Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Entertainment | Sports | Centers

Basketball Centers are the tallest athletes on the team and typically the tallest athletes in the world. Centers can strike fear in opponents - and who wouldn't at more than 7' tall.

Featured
Dave Cowens

Dave Cowens, who spurred the Celtics to two championships, was the second-leading rebounder in franchise history. He retired from professional play in 1980 and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1990. Read about Cowens's NBA career.


Ralph Sampson

 Ralph Sampson

Ralph Sampson won National Player of the Year honors three straight years, but enjoyed brief success in the NBA. Read about Ralph Sampson's career. See more »

Robert Parish

 Robert Parish

Robert Parish played more games than any player in history and won four championship rings. Read about Robert Parish and his record-setting career. See more »

Willis Reed

 Willis Reed

Willis Reed was the first player named MVP of the regular season, All-Star Game and NBA Finals in the same season (1970). Read more about Willis Reed. See more »

David Robinson

 David Robinson

David Robinson is one of four players in history with 70 points in an NBA game. Learn more about David Robinson's career highs, awards, and titles. See more »

Bill Russell

 Bill Russell

In 1980, Bill Russell was named 'the Greatest Player in the History of the NBA.' Learn more about this basketball legend. See more »

Shaquille ONeal

 Shaquille ONeal

Shaquille O'Neal, one of the most dominant figures in NBA history, earns millions a year as a movie/rap star. Read about Shaquille O'Neal's history. See more »

George Mikan

 George Mikan

In 1950, the Associated Press honored George Mikan as the best basketball player of the first half of the 20th century. Read about giant George Mikan. See more »

Hakeem Olajuwon

 Hakeem Olajuwon

Hakeem Olajuwon averaged at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in his first 12 seasons with the Houston Rockets. Read about Hakeem Olajuwon's averages. See more »

Bob Lanier

 Bob Lanier

Bob Lanier played in eight All-Star Games, winning MVP honors at the 1974 renewal. Get details about Bob Lanier and his career totals. See more »

 Meadowlark Lemon

Meadowlark Lemon joined the Harlem Globetrotters in 1954 and played several thousand games over the next 25 years. Read more about this Hall of Famer. See more »