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Encyclopedia > Center (basketball)
Basketball Positions
Point guard
Shooting guard
Small forward
Power forward
Center
Additional Positions
Swingman
Point forward
Tweener
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The center is one of the standard positions in a regulation basketball game. The center is normally the tallest on the team, and often has a great deal of strength and body mass as well. A typical NBA center is 6'10" (2.08 m) or taller. Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five active players each try to score points against one another by throwing a ball through a 10-foot high hoop (the basket) under organized rules. ... The five tactical basketball positions normally employed by organized basketball teams are: center, power forward, small forward, point guard and shooting guard. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Shooting guard (SG), also known as the two or off guard,[1] is one of five traditional positions on a basketball team. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A tweener in basketball is a term, sometimes used derisively, for a player who is able to play two positions, but is not ideally suited to play either position exclusively, so he/she is said to be in between. ... Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five active players each try to score points against one another by throwing a ball through a 10-foot high hoop (the basket) under organized rules. ... The National Basketball Association of the United States and Canada, commonly known as the NBA, is the premier professional basketball league in North America. ...


In many cases, the center's primary role is to use his or her size to score and defend from a position close to the basket. A center who possesses size along with athleticism and skill constitutes an unparalleled asset for a team. The centers are also generally the players who are chosen to take jump balls. The jump ball that starts the game, known as the opening tip, takes place at center court. ...


Among current NBA players, Shaquille O'Neal of the Miami Heat is noted both for his enormous proportions, standing 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) tall and weighing (officially) 325 lb (150 kg), as well for his mastery of elegantly simple post maneuvers. Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets stands 7'6" tall; his persistence and shooting touch are exemplary. Both have the awareness to make good passes when double-teamed. Shaquille Rashaun ONeal (born March 6, 1972 in Newark, New Jersey), frequently referred to simply as Shaq (pronounced shack), is an American professional basketball player, generally regarded as one of the most dominant in the National Basketball Association (NBA). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This is a Chinese name; the family name is Yao Yao Ming (Chinese: ; Pinyin: ) (born September 12, 1980, in Shanghai, China) is a Chinese professional basketball player and is arguably the best center in the National Basketball Association (NBA) today. ... The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball team based in Houston, Texas. ...


There has been occasional controversy over what constitutes a "true center". For example, some have argued that Ben Wallace, while highly effective at center, is actually a power forward playing out of position, mainly because his 6'9" (2.06 m) height makes him considerably smaller than most centers he faces. Likewise, some would say that Tim Duncan, although listed throughout his career as a power forward, is actually a center, because of his size and style of play. It is believed that when Duncan entered the NBA, he played power forward in order to keep San Antonio Spurs teammate David Robinson playing as center and have two dominant big men on the floor. However, Duncan has continued to be listed as a power forward even after Robinson's retirement. Nonetheless, the judgment of whether a given player is a center or power forward is often highly subjective. Because there are currently so few people who meet the ideal size requirements of an NBA center, teams will sometimes find it necessary to play an individual at that position who would be more effective as a power forward. For the British MP, see Ben Wallace (UK politician). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Timothy Tim Theodore Duncan[1] (born April 25, 1976 in Christiansted, St. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. ... David Maurice Robinson (born August 6, 1965 in Key West, Florida) is a former NBA basketball player, who is often considered one of the greatest centers to ever play the game. ... “NBA” redirects here. ...


It should also be noted that generally centers and power forwards have low free throw percentages (ranging from 45%-70%) with an exception of Yao Ming who averages a free throw percentage over 86 % which ranks #15 in the NBA. Because of this, it is not uncommon for the opposing team to purposely foul and therefore send them to the line, especially late in games. This has been a common strategy used against certain centers who have continuously struggled with free throws, examples include Shaquille O'Neal and Ben Wallace. Centers are among the leaders in blocks and rebounds and are said to "anchor" defenses. It is common for centers to roam the paint, and therefore block a high numbers of shots, especially when their man does not have the ball. It has been suggested that Three point play be merged into this article or section. ... Shaquille Rashaun ONeal (born March 6, 1972 in Newark, New Jersey), frequently referred to simply as Shaq (pronounced shack), is an American professional basketball player, generally regarded as one of the most dominant in the National Basketball Association (NBA). ... For the British MP, see Ben Wallace (UK politician). ...


The tallest player to ever be drafted in the NBA was Yasutaka Okayama from Japan but he didn't get any playing time. The tallest players to ever play in the NBA, at 7'7" (2.31 m) are centers Gheorghe Mureşan and Manute Bol (although Bol was said to be a few millimeters smaller). Standing at 7'2" (2.18 m), Margo Dydek is the tallest player in the history of the WNBA. She currently plays for the Connecticut Sun team, and is even taller than Shaquille O'Neal. Yasutaka Okayama is known to be the tallest basketball player in NBA history. ... Gheorghe Dumitru MureÅŸan (IPA: /gi. ... Manute Bol (born October 16, 1962) is a Sudanese-born basketball player and activist. ... MaÅ‚gorzata Dydek (born on 28 April 1974 in PoznaÅ„, Poland), known as Margo Dydek in the United States, is an international professional basketball player. ... WNBA may also refer to WNBA-AM, a radio station in Illinois. ... The Connecticut Sun are a Womens National Basketball Association team based in Uncasville, Connecticut. ... “Stature” redirects here. ... Shaquille Rashaun ONeal (born March 6, 1972 in Newark, New Jersey), frequently referred to simply as Shaq (pronounced shack), is an American professional basketball player, generally regarded as one of the most dominant in the National Basketball Association (NBA). ...

