Year; 1969 Naismith Award; Six-time NBA MVP; Six-time NBA Champion; Two-time Finals MVP; NBA Rookie of the Year (1970); and NBA Hall of Fame (1995).
Like no other player, Abdul-Jabbar embodied the maestro team brilliance of Bill Russell and the individual excellence of Wilt Chamberlain. His NBA cup runneth over: six championships, a record six MVPs and a Finals MVP award … at 38 years old!
Possessed the single most unstoppable shot in NBA history — the sky hook — but more than that, he was clutch, consistent and underrated in the toughness department.
He was the starting center on six championship teams and had the presence of mind to cohabitate with stars like Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson and James Worthy.
He’s the all-time leading scorer with 38,387 points; was named to the All-NBA Defensive team 11 times; and is the only modern era player to lead the league at least once in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots, minutes played, field-goal percentage and PER.
However, in their explanation of choosing Kareem as #1 I believe they left out on of the most amazing things about Kareem’s career. His expected arrival in the college ranks led to directly to a preemptive rule change by NCAA when they banned the dunk after the 1967 season and reinstated it shortly after his departure from UCLA. No other player that I can think of recieved the same treatment. While the rule was made mostly to limit his size advantage, it didnâ€™t slow Kareem down as UCLA went 88-2 while he was a player.
The other thing to ponder about this list would is where Bill Walton would be if he hadnâ€™t the chronic injury problems.
As for the complete list:
1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
2. Wilt Chamberlain
3. Bill Russell
4. Shaquille Oâ€™Neal
5. Hakeem Olajuwon
6. Moses Malone
7. Bill Walton
8. David Robinson
9. George Mikan
10. Patrick Ewing
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