Monday, 24 Jun 2024

Player Profiles: Centers — The Basketball Movement

We conclude our player profiles series with an in-depth look at the centers, the players who anchor the starting five for any team. Whether a team has a traditional center or not, someone in the starting lineup takes on the responsibility of playing the “five spot” and establishing a presence in the paint.

Playing the center position doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all approach. While centers are often seen as leading rebounders and rim protectors, the modern game showcases centers who can do much more than just block shots and grab boards.

In this article, we will explore the diverse skillsets of both former and current NBA centers, and we will also highlight some exceptional centers in the WNBA. Let’s dive in and discover what makes these players special on the court.

Traditional Centers to Watch

Despite the prevailing trend of three-point shooting, traditional centers still make a significant impact in the game. Three high-caliber examples are DeAndre Jordan, Rudy Gobert, and Andre Drummond.

DeAndre Jordan stands out for his tenacious defense and rebounding abilities. Although his free throw shooting may be a weakness, his length and athleticism on both ends of the court create a formidable presence. Drummond, on the other hand, provides a masterclass in rebounding, making him an essential player to watch for anyone looking to improve their skills in that area. Lastly, Rudy Gobert is widely regarded as one of the best interior defenders in the world. Observing his defensive prowess and footwork can offer valuable insights into protecting the paint.

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All-Around Centers

While specialization can bring success, players who possess a broad range of skills often excel at their positions. Even players like Shaquille O’Neal, who appears to be a traditional center, exhibit versatility beyond expectations. Despite his imposing size, Shaq showcased his ability to run the floor, pass, and shoot from mid-range with surprising finesse. Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, another Lakers great, is widely regarded as the best all-around center for his defense, rebounding, and unparalleled scoring ability.

The list of historically well-rounded centers is extensive, including legends like Hakeem Olajuwon, Moses Malone, David Robinson, and Patrick Ewing. Today, Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid are rising stars known for their versatility. Jokic’s exceptional passing out of the post and Embiid’s impressive post moves and shot-blocking skills make them must-watch players. Additionally, Al Horford, often underrated, exemplifies a well-rounded center in the current game.

The best all-around centers in the game today are Karl-Anthony Towns and DeMarcus Cousins. Towns, potentially the cream of the crop, and Cousins provide excellent examples for aspiring centers. However, it’s essential to avoid emulating Cousins’ technical fouls.

That concludes our player profiles series! Take note of these exemplary centers to improve your understanding of their positions and skills. Stay tuned to The Basketball Movement for more exciting news and basketball content.


Q: Who are some well-rounded centers in today’s NBA?
A: Some well-rounded centers in today’s NBA include Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, and Al Horford.

Q: Who are some all-time great centers known for their versatility?
A: Hakeem Olajuwon, Moses Malone, David Robinson, and Patrick Ewing are some of the all-time great centers known for their versatility.

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In this article, we explored the fascinating world of centers in basketball. From traditional centers to all-around phenoms, we highlighted the diverse skillsets and unique playing styles that make these players stand out. By studying the strengths and techniques of influential centers, aspiring players can enhance their understanding of the game and improve their skills.

To stay up to date with the latest basketball news and engaging content, be sure to follow The Basketball Movement. Let the insights gained from these player profiles inspire you on your basketball journey.

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