Contents

History of the center position

Emergence of the Center

The center is one of the key pieces for any team, especially at the professional level such as the NBA. Great centers have been the foundation for most of the dynasties in both the NBA and NCAA. The 6’10" George Mikan pioneered the Center position, shattering the widely-held perception that tall players could not develop the agility and coordination to play basketball well, and ushering in the role of the dominant big man. He led DePaul University to the NIT title, then, after turning professional, won seven National Basketball League, Basketball Association of America and NBA Championships in his ten year career (1946-56), nine of them with the Minneapolis Lakers. Using his height to dominate opposing players, Mikan invented the hook shot and the shot block; as a consequence, the NCAA, and later NBA, adopted the goaltending rule, and, in 1951, the NBA widened the foul lane, a decision known as the 'Mikan rule.'[1] George Lawrence Mikan, Jr. ... DePaul University is a private institution of higher education and research in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Founded by the Vincentians in 1898, the university takes its name from the 17th century French priest who valued philanthropy, Saint Vincent de Paul. ... The National Invitation Tournament (NIT) is a mens college basketball tournament operated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. ... This article discusses the National Basketball League, a defunct professional league in the United States. ... NBA official website NBA News from Pro Sports Daily Dougs NBA Statistics NBA Statistics from 82games. ... The NBA Finals is the championship series of the National Basketball Association, played under a best-of-seven playoff format. ... The Los Angeles Lakers are a National Basketball Association team based in Los Angeles, California. ... Kent Benson attempting a hook shot for the Indiana Hoosiers, 1977 For the cricket maneuver, see Batting (cricket). ... Oscar Torres (13) is in position to block this shot. ... In basketball, goaltending is the violation of interfering with the ball or the basket on the balls downward flight to the basket or while it is on the ring (or, in the NBA, while it is directly above the basket). ...


1960's: The Era of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain

In the 1960's, as the NBA gradually became dominated by African-American athletes, Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain further transformed basketball by combining height with a greater level of athleticism than previous Centers. Following the retirement of George Mikan, the rivalry two big man would dominate the NBA. Between the two of them, Chamberlain and Russell won nine of the eleven MVP awards in the twelve year period between 1958 and 1969, while they played against one another in six Eastern Conference Finals and two NBA Finals in the course of the decade from 1959-69. Many of the records set by these two players have endured today. Most notably, Chamberlain and Russell hold eighteen of the top twenty season averages for rebounds. William Felton Bill Russell (born February 12, 1934) is a retired American professional basketball player who played center for the Boston Celtics of the NBA. A five-time winner of the NBA Most Valuable Player Award and a twelve-time All-Star, the 6 ft 9 in Russell was the... Wilton Norman Wilt Chamberlain (August 21, 1936–October 12, 1999), nicknamed Wilt the Stilt and The Big Dipper, was an American professional National Basketball Association (NBA) basketball player for the Philadelphia / San Francisco Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers; and also played for the Harlem Globetrotters. ... George Lawrence Mikan, Jr. ... The National Basketball Association first named a Most Valuable Player after the 1955-56 NBA season. ... NBA minimum requirements for rebounding average are 70 games played or 800 rebounds. ...


Bill Russell led the University of San Francisco to two consecutive NCAA Championships (1955, 56') before joining the Boston Celtics and helping make them into the greatest dynasty in NBA history, winning eleven championships over his thirteen-year career (1956-69) as well as five MVP awards. Russell revolutionized defensive strategy with his shot-blocking, rebounding and physical man-to-man defense. While never the focal point of the Celtics offense, much of the teams scoring came when Russell would defensive rebounds and initiated fast breaks with percision outlet passes, primarily to Point guard Bob Cousy. As the NBA's first African-American superstar, Russell struggled throughout his career with the racism he encountered from fans in Boston, particularly after being named player-coach in the 1966-67 season, the first African-American in any major sport.[2] William Felton Bill Russell (born February 12, 1934) is a retired American professional basketball player who played center for the Boston Celtics of the NBA. A five-time winner of the NBA Most Valuable Player Award and a twelve-time All-Star, the 6 ft 9 in Russell was the... University of San Francisco (USF) is a private Jesuit and Catholic University in San Francisco, California, United States. ... The NCAA Mens Division I Basketball Championship is held each spring featuring 65 of the top college basketball teams in the United States. ... The Boston Celtics are a professional basketball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. ... Man to man defense is a type of defensive tactic used in basketball and Football (Soccer) in which each player is assigned to defend and follow the movements of a single player on offense. ... Reeses Fast Break is a candy bar similar to the Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Robert Joseph Cousy (born August 9, 1928 in New York City, is an American former professional basketball player, who played point guard with the NBAs Boston Celtics from 1951 to 1963 and (briefly) with the Cincinnati Royals in the 1969-1970 season, being recognized as one of the greatest... Nickname: City on the Hill, Beantown, The Hub (of the Universe)1, Athens of America, The Cradle of Revolution, Puritan City, Americas Walking City Location in Massachusetts, USA Counties Suffolk County Mayor Thomas M. Menino(D) Area    - City 232. ... A player-coach, in sports, is a member of a sports team who simultaneously holds both playing and coaching duties. ...


