Houston Rockets center Hakeem Olajuwon and New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing face off in a jump-ball situation.

Photo Credit: Tim Sharp/Associated Press

In the world of basketball, having a dominant center is a trump card. Whether they’re anchoring a defense by protecting the rim, solidifying a halfcourt offense by scoring on any given possession with elite post moves, or both.

Take, for example, the Los Angeles Lakers. The storied franchise has boasted a plethora of dominant bigs throughout the years—Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal and Wilt Chamberlain, as well as George Mikan back in the Minneapolis Lakers days. That presence that has translated into 16 championships for Lakerland.

Of course, those types of talents are exceedingly rare. For every No. 1 overall selection at the center position in the mold of Kareem and Shaq, there are plenty of busts who had the towering body type but lack the necessary skillset. Not every franchise has had a Hall-of-Fame-caliber center in its history, because not every player with size becomes a star. Nevertheless, PointAfter set out to pinpoint the best center of all time for each organization, from the Atlanta Hawks to the Washington Wizards.

Note: Longevity matters in the scope of this list. A dominant center who only played one or two years for a franchise, for instance, would fall behind a steady All-Star contributor if the latter suited up for multiple seasons. Player’s per-game averages and accolades with each team are the primary barometer in the ranking. Differentiating a center from a power forward will be determined by what each player is listed as most often on Basketball Reference.

Atlanta Hawks: Al Horford

Stats with Franchise: 8 seasons, 14.2 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.2 blocks per game

Accolades with Franchise: 3x All-Star, All-NBA Third Team (2011)

Boston Celtics: Bill Russell

Stats with Franchise: 13 seasons, 15.1 points, 22.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game

Accolades with Franchise: 11x champion, 5x MVP, 12x All-Star, 3x All-NBA First Team, 8x All-NBA Second Team, 4x rebounding leader

Brooklyn Nets: Brook Lopez

Stats with Franchise: 7 seasons, 17.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.7 blocks per game

Accolades with Franchise: All-Star (2013)

Charlotte Hornets: Alonzo Mourning

Stats with Franchise: 3 seasons, 21.3 points, 10.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 3.2 blocks per game

Accolades with Franchise: 2x All-Star

Chicago Bulls: Artis Gilmore

Stats with Franchise: 6+ seasons, 19.3 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.1 blocks per game

Accolades with Franchise: 4x All-Star, All-Defensive Second Team (1978)

Cleveland Cavaliers: Brad Daugherty

Stats with Franchise: 8 seasons, 19.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 0.7 blocks per game

Accolades with Franchise: 5x All-Star, All-NBA Third Team (1992)

Dallas Mavericks: Tyson Chandler

Stats with Franchise: 2 seasons, 10.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 1.1 blocks per game

Accolades with Franchise: 1x champion, All-Defensive Second Team (2011)

Denver Nuggets: Dikembe Mutombo

Stats with Franchise: 5 seasons, 12.9 points, 12.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 3.8 blocks per game

Accolades with Franchise: 3x All-Star, Defensive Player of the Year (1995), All-Defensive Second Team (1995), 3x blocks leader

Detroit Pistons: Bob Lanier

Stats with Franchise: 9+ seasons, 22.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.3 blocks per game

Accolades with Franchise: 7x All-Star, All-Star Game MVP (1974)

Golden State Warriors: Wilt Chamberlain

Stats with Franchise: 5+ seasons, 41.5 points, 25.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game

Accolades with Franchise: MVP (1960), 6x All-Star, All-Star Game MVP (1960), 4x All-NBA First Team, All-NBA Second Team (1963), 5x scoring champ, 4x rebounding leader

Houston Rockets: Hakeem Olajuwon

Stats with Franchise: 17 seasons, 22.5 points, 11.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 3.2 blocks per game

Accolades with Franchise: 2x champion, MVP (1994), 2x Finals MVP, 12x All-Star, 6x All-NBA First Team, 3x All-NBA Second Team, 3x All-NBA Third Team, 2x Defensive Player of the Year, 5x All-Defensive First Team, 4x All-Defensive Second Team, 3x blocks leader, 2x rebounding leader

Indiana Pacers: Mel Daniels*

Stats with Franchise: 6 seasons, 19.4 points, 16.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game

Accolades with Franchise: 2x ABA MVP, 3x ABA champion, 6x All-Star, 3x All-NBA First Team, All-NBA Second Team (1973)

*Note that Mel Daniels played his entire career in the ABA, not the NBA.

