Why Are Centers Not Considered GOATS?

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    This is something I’ve noticed in the arguments I’ve seen about the Greatest Of All Times. Almost all the players who are suggested as the GOAT are players like Bird, Jordan, Lebron (why, I don’t know, but whatever), Kobe, maybe Steph and Magic. But rarely, if ever, is a center in the argument.

    That Lebron recently passed Abdul-Jabbar for leading career scorer seems to highlight that fact. Abdul-Jabbar was a great player, and great over a lot of years, yet I don’t think I’ve seen his name come up often, if even at all, in these GOAT discussions.

    As unfair as I think it is, I can see how Wilt or Bill Russell are ignored because, oh they played so long ago. But even a more recent dominant big man like Shaq isn’t often in the conversation.

    Is there a bias against big men in these arguments? Maybe because, on offense, centers are usually not ball handlers, but their offense depends a lot on being “fed the ball”? Maybe because centers don’t shoot a lot of 3s or drive around defenders for slashing highlight-reel plays?


      Modern sports intentionally highlights and emphasizes scoring because it is typically seen as more exciting than defense. Look at the NFL.  25-50 years ago it was truly smash mouth football where the run was as big a part of the game as the pass.  Now if you look at the QB or the WR too hard you get flagged and RB’s are just an accessory to mix up your play calling.  All because the NFL wants high scoring games.

      I think this is how people tend to think where someone whom scored X points in their career is seen more favorably viewed than someone whom stopped X points in a game because for decades these sports but the spotlight on scoring.

      I prefer to look at the super athletes regardless of of what position they play because they are often a human marvel.  For example, Larry Allen.  He was a total freak of nature whom could bench press something like 700lbs but could run down a linebacker.  Here is a clip of it.  And the interesting thing there is John Madden points this out in a game.  Now a days if this happened the stupid modern announcers would let it pass without a mention.


      Those are the more exciting players. Looking back, the boring and silent and quiet ones have my respect now. I was never a fan when they were playing, but I must say that Tim Duncan and Hakeem Olajuwon have nothing to say and nothing to prove. They both won and will probably be forgotten. Duncan just hit fundamental bank shots off the glass. They will never be regarded as the greatest and I doubt they even care because they were total winners while they played.


      I kind of feel like the deeper I listen to GOAT conversations, they all always mention Kareem and Russell, along with Wilt. So I’m not entirely sure you’re right in your assumption.

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