His principal rival, Wilt Chamberlain, listed at 7'1", 275-pounds, was the most physically dominant player in the NBA, but lacked Russell's supporting cast. He played college ball for the Kansas Jayhawks, leading them to the 1957 title game against the North Carolina Tar Heels. Although they lost by one point in triple-overtime, he was named the tournament's most Outstanding Player. Briefly a member of the Harlem Globetrotters before joining the Philadelphia Warriors of the NBA in 1959, Chamberlain won two Championships, in 1967 with the Philadelphia 76ers and 1972 with the Los Angeles Lakers, although his teams were repeatedly defeated by the Celtics in the Eastern Conference and NBA Finals. He also won seven scoring and eleven rebounding titles and four regular season Most Valuable Player awards, including the distinction, in 1960, of being the first rookie to receive the award. Taller and stronger than any player of his era, he usually proved capable of scoring and rebounding at will, despite being constantly double and triple-teamed and the target of fouling tactics designed to take advantage of his poor free-throw shooting, while setting a number of records that have never been broken. Most notably, Chamberlain was the only player in NBA history to average more than 50 points in a season and score more than 100 points in a single game, both in 1961-62 as a member of the Philadelphia Warriors, while also holding the record for rebounding average (27.2) and rebounds in a single game (55).[3] He also holds the NBA's all-time record for rebounds (23,924). Wilton Norman Wilt Chamberlain (August 21, 1936–October 12, 1999), nicknamed Wilt the Stilt and The Big Dipper, was an American professional National Basketball Association (NBA) basketball player for the Philadelphia / San Francisco Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers; and also played for the Harlem Globetrotters. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This refers to the athletic teams for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). The name Tar Heel is also often used to refer to individuals from the state of North Carolina, the Tar Heel State. ... The Harlem Globetrotters are an exhibition basketball team that combines athleticism and comedy to create one of the best-known sports entertainment franchises in the world. ... The Golden State Warriors are a National Basketball Association team based in Oakland, California. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Lakers logo 1966-1991 The Los Angeles Lakers are a National Basketball Association (NBA) team based in Los Angeles, California. ... The National Basketball Association first named a Most Valuable Player after the 1955-56 NBA season. ... The Golden State Warriors are a National Basketball Association team based in Oakland, California. ... This is a list of National Basketball Association players by total career offense and defensive regular season rebounds recorded[1]. ^ a b The National Basketball Association did not record rebounding statistics until the 1950-51 season. ...


A lesser-known Center of the era was Nate Thurmond, who initially played the Forward position opposite Wilt Chamberlain for the San Francisco Warriors but moved to Center after Chamberlain was traded to the new Philadelphia franchise. Although he never won a Championship, Thurmond was known as the best screen setter in the league, and his averages 21.3 and 20.0 rebounds per game in 1966-67 and 1967-68, are exceeded only by Chamberlain and Russell. Nathaniel Nate Thurmond (born July 25, 1941, in Akron, Ohio) is rated by many one of the best defensive centers ever to play pro basketball, feared and praised by legends including Bob Pettit, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Wilt Chamberlain. ... Wilton Norman Wilt Chamberlain (August 21, 1936–October 12, 1999), nicknamed Wilt the Stilt and The Big Dipper, was an American professional National Basketball Association (NBA) basketball player for the Philadelphia / San Francisco Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers; and also played for the Harlem Globetrotters. ... The Golden State Warriors are a National Basketball Association team based in Oakland, California. ... The pick and roll (also called screen and roll or shortened to screen-roll) in basketball, is an offensive play in which a player sets a screen (pick) for a teammate handling the ball and then slips behind the defender (rolls) to accept a pass. ...


Centers in the 1970's and 1980's

In contrast to the Celtics dynasty of the 1960's, the 1970s were a decade of parity in the NBA, with eight different champions and no back-to-back winners. At the college level, the UCLA Bruins, under Coach John Wooden, built the greatest dynasty in NCAA basketball history, winning seven consecutive titles between 1967 and 1973. The initial cornerstone of Wooden's teams was Lew Alcindor, who led UCLA to three championships-in 1967, 68' and 69'-while winning the first Naismith College Player of the Year Award. During his college career, the NCAA enacted a ban on dunking primarily because of Alcindor's dominant use of the shot.[4] His entrance into the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969 was timely, as Bill Russell had just retired and Wilt Chamberlain was 33 years old and increasingly plagued by injuries. After winning the 1971 NBA championship, teamed up with legendary Point guard Oscar Robertson, Alcindor, who had converted to Islam, changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. In 1975, Abdul-Jabbar was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, and, after the arrival of Point guard Magic Johnson in 1980, formed part of a new Lakers dynasty that won five NBA titles (1980, 82', 85', 87', 88'). In addition, Abdul-Jabbar won six regular-season MVP awards (1971, 72', 74', 76', 77', 80'). At 7'2", 267-pounds, he lacked the strength of Chamberlain in his prime, but had a longer wingspan and ultimately proved more durable, adhering to a strict physical-fitness regiment that enabled him to play for twenty years, the longest career in NBA history at the time. Offensively, he was best known for his trademark 'Skyhook' hook-shot, almost impossible to block because of his height and wingspan. His career record of 38,387 points has yet to be broken. [5] Defensively, the 1973-4 season was the first in which the number of blocked shots were kept, and, over the next seven years, Kareem led the league in this statistic or finished second.[6] The UCLA Bruins mens basketball program, established in 1920, owns a record 11 NCAA championships. ... John Robert Wooden (born October 14, 1910, in Hall, Indiana) is a retired American basketball coach. ... Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (born April 16, 1947 in New York City, New York) was a successful high school, collegiate, and professional basketball player. ... The Naismith College Player of the Year award, named for basketball inventor James Naismith, is given annually by the Atlanta Tipoff Club to college basketballs top male and female player. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Oscar Palmer Robertson (born November 24, 1938 in Charlotte, Tennessee), nicknamed The Big O, is a former American NBA player with the Cincinnati Royals and the Milwaukee Bucks. ... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... For the football player, see Abdul-Karim al-Jabbar. ... Lakers logo 1966-1991 The Los Angeles Lakers are a National Basketball Association (NBA) team based in Los Angeles, California. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Earvin Johnson, Jr. ...


