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Bill Russell & Wilt Chamberlain

 

Top 10 Centers of All Time

by MARK GREY

 

It’s long been known that Basketball is a big man's game.  While a handful of guards such as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and more recently Kobe Bryant have been able to lead their teams to titles, history has shown that the quickest way to a title is find the best big man in the game and build from there.  While the title of best big man in the game has been passed down from generation to generation like a quilt sewn by grandma, the title of greatest center ever is still very much up for debate.  Never one to duck a good sports debate, I figured it was time to put together a top 10 list of the greatest centers of all time.

While putting together this list I ended up doing a lot more research than I ever imagined.  There have been a lot of great centers and a lot of epic big man battles (most of which I never saw) so a lot of reading and listening was required.  I wanted to put together a list that showed who truly was the greatest center of all time, not just who had the best stats or the most hardware.  In my list, I took many different things into account and weighed them all differently.  I took note of what each one of these giant’s teams needed them to do in order to win, as well as what they had the ability to do.  While clearly winning and titles are huge, when judging who is the greatest ever, I also took into account who was on the team.  Some of these big men anchored championship teams, while others weren’t just the anchor, they were the whole damn boat.  In the quest to find out who was really dominate, I took a close look at how many times each player was named first team all NBA, Defensive Player of the Year, as well as did they ever lead the NBA in any categories.  Not only was each players prime taken in to consideration but also how long their prime lasted and what other greats they faced who were in their prime.

One player whose name is not on this list that I’m sure belongs, is the late George Makin.  Now let me start by saying I am fully aware of what he has meant to the game of basketball and how dominant he was in his time, it’s just his time that I question.  It’s always hard to rank a player who you didn’t see play with your own eyes but it’s even harder to do when almost no one saw him play.  While I never got to see Wilt or Russell play live, there are countless stories to read with play by play detail as well as box scores.  As far as I’m concerned, when Thomas Jefferson and the countries founding fathers were drawing up the Declaration of Independence, big George Mikin was shooting hoops out back.  Throw in the fact that there weren’t any black players in the NBA until 1950 and I just have no clue where to place him.  Dwight Howard also didn’t make the list and that’s simply because his career isn’t over yet and I think his best basketball is still in front of him.  I have no doubt in my mind that when his playing days are done he will not only be on this list but pretty high up.  With no further adu, here are the PlayersVoice top 10 centers of all time.  Read More ...

 

Dwight Howard

 

 

A True MVP

by MARK GREY

4.12.11

As the NBA regular season begins to wind down, the MVP award has all but been delivered to Chicago with Derrick Rose’s name on it. Sure there are a few witnesses still out there pushing for LeBron, but with less than a week to go, the award is Rose’s to lose. While the winner of the award is normally pretty clear to most, the definition of a players value is anything but clear. There's no denying that Rose is having a break out year while leading the Bulls to the top of the Eastern Conference, and LeBron is putting up the same eye popping numbers he does every year, but there is one man whose value to his team trumps both of them. When it comes to measuring which player means the most to his team, no player is more valuable than Dwight Howard.

Before every fan in Miami and Chicago (and the ones who only think what ESPN tells them to think) clicks that small “x” in the upper right corner, lets take a look at what the award is truly about. Let me start by saying I am not making an argument for Howard as the best player in the NBA, just simply the most valuable to his team. Is LeBron putting up great numbers down in South Beach? Of Course he is. Does Rose have the Bulls, a team most experts picked to finish no better than 4th in the East, atop his conference? Yes. But there is no team that asks for more from their superstar than Howard.

Howard's numbers alone (23+ points a night, 14 boards and 2.5 blocks) should be enough to garner a few MVP votes, but to truly see his value, one needs to simply watch a Magic game. While it's easy to
see the value of player like James and even Rose in their numbers, it’s the numbers of those around Howard that set him apart. Howard's 14 boards a night shows he’s a monster on the boards, but the fact that the next highest rebounder on his team pulls down a very pedestrian 5 boards a game lets you know he is a monster with very little help. The Magic don’t just look for Howard to lead the team in rebounds, they expect him to grab all of them. In an NBA where most teams look for the center and power forward to share the rebounding duties, the Magic have paired Howard with the duo of a 6’8 jump shooting power forward in Brandon Bass and a 6’10 Ryan Anderson who has more three point shot attempts per game then he does rebounds.  Read More ...

 

NBA Superstars

Superstar Roll Call - 2011 Edition

by MARK GREY

3.4.11

In today’s world of sports marketing, very few words are overused more than the word “superstar.”  If the masterminds in the marketing department of the NBA had their way they would have you think that every player who ever scored 30 points in a game before - even if it was in college - is a superstar. The fact is, the league is made up of mostly role players and about 20 to 30 stars, but only a small handful that are the elite of the elite are “superstars.” With the word superstar being thrown around so loosely, it has become hard to determine who the real ones are, but have no fear - Mr. Grey is here with my superstar roll call to clear everything up.

For those of you who have never read one of my superstar roll calls, here is how it works: all the players who have made an All Star team within the last two years are invited to a private location in my head. Once everyone arrives, they are treated to some snacks and their favorite non alcoholic beverages while they wait to hear their names called. Once their names are called, they are dismissed because at this point in their careers, they are not NBA superstars. The few that are left when it's all said and done have earned the right to be called “superstar.” Let the show begin.  Read More ...

 

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