There are no positions that are not important in team sports basketball, but among them, the center is so important that it cannot be overemphasized several times. As can be seen from the word itself, which means ‘center’, the strength of the team changes depending on the center’s ability level. Even if there are guards and swingmen representing the league, there may be teams that cannot get out of the middle or lower ranks because other positions do not support them, but it is difficult to find a team that does not produce results even with a national team center. This is because if a strong center is holding on, synergy effects extend to other positions.
Of course, that level of center does not come out much by age. In addition to skill, size is also required, so the rarity is also high. Because of this, it is not easy to beat a big man no matter how outstanding a technician is in a rookie draft. A case in point is the case of Portland, which selected center Sam Bowie in the 1984 draft even though they knew full well that Michael Jordan was an excellent technician.
As such, most of the teams with centers representing the league have experienced championships or consistently competed at the top. The all-time centers whose names are still up and down are the so-called ‘ancient monster’ Wilt Chamberlain (died in 1999), Bill Russell (died in 2022) and ‘living record’ Karim Abdul-Jabbar (75‧ 218 cm) and the 1990s Post ‘Nigeria Black Panther’ Hakim Olajuwon (59‧213cm) who led the heyday, ‘Jamaican King Kong’ Patrick Ewing (60‧213cm), ‘Admiral of the Navy’ David Robinson (57‧216cm), ‘Dinosaur Center’ Shaquille O’Neal (50‧216cm) )of ‘
Chamberlain is called the Mythological Center. Although it leaves some disappointment in the number of championships, etc., it boasts tremendous individual results, as evidenced by the only 30,000 points and 20,000 rebounds in history. In addition to 4 regular league MVPs, 1 finals MVP, 7 scoring champions, and 11 rebounding champions, he has one assist king. He is a person who is talked about for his tremendous physical ability, and is the original monster who dominated the era by scoring 100 points in a game and 55 rebounds in a game. He is a player whose record would have been much thicker if more detailed data had been compiled.
Russell falls short of his rival Chamberlain in terms of his individual abilities alone. 5 regular league MVPs and 4 rebounds are great enough records, but Chamberlain’s performance is so great that it is somewhat comparable. But history describes Russell as a ‘winner’. This is because he earned a reputation as a championship maker by leading the finals championship as many as 11 times. Considering that the final goal of a pro is winning, he is recognized as a role model for more players than he is. He was not in overwhelming physical condition as a center, but in addition to his solid defense, he led the team play and was able to become a winner at every important moment.
Abdul-Jabbar, who also appeared as the final boss in Bruce Lee’s hit film ‘Death Game’, was the ruler of the center system that succeeded the ancient monster. He was known for his signature goggles and unstoppable sky hook, and his 38,387 career points ranks first in NBA history. He boasts a record of overflowing awards, including 6 champions, 2 finals MVPs, 6 regular league MVPs, 2 scoring kings, 4 blocked shots kings, and 1 rebound king.
The four major centers in the 1990s had distinct personalities in addition to their outstanding skills. Olajuwon, who won two final championships during Jordan’s hiatus and raised the stock price further, won the regular season MVP 1 time, Finals MVP 2 times, Defensive Player of the Year 2 times, Rebound King 2 times, and Block Shot King 3 times. In addition to his tremendous footwork skills near the post, he was also good at outside shots and face-ups, and some even called him a ‘small forward wearing a center mask’.
Known as a model student both on and off the court, Robinson dominated the court in all weathers by utilizing big man-level speed and good shooting touch. He was also good at post-up, but was very difficult to block as he was also equipped with a run and mid-to-long jumper. He recorded regular season MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, Scorer, Rebound King, and Block Shot Champion once each. It was a bit disappointing to win the championship, but at the end of his playing days, a great junior named Tim Duncan came in, and he was able to end his career with honor by winning two championships.
O’Neill, who won 4 NBA championships including 3 consecutive championships, 3 Finals MVPs, 1 regular league MVP, and 2 top scorers, is famous for his impact that was stronger than his performance. Despite his staggering 168kg body, his flexible body radiates strength that literally destroys his opponent’s bottom of the net. When it comes to ‘power center’, most people have become synonymous with a powerful big man that most people associate with him. He also competed for the top spot in the league in terms of his popularity with Jira’s unique character, which even had the temperament of a celebrity.
Ewing is being evaluated as a ‘unfortunate center’. He has been called the best center of his age since his days at Georgetown University and has shown off his overwhelming dominance, but he is considered the lowest among the four centers because of his poor performance due to injury and his lack of championship career. He also acts as a deductible factor for parts that do not have major titles such as MVP, top scorer, and rebound top. In addition to his post play, his shooting ability is outstanding, so he is considered a big man who would fit well into modern basketball.
Because of such great centers coming and going, there are some parts that later juniors suffered losses (?). It didn’t catch the fans’ eyes because it didn’t do well enough. Excellent center resources continue to emerge, but the spotlight is not turned on for a while because the comparison target is too high. In the meantime, there is a player who is expected to have a talent comparable to them, and it is none other than ‘Joker’ Nicola Jokic (27‧211cm). 먹튀검증
Until he entered the NBA, no one expected that Jokic would grow into an all-time center candidate. The native of Sombor, Serbia’s Vojvodina Autonomous Region, was selected in the second round, 41st overall, in the 2014 NBA Draft. As can be seen from his low ranking, his expectations were not high. Although he had a good physique, he did not seem to be special in terms of mobility and athletic ability, which could gauge the center’s competitiveness.
White centers with a physique of the size of Yokichi have been overflowing from before, and most of them have left mediocre results. Due to the nature of being active in the post, it was also true that there was a limit to growth if there was no competitiveness in physical ability. But he had something special about him. He was very good at BQ, and his ability to read the flow of the game and maximize what he was good at was excellent.
It is difficult to play the court in all directions with great athletic ability like Joel Embiid (28‧213cm), but he made contributions in the offense and defense simply and efficiently through post-up, shooting, and screen play. In addition, his reading and passing abilities, which are evaluated as the highest level among all-time centers, gave him the modifier ‘point center’.
It shows a level that makes it possible to operate the game without a point guard, not just a level that is good at passing. Above all, he is highly regarded as an ace-class player with a large weight in the team, but has a remarkably low number of scoring attempts, making it possible to play basketball together. In a situation where there are a lot of heavy ball handler type aces, this part of Yokichi comes as another speciality that goes beyond being special.
Stephen Curry changed the league trend with his own style of play. But Yokichi has a hard time doing that. Yokichi’s unique play is because he has reached a point where he cannot imitate even if he wants to. Yokichi has received regular season MVP for the last two seasons in a row and is challenging the record of three consecutive times this season.
The sad part is that we haven’t won yet. Considering the weight in the team, if the Denver Nuggets win the championship, there is a high probability that they will follow up to the Finals MVP. Of course, there is no need to rush yet. Yokichi is still young and is evaluated as having a high possibility of a long run in terms of his play style. It will be another fun to enjoy the NBA to see how far Yokichi, a special character unprecedented in history, will grow.