Los Angeles Clippers: Bob McAdoo

Stats with Franchise: 4+ seasons, 28.2 points, 12.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.8 blocks per game

Accolades with Franchise: MVP (1975), 4x All-Star, All-NBA First Team (1975), All-NBA Second Team (1974), Rookie of the Year (1973), 3x scoring champ

Los Angeles Lakers: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Stats with Franchise: 14 seasons, 22.1 points, 9.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.5 blocks per game

Accolades with Franchise: 5x champion, Finals MVP (1985), 3x MVP, 13x All-Star, 6x All-NBA First Team, 4x All-NBA Second Team, 2x All-Defensive First Team, 3x All-Defensive Second Team, 3x blocks leader, 1x rebounding leader

Memphis Grizzlies: Marc Gasol

Stats with Franchise: 7 seasons, 14.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.6 blocks per game

Accolades with Franchise: 2x All-Star, Defensive Player of the Year (2013), All-NBA Second Team (2013), All-Defensive Second Team (2013)

Miami Heat: Alonzo Mourning

Stats with Franchise: 10+ seasons, 16.0 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 2.7 blocks per game

Accolades with Franchise: 1x champion, 5x All-Star, All-NBA First Team (1999), All-NBA Second Team (2000), 2x Defensive Player of the Year, 2x All-Defensive First Team, 2x blocks leader

Milwaukee Bucks: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Stats with Franchise: 6 seasons, 30.4 points, 15.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.1 blocks per game

Accolades with Franchise: 1x champion, Finals MVP (1971), 3x MVP, 6x All-Star, 4x All-NBA First Team, All-NBA Second Team (1970), 2x All-Defensive First Team, 2x All-Defensive Second Team, Rookie of the Year (1970), 2x scoring champ, 1x blocks leader

Minnesota Timberwolves: Al Jefferson

Stats with Franchise: 3 seasons, 20.1 points, 10.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.4 blocks per game

Accolades with Franchise: Nothing of note. The Timberwolves just have a reallyweak crop of centers.

New Orleans Pelicans: Tyson Chandler

Stats with Franchise: 3 seasons, 10.2 points, 11.3 rebounds, 0.9 assists and 1.4 blocks per game

Accolades with Franchise: Nothing of note. The Pelicans have also only been around since 2002-03, which is why there’s such slim pickings.

New York Knicks: Patrick Ewing

Stats with Franchise: 15 seasons, 22.8 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.7 blocks per game

Accolades with Franchise: 11x All-Star, All-NBA First Team (1990), 6x All-NBA Second Team, 3x All-Defensive Second Team, Rookie of the Year (1986)

Oklahoma City Thunder/Seattle SuperSonics: Hasheem Thabeet

Former Oklahoma City Thunder center Hasheem Thabeet.

Photo Credit: Matt York/Associated Press

Just kidding.

Actual Best: Jack Sikma

Stats with Franchise: 9 seasons, 16.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.0 blocks per game

Accolades with Franchise: 1x champion, 7x All-Star, All-Defensive Second Team (1982)

Orlando Magic: Dwight Howard

Stats with Franchise: 8 seasons, 18.4 points, 13.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 2.2 blocks per game

Accolades with Franchise: 6x All-Star, 5x All-NBA First Team, All-NBA Second Team (2007), 3x Defensive Player of the Year, 4x All-Defensive First Team, All-Defensive Second Team (2008), 4x rebounding leader, 2x blocks leader

Philadelphia 76ers: Wilt Chamberlain

Stats with Franchise: 3+ seasons, 27.6 points, 23.9 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game

Accolades with Franchise: 1x champion, 3x MVP, 3x All-Star, 3x All-NBA First Team, All-NBA Second Team (1965), 2x scoring champ, 3x rebounding leader, 1x assists leader

Phoenix Suns: Alvan Adams

Stats with Franchise: 13 seasons, 14.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 0.8 blocks per game

Accolades with Franchise: All-Star (1976), Rookie of the Year (1976)

Portland Trail Blazers: Bill Walton

Stats with Franchise: 4 seasons, 17.1 points, 13.5 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.6 blocks per game

Accolades with Franchise: 1x champion, Finals MVP (1977), MVP (1978), 2x All-Star, All-NBA First Team (1978), All-NBA Second Team (1977), 2x All-Defensive First Team, rebounding leader (1977), blocks leader (1977)

Sacramento Kings: DeMarcus Cousins

Stats with Franchise: 5 seasons, 18.9 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.1 blocks per game

Accolades with Franchise: All-Star (2015)

San Antonio Spurs: David Robinson

Stats with Franchise: 14 seasons, 21.1 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 3.0 blocks per game

Accolades with Franchise: 2x champion, MVP (1995), 10x All-Star, 4x All-NBA First Team, 2x All-NBA Second Team, 4x All-NBA Third Team, Defensive Player of the Year (1992), 4x All-Defensive First Team, 4x All-Defensive Second Team, Rookie of the Year (1990), 1x scoring champ, 1x blocks leader, 1x rebounding leader

Toronto Raptors: Chris Bosh

Stats with Franchise: 7 seasons, 20.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.2 blocks per game

Accolades with Franchise: 5x All-Star, All-NBA Second Team (2007)

Utah Jazz: Mark Eaton

Stats with Franchise: 11 seasons, 6.0 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 3.5 blocks per game

Accolades with Franchise: All-Star (1989), 2x Defensive Player of the Year, 3x All-Defensive First Team, 2x All-Defensive Second Team, 4x blocks leader

Washington Wizards: Walt Bellamy

Stats with Franchise: 4+ seasons, 27.6 points, 16.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game

Accolades with Franchise: 4x All-Star, Rookie of the Year (1962)

Who is your favorite NBA center of all time?  Share your opinions in the comment section below.