Another product of John Wooden's UCLA program, Bill Walton, appeared poised to join the ranks of great Centers. He led UCLA to back-to-back NCAA titles in 1972 and 73', led the Portland TrailBlazers to the NBA championship in 1977, and won the NBA MVP the following year. However, his career was plagued with injuries, most infamously a broken bone in his left foot suffered during his MVP season that he never fully recovered from, and he spent most of the following decade on the bench, although he eventually did win a second NBA title as a backup for the Boston Celtics in 1986, when he received the Sixth Man Award. Willis Reed won two championship with the New York Knicks in 1970 and 1973, teamed with Point guard Walt Frazier; although undersized for the Center position at 6'9", he had the strength to play inside, was a highly-skilled jump shooter, and was effective at setting picks, a key element in the Knicks motion-oriented offense. The undersized but scrappy Dave Cowens, drafted at the recommendation of Bill Russell, helped the Boston Celtics win two more NBA titles, in 1974 and 1976. William Theodore Walton III, better known as Bill Walton (born November 5, 1952), is a former American basketball player and current television sportscaster. ... The Portland Trail Blazers are a National Basketball Association team based in Portland, Oregon. ... The Boston Celtics are a professional basketball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. ... The NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award is the award given by the National Basketball Association to the leagues best player coming off of the bench. ... Willis Reed Jr. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Walter Clyde Frazier (born March 29, 1945 in Atlanta, Georgia) is an American former basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA). ... Dave Cowens David William Cowens (born October 25, 1948 in Newport, Kentucky) is a former professional basketball player and NBA Head Coach. ... The Boston Celtics are a professional basketball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. ...


Leading Centers of the late 1970's and early 1980's include Artis Gilmore of the ABA Kentucky Colonels, Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs; Moses Malone of the Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers; Mark Eaton of the Utah Jazz and Robert Parish of the Boston Celtics. Of these, Artis Gilmore is the most overlooked, largely due to the perennial mediocrity of the teams he played on. He set the NCAA Division I record for career average in rebounds (25.2) at tiny Jacksonville University, and enjoyed a illustrious ABA career before joining the NBA in 1976, where he established himself as one of the best low-post players of his era. He remains the NBA's career leader in field goal percentage (minimum 2000 shots made) with a 59.9 percentage.[7] Malone, the first High School player to turn professional, was drafted the Houston Rockets after several years in the ABA, won two MVP Awards and lead Houston to its first NBA Finals in 1981, before joining the Philadelphia 76ers, where, teamed with Julius Erving and Bobby Jones, he won an NBA Championship in 1983, as well as a third League MVP. Never a dominant defender, his quickness and tenacity made him one of the greatest rebounders in NBA history, particularly on the offensive end; he led the league in rebounds six times in a seven-year period and still holds the NBA record for offensive rebounds. The 7'4" Eaton as the most prolific shot-blocker in the league, and, although never a major offensive contributor, won two NBA Defensive Player of the Year Awards while helping trasform the lowly Utah Jazz into a playoff contender. Of all these players, none enjoyed the success of Robert Parish who, teamed with Forwards Larry Bird and Kevin McHale in the legendary frontcourt of the Boston Celtics team that won three titles (1981, 84' and 86'), their fierce rivalry with the Lakers dominating the NBA during the decade and helping basketball reach unprecedented level of popularity. Nicknamed "Chief" after a character in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" because of his stoic demeanor, he was best known for his trademark arching jump-shot, leading many experts to consider him the best medium-range shooting Center of all time, as well as his ability to finish fast-breaks because of his surprising speed. Playing until the age of 43, Parish broke Abdul-Jabbar's record for career games played. Artis Gilmore (born September 21, 1948, in Chipley, Florida) is a former professional basketball player in the American Basketball Association (ABA) and National Basketball Association (NBA). ... Look up ABA in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Kentucky Colonels Logo This article is about a professional basketball team. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. ... Moses Eugene Malone (born March 23, 1955 in Petersburg, Virginia) is an American former National Basketball Association (NBA) basketball player who also played in the American Basketball Association (ABA), as well as on the NBAs Atlanta Hawks, Houston Rockets, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, San Antonio Spurs and Washington Bullets. ... The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball team based in Houston, Texas. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Mark E. Eaton (born January 24, 1957, in Westminster, California) is a former professional basketball player with the NBAs Utah Jazz from 1982 to 1993. ... The Utah Jazz is a professional basketball team based in Salt Lake City, Utah. ... Robert Lee Parish (born August 30, 1953 ) in Shreveport, Louisiana) is a retired American basketball center. ... The Boston Celtics are a professional basketball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. ... Jacksonville Dolphins - The Logo of Jacksonville University Jacksonville University (JU) is a private university located in Jacksonville, Florida, on the shore of the St. ... Look up ABA in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball team based in Houston, Texas. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Julius Winfield Erving II (born February 22, 1950 in Roosevelt, New York), commonly known by the nickname Dr. J, is a former American basketball player who helped launch a modern style of play that emphasizes leaping and play above the rim. ... Bobby Jones can refer to different people: Bobby Jones: a golf player Bobby J. Jones: a baseball player Bobby M. Jones: a baseball player Bobby Jones: a basketball player Bobby Jones: a gospel singer This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists pages that might otherwise share the... The National Basketball Associations Defensive Player of the Year Award has been handed out since 1983. ... The Utah Jazz is a professional basketball team based in Salt Lake City, Utah. ... Robert Lee Parish (born August 30, 1953 ) in Shreveport, Louisiana) is a retired American basketball center. ... This article contains a trivia section. ... Kevin Edward McHale (born December 19, 1957) is an American former professional basketball player who starred for thirteen seasons in the NBA for the Boston Celtics. ... The Boston Celtics are a professional basketball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. ... One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest can refer to: One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (novel), a 1962 fiction novel by Ken Kesey One Attempted to Fly Over the Cuckoos Nest But Didnt Give Himself Enough Clearing Room, (film), a 1975 film adaptation of the novel One...


