Where have all the true centers gone?


Have the days of post-up basketball all but disappeared? In a league that once was dominated by 7-footers playing with their backs to the basket, finding athletes in the NBA who still play this style is becoming quite a difficult task. Gone are frontline forces like Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and even recent All-Star centers have begun to fall by the wayside.

One of the main reasons for the downfall of the true center is that most teams around the league have begun to turn away from using the center as a focal point of their offensive attack. With guards and forwards stepping up their games, the center has become an afterthought offensively. Just eight seasons ago, four of the top 10 scorers in the NBA were centers, including the top three. Last season, there was just one true center in the top 50, that being Shaquille O'Neal.