Decades ago, basketball wasn't thought to be a game of the big men. However, when George Mikan came on scene he proved that opinion wasn't true. There were notable players at the center's position in each decade.

Many thought that with the recent retirement of the legendary Shaquille O'Neal, the great centers have gone. Outside of Dwight Howard, there isn't a center who's in the debate of the best players right now.

When you actually see the top centers in the league, there are talented centers who are ready to emerge into the 10's. Here's that list.

Dwight Howard, Greg Oden, Andrew Bynum, Andrew Bogut, DeMarcus Cousins, Marc Gasol, Brook Lopez, Joakim Noah, Javale McGee, Al Horford, Roy Hibbert, Robin Lopez and so on.

What does the majority of these guys have in common? They're are mostly injury prones who all have history with bad injuries. Oden and Bynum barely get a brief from their issues. Bogut, Lopez, Gasol all had troubles last season too.

The only expectation here is Dwight who's been a very durable player and so far, Demarcus Cousins too. But the Kings' center has attitude issues, which don't help him.

Durability is huge problem overall. Not these guys can't produce nor or impact a game with their inside scoring, rebounding and defense but they just can't stay healthy.

In fact, every center who has over 265 pounds is an injury prone. See Oden, Bynum, Shaq and Yao in the past etc.

Another reason is because the NBA is changing. Since now it's an era of guards and swingmen, the traditional big men aren't that needed as much as before. But then again, history stands on their side.

Every championship team in the past 20 years had a good front court player. The Lakers of the early 00's had Shaq, Spurs had Duncan, Pistons had Ben and Rasheed Wallace etc. See what i mean?

Now, the majority of the centers who come in the league are mostly defensive minded and their ability to change the course of a single game without scoring is more than needed. It's a reason why guys like Dwight and Greg were drafted as the first picks of their draft classes.

Nonetheless, there're still effective weapons in the low post such as 'Drew, Superman, Cousins, Gasol, Brook and so on. Points in the paint are more than needed.

The game is changing. Now, we see more of athletic seven footers with perimeter oriented playing styles, lack of a true post up skills and fundamentals.

Let's not forget that more undersized players with tick bodies are more common now like Paul Milsap, Dejaun Blair and so on.

Despite all of this, the traditional big men are important and still needed. The weight that these centers have on their knees, actually hurts them more than it helps.

Regardless of that, the NBA true centers will emerge as long as they keep themselves injury free, we'll see great big men for years to come!


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