Centers in the 1990s

Coach John Thompson, once a seldom-used backup to Bill Russell, developed the Georgetown Hoyas into the chief pipeline for talent at the Center position, producing a succession of great defensive big men in Patrick Ewing, Dikembe Mutombo and Alonzo Mourning. In 1984, Georgetown, led by Patrick Ewing, defeated the University of Houston, led by Hakeem Olajuwon, to win the NCAA championship. This matchup involved the two premier Centers of their generation. John Thompson is the name of: // Academics Sir John Eric Sidney Thompson (1898–1975), English archeologist and Mayan scholar John G. Thompson (b. ... William Felton Bill Russell (born February 12, 1934) is a retired American professional basketball player who played center for the Boston Celtics of the NBA. A five-time winner of the NBA Most Valuable Player Award and a twelve-time All-Star, the 6 ft 9 in Russell was the... The Georgetown Hoyas are the athletics teams that officially represent Georgetown University in college sports. ... Patrick Aloysius Ewing (born August 5, 1962) is a Jamaican-born American former professional basketball player. ... Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo, more commonly known as Dikembe Mutombo (born June 25, 1966), is a basketball player in the NBA, playing at the position of center for the Houston Rockets. ... Alonzo Harding Mourning, Jr. ... The University of Houston, formerly University of Houston–University Park, is a comprehensive doctoral degree-granting university[1] located in Houston, Texas. ... Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon (born Akeem Abdul Olajuwon on January 21, 1963) is a retired Nigerian-American professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA). ...


The Nigerian-born Olajuwon, a former soccer goalie who did not play basketball until age 15, was drafted by the Houston Rockets and paired with power forward Ralph Sampson in what was dubbed the 'Twin Towers' duo. In his second season, 1985-86, the Rockets upset the Lakers in the Western Conference finals. After Michael Jordan's first retirement, Olajuwon established himself as the NBA's most dominant player, leading the Rockets to two consecutive NBA championships in 1994 and 1995. In the 1993-94 season he became the only player in NBA history to win the NBA's Most Valuable Player (MVP), Defensive Player of the Year, and Finals MVP awards in the same season. In both Finals, Olajuwon outplayed two of the league's leading Centers, Patrick Ewing of the New York Knicks and the Orlando Magic, with a young Shaquille O'Neal. Defensively Olajuwon broke Abdul-Jabbar's career record for blocked shots. Offensively, he was best known for his 'Dream Shake,' a series of fakes and spin moves regarded as the pinnacle of big man footwork.[8] The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball team based in Houston, Texas. ... A power forward is a position in some team sports. ... Image:Ralph Sampson. ... For other persons named Michael Jordan, see Michael Jordan (disambiguation). ... The National Basketball Association first named a Most Valuable Player after the 1955-56 NBA season. ... The National Basketball Associations Defensive Player of the Year Award has been handed out since 1983. ... The NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award is presented to the National Basketball Association (NBA) player in the NBA Finals that is seen as contributing the most to the series. ... Patrick Aloysius Ewing (born August 5, 1962) is a Jamaican-born American former professional basketball player. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The Orlando Magic is a professional basketball team based in Orlando, Florida. ... Shaquille Rashaun ONeal (born March 6, 1972 in Newark, New Jersey), frequently referred to simply as Shaq (pronounced shack), is an American professional basketball player, generally regarded as one of the most dominant in the National Basketball Association (NBA). ...


Patrick Ewing was drafted by the New York Knicks in 1985, with whom he spent fifteen of his seventeen seasons in the NBA. An eleven-time All Star, Ewing was one of the best shooting Centers in NBA history, possessing a nearly unstoppable baseline jump-shot, as well as a formidable shot-blocker and rebounder. Ewing never won an NBA championship, but his Knicks represented the most formidable opponents of the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls dynasty in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Ewing's successor as the starting Center Georgetown, Dikembe Mutombo, who played most of his NBA career with the Denver Nuggets and Atlanta Hawks, was less adept offensively, but proved an even more dominant defender. Mutombo, who had not played basketball before arriving in the U.S. from his native Zaire on a USAID scholarship, was among the greatest shot blockers in NBA history, leading the NBA in blocked-shots five consecutive years, in the course of a career in which he ranked second in the history of the league in blocked shots, behind only Hakeem Olajuwon. He was also the recipient of four NBA Defensive Player of the Year Awards, tied for the record with Dennis Rodman. Patrick Aloysius Ewing (born August 5, 1962) is a Jamaican-born American former professional basketball player. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... For other persons named Michael Jordan, see Michael Jordan (disambiguation). ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo, more commonly known as Dikembe Mutombo (born June 25, 1966), is a basketball player in the NBA, playing at the position of center for the Houston Rockets. ... For the original defunct Denver Nuggets, see Denver Nuggets (original). ... The Atlanta Hawks are an American professional basketball team based in Atlanta, Georgia. ... The United States Agency for International Development (or USAID) is the US government organization responsible for most non-military foreign aid. ... The National Basketball Associations Defensive Player of the Year Award has been handed out since 1983. ... Dennis Keith Rodman (born May 13, 1961, in Trenton, New Jersey) is an American former professional basketball player best known for his defensive and rebounding ability, leading the National Basketball Association in rebounds per game for a record seven consecutive years and earning NBA All-Defensive First Team honors seven...


The other dominant center of the early 1990s was David Robinson. Playing college ball at the United States Naval Academy, his entry into the NBA was delayed by his military service, but he unanimously won the Rookie of the Year Award in 1990 and, in 1995, was voted the MVP. Offensively, Robinson excelled in fast-breaks, running the floor like no 7'0" before or since, while also possessing an effective left-hand jumper. Defensively, his speed and agility helped him hold the distinction of being the only player in NBA history to rank among the top five in rebounds, blocks and steals in a single season. David Robinson may refer to: david robinson former Irish Army soldier David Robinson (basketball), former NBA player (b. ... The United States Naval Academy (USNA) is an institution for the undergraduate education of officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps and is in Annapolis, Maryland . ... The Rookie of the Year award is given by a number of North American sports leagues to the top first-time professional athlete of the season. ... The National Basketball Association first named a Most Valuable Player after the 1955-56 NBA season. ...


Several European Centers made an impact in the NBA in the 1990's, most notably Lithuanian Arvydas Sabonis of the Portland TrailBlazers, Serbian Vlade Divac of the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings and Dutchman Rik Smits. In keeping with its more permiter-oriented style of play, European basketball strategy utilized Centers as playmakers more than in the NBA, and Divac and Sabonis in particular distinguished themselves as the best passing Centers in the league. The 7'3" Sabonis, who led the Soviet Union to an upset victory over the U.S. en route to a Gold medal at the 1988 Olympics, was considered by many experts to have been among the best Centers in the world in the late 1980's, but did not enter the NBA until he was well past his prime. Arvydas Romas Sabonis (born December 19, 1964 in Kaunas, Lithuanian SSR, Soviet Union (present Lithuania) is a retired Lithuanian professional basketball player. ... The Portland Trail Blazers are a National Basketball Association team based in Portland, Oregon. ... Anthem Serbia() on the European continent() Capital (and largest city) Belgrade Official languages Serbian 1 Recognised regional languages Hungarian, Croatian, Slovak, Romanian, Rusyn 2 Albanian 3 Government Semi-presidential republic  -  President Boris Tadić  -  Prime Minister Vojislav KoÅ¡tunica Establishment  -  Formation 9th century   -  First unified state c. ... Vlade Divac [pronounced VLAH-de DEE-vahts] (born 3 February 1968) (Serbian: Владе Дивац) is a former NBA player. ... Lakers logo 1966-1991 The Los Angeles Lakers are a National Basketball Association (NBA) team based in Los Angeles, California. ... The Sacramento Kings are a professional basketball team which is based in Sacramento, California. ... Motto (French) Ik zal handhaven(Dutch) I shall stand fast1 Anthem Het Wilhelmus Netherlands() – on the European continent() – in the European Union() [] Capital (and largest city) Amsterdam2 Official languages Dutch3 Ethnic groups  80. ... Rik Smits (born August 23, 1966 in Eindhoven, Netherlands) is a former professional basketball player who spent his entire career with the Indiana Pacers. ... Final results for the Basketball competition at the 1988 Summer Olympics held in Seoul, South Korea: Results Categories: 1988 Summer Olympics | Basketball at the Olympics ...


The 1992 NBA Draft marked the entrance into the league of Shaquille O'Neal, who was drafted by the Orlando Magic. Immediately drawing comparisons to Wilt Chamberlain, the 7'1", 325-pound O'Neal was billed as potentially the most physically dominating player ever and he quickly lived up to the hype. By his third season, he led the league in scoring and led the Magic to the NBA Finals, where they were swept by the Houston Rockets, with O'Neal out-played by the more experienced Olajuwon. After the 1995-96 season, he signed with the rebuilding Los Angeles Lakers. Former Georgetown Center Alonzo Mourning, also drafted in 1992, established himself as a premier big man with the Charlotte Hornets and, later, the Miami Heat, winning two Defensive Player of the Year Awards thanks to his prolific shot-blocking while also proving a reliable scoring threat. 1992 NBA Draft - 24 June 1992, Portland, Oregon Round 1 See also: List of NBA Drafts, NBA Draft ... Shaquille Rashaun ONeal (born March 6, 1972 in Newark, New Jersey), frequently referred to simply as Shaq (pronounced shack), is an American professional basketball player, generally regarded as one of the most dominant in the National Basketball Association (NBA). ... The Orlando Magic is a professional basketball team based in Orlando, Florida. ... The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball team based in Houston, Texas. ... Lakers logo 1966-1991 The Los Angeles Lakers are a National Basketball Association (NBA) team based in Los Angeles, California. ... Alonzo Harding Mourning, Jr. ... Charlotte Hornets may refer to several sports teams based in Charlotte, North Carolina: The NBAs New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets, formerly based in Charlotte (1988-2002). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Centers in the 21st Century

The balance of power shifted to the Western Conference, and the NBA was dominated by the rivalry between the Los Angeles Lakers, who won titles in 2000, 01' and 02', and the San Antonio Spurs, who won in 1999 and 2003. The Lakers hired former Bulls coach Phil Jackson, and Shaquille O'Neal, now indisputably the greatest player in the NBA, thrived in Jackson's triangle offense. The San Antonio Spurs were led by the 'Twin Towers' tandem of Center David Robinson and Power forward Tim Duncan, the veteran Robinson modifying his game by playing primarily in the high-post to accomodate Duncan's strengths as a low-post scorer and defender. Lakers logo 1966-1991 The Los Angeles Lakers are a National Basketball Association (NBA) team based in Los Angeles, California. ... The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. ... Philip Douglas Phil Jackson (born September 17, 1945 in Deer Lodge, Montana) is the current coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, an American professional basketball team. ... Shaquille Rashaun ONeal (born March 6, 1972 in Newark, New Jersey), frequently referred to simply as Shaq (pronounced shack), is an American professional basketball player, generally regarded as one of the most dominant in the National Basketball Association (NBA). ... The Triangle offense, also known as the Triple-Post offense, is an offensive strategy in basketball. ... The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. ... David Maurice Robinson (born August 6, 1965 in Key West, Florida) is a former NBA basketball player, who is often considered one of the greatest centers to ever play the game. ... A power forward is a position in some team sports. ... Timothy Tim Theodore Duncan[1] (born April 25, 1976 in Christiansted, St. ...


In the 1990's, an increasing number of smaller forwards, most notably Dennis Rodman and Charles Barkley, excelled at the traditional Center functions of rebounding, shot-blocking and low-post defense, anticipating a trend towards relying on shorter and quicker post players that has continued into the 2000s, as exemplified by perennial Defensive Players of the Year Ben Wallace and Ron Artest. In the fast break oriented style of offense employed by a growing number of teams, the traditional role of the Center is diminished, if not done away with altogether, particularly given the absence of suitably athletic Centers. Many talented big men have elected to play the more versatile power forward position, giving them more room to run the floor and play outside the paint. The best example of this is Kevin Garnett, a 7-footer who, while consistently ranking among the league leaders in rebounds and blocked-shots, listed his height as 6'12" in order to avoid playing Center. Under the influence of European basketball, the offensive role of big men has been redefined to include more emphasis on permitter play, as exemplified by 3-point shooting big men like Dirk Nowitzki and Peja Stojakovic. Dennis Keith Rodman (born May 13, 1961, in Trenton, New Jersey) is an American former professional basketball player best known for his defensive and rebounding ability, leading the National Basketball Association in rebounds per game for a record seven consecutive years and earning NBA All-Defensive First Team honors seven... Charles Wade Barkley (born February 20, 1963) is a retired American professional basketball player. ... For the British MP, see Ben Wallace (UK politician). ... Ronald (Ron) William Artest Jr. ... Reeses Fast Break is a candy bar similar to the Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. ... A power forward is a position in some team sports. ... Kevin Garnett (born May 19, 1976)) is an American professional basketball player for the NBAs Minnesota Timberwolves. ... Dirk Werner Nowitzki (IPA pronuncation: ) (born June 19, 1978 in Würzburg, West Germany) is a German basketball player for the United States National Basketball Associations (NBA) Dallas Mavericks. ... Stojakovic playing for the Kings Predrag Peđa Stojaković (born June 9, 1977) is a basketball star for the NBAs Sacramento Kings. ...


The 7'6" Yao Ming was drafted by the Houston Rockets with tremendous hype in 2002; possessing unprecedented shooting touch and coordination for a player of his height, many experts predicted he would revolutionize basketball. Yao has proven an highly efficient rebounder and scorer, particularly with his mid-range jump shot, and shown the potential to be an elite defender. Another heralded young prospect, Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic, has utilized his exceptional verticle leap to become one of the top rebounders in the NBA, while his spectacular slam dunks have made him a staple of highlight reels. This is a Chinese name; the family name is Yao Yao Ming (Chinese: ; Pinyin: ) (born September 12, 1980, in Shanghai, China) is a Chinese professional basketball player and is arguably the best center in the National Basketball Association (NBA) today. ... The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball team based in Houston, Texas. ... Dwight David Howard (born December 8, 1985, in Atlanta, Georgia[1]) is an American basketball player for the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association (NBA). ... The Orlando Magic is a professional basketball team based in Orlando, Florida. ... A slam dunk (or simply a dunk) is a type of basketball shot that is performed when a player jumps in the air and manually powers the ball through the basket with one or both of his hands, then often grabs the rim shortly after the ball passes through the...


Dominant big men continue to anchor the teams that have had the most success in the post-season. Two of the last three teams to win championships have had notable centers: Detroit Pistons/Ben Wallace (2004) and Miami Heat/Shaquille O'Neal (2006). However, O'Neal's playing time has been increasingly limited by injuries, benefitting in the Heat's Championship run from the presence of another veteran, Alonzo Mourning, as his backup. Defensive specialist Ben Wallace, listed at 6'9", is considered by most experts as a Power Forward playing out of position, although his strength, leaping ability and uncanny timing has enable him to dominate taller players in the low-post, helping him tie Dikembe Mutombo's record of four NBA Defensive Player of the Year Awards. The San Antonio Spurs have won two championships since the retirement of David Robinson, in 2005 and 2007, with Tim Duncan assuming an even greater share of the work as the primary rebounder, shot-blocker and low-post scorer, as well as taking most of the teams jump balls, although he continues to play primarily as a power forward. The entry into the NBA of Greg Oden, who won two national high school player of the year awards, led the Ohio State Buckeyes to the NCAA Finals, and is arguably the most physically skilled Center to come into the league since Shaquille O'Neal, has caused many experts to predict a revival in the importance of the Center position. The Detroit Pistons are a National Basketball Association (NBA) team based in the Detroit metropolitan area. ... For the British MP, see Ben Wallace (UK politician). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Shaquille Rashaun ONeal (born March 6, 1972 in Newark, New Jersey), frequently referred to simply as Shaq (pronounced shack), is an American professional basketball player, generally regarded as one of the most dominant in the National Basketball Association (NBA). ... Alonzo Harding Mourning, Jr. ... For the British MP, see Ben Wallace (UK politician). ... A power forward is a position in some team sports. ... Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo, more commonly known as Dikembe Mutombo (born June 25, 1966), is a basketball player in the NBA, playing at the position of center for the Houston Rockets. ... The National Basketball Associations Defensive Player of the Year Award has been handed out since 1983. ... The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. ... David Maurice Robinson (born August 6, 1965 in Key West, Florida) is a former NBA basketball player, who is often considered one of the greatest centers to ever play the game. ... Timothy Tim Theodore Duncan[1] (born April 25, 1976 in Christiansted, St. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Gregory Wayne Oden Jr. ... The Ohio State Universitys intercollegiate sports teams and players are called the Buckeyes (after the state tree, the Buckeye), and participate in the NCAAs Division I in all sports (except in football, where they are located in Division I Football Bowl Subdivision) and the Big Ten Conference in...


Center in women's basketball

In women's basketball, 7'0" Iuliana Semenova pioneered the center position, helping the Soviet Union women's team win two Olympic Gold medals, in 1976 and 1980, and never losing a game in international competition. Semenova also led her club team, TTT Riga to fifteen European Champion's Cup titles. The 6'8" Anne Donovan led the Old Dominion University Lady Monarchs to the 1979 Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women championship, and was the first female Naismith College Player of the Year recipient in 1983, before enjoying a successful professional career in Japan and Italy. With the formation of the WNBA, Lisa Leslie established herself as the premier Center, and the league's most popular player. The first WNBA player to reach the 3,000 point milestone, she led the Los Angeles Sparks to consecutive titles in 2001 and 2002, and holds the distinction of being the only player to dunk in a WNBA game. Other prominent Centers in women's basketball include Lauren Jackson of the Seattle Storm and Karl Malone's daughter Cheryl Ford of the Detroit Shock. Rebecca Lobo led the Connecticut Huskies to a NCAA Championship in 1995, but never recovered from a torn anterior cruciate ligament and had a disapointing professional career. Courtney Paris of the University of Oklahoma is considered the next dominant female Center after becoming the only NCAA player, male or female, to score 700 points, grab 500 rebounds and block 100 shots in a single season. Iuliana Larionovna Semenova (or Uļana SemjonovaLatvian:; Russian:Ульяна Ларионовна Семенова) (born March 9, 1952 in village Medumi, Daugavpils District, Latvian SSR) is a retired Soviet Latvian basketball player. ... Coordinates: Founded 1201 Government  - Mayor Jānis Birks Area  - City 307. ... Anne Donovan (born November 1, 1961 in Ridgewood, New Jersey) is one of the most decorated figures in womens basketball, both as a dominant player in college and as a head coach in the Womens National Basketball Association (WNBA). ... Old Dominion University (ODU) is a public research university located in Norfolk, Virginia, U.S. It was established in 1930 as the Norfolk Division of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. ... The Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women was founded in 1971 to govern collegiate womens athletics in the United States and to administer national championships. ... The Naismith College Player of the Year award, named for basketball inventor James Naismith, is given annually by the Atlanta Tipoff Club to college basketballs top male and female player. ... WNBA may also refer to WNBA-AM, a radio station in Illinois. ... Lisa Leslie (born July 7, 1972 in Gardena, California) is a Womens National Basketball Association player currently playing for the Los Angeles Sparks. ... Since their inception, the Sparks have been a focal point of the league. ... Lauren Elizabeth Jackson (born May 11, 1981 in Albury, New South Wales, Australia) is an Australian professional basketball player. ... The Seattle Storm is a Womens National Basketball Association (WNBA) team based in Seattle, Washington. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Cheryl Ford, daughter of NBA legend Karl Malone, is a WNBA superstar for the Detroit Shock. ... The Detroit Shock is a Womens National Basketball Association team based in Detroit, Michigan. ... Image:Rebeccalobo. ... The Connecticut Huskies, also known as the UConn Huskies, are the athletic teams of the University of Connecticut. ... The NCAA Womens Division I Championship is an annual basketball tournament for women. ... The anterior cruciate ligament (or ACL) is one of the four major ligaments of the knee. ... Courtney Paris is the starting center for the University of Oklahoma womens basketball team. ... University of Oklahoma, abbreviated OU, is a coeducational public research university located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma founded in 1890. ...


List of centers

See also: Category:Centers (basketball)

Further reading

  • Heisler, Mark (2003). Giants: The 25 Greatest Centers of All Time. Chicago: Triumph Books. ISBN 1-57243-577-1. 

Notes

  1. ^ http://www.nba.com/encyclopedia/finals/Mikan_v_Knicks.html
  2. ^ http://www.bostonsportsreview.com/200707_story_cover.asp
  3. ^ http://www.nba.com/history/season/19611962.html
  4. ^ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,836963,00.html
  5. ^ http://www.nba.com/history/players/abduljabbar_bio.html
  6. ^ http://basketball-reference.com/players/a/abdulka01.html
  7. ^ http://www.nba.com/history/players/gilmore_summary.html
  8. ^ http://www.nba.com/allstar2006/program_olajuwon.html

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