I liked the pounding and the hard work. This is about more than the scattered few who currently suit up in the Association, though. He was a man amongst boys while playing for the Philadelphia Warriors, a team that was content to let Johnston rack up stats...and losses. Ewing's career was undeniably excellent, but it will always be remembered for what it could have been, especially by those New York faithful still lusting after their first championship since 1973. David Robinson has always been massively underrated because of his superstar teammate, one that would go on to enjoy an even more impressive career than he did. I could regale you with gaudy Wilt Chamberlain statistics until your ears start bleeding. That in and of itself is a travesty, even if it doesn't hinder how he's ranked here. With one of the most unstoppable weapons in NBA history at his disposal, this center managed to average at least 20 points per game in a remarkable 17 consecutive seasons. And even that season, he shot just 45.3 percent from the field, which further devalued his scoring. If you played any pickup basketball during the 1990s or early 2000s—and you were tall/athletic enough to block a shot—you likely broke out the infamous finger wag after a particularly thunderous rejection. Others have ridiculous longevity. Teams: Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Career Per-Game Stats: 24.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 0.9 steals, 2.6 blocks, Ultimate Season: 34.8 points, 16.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.7 steals, 4.1 blocks, Career Advanced Stats: 24.6 PER, .592 TS%, 115 ORtg, 99 DRtg, 273.4 WS, 0.228 WS/48, 6.203 MVP Shares, Performance Metrics: 4915.38 PP, 1520.97 AS, 554.3 CC, 27.72 CC/Season, 5 LMVPs, 7.25 LMVP Shares. Parish doesn't have too many LMVP shares, and his Career Contributions are rather limited—boosted by that ridiculous longevity. Imagine Jason from Friday the 13th heading home from a weekend of killing camp counselors, showering, changing into clean clothes, then taking his lady to Outback Steakhouse. Placing the stars of the 1950s is always a tough endeavor, and Clyde Lovellette doesn't make that process any easier. So too will inexplicable series like the one in 1992 that featured Michael Jordan's Bulls coming back from a 2-0 deficit to advance to the NBA Finals. He retired with only 468 regular-season contests to his credit. Excellence can get you into the rankings, but it's not as beneficial as sustained excellence. Plus, he was a terrifying presence on the interior, and his passing is quite underrated. Therefore, it's best to familiarize yourself with them now. Then, he led the Association in scoring each of the next three seasons, thriving with his long-armed skyhook long before Kareem Abdul-Jabbar used it even more effectively. The Los Angeles Lakers has been the best NBA team at developing and trading for the best centers in the league. Teams: Baltimore/Capital/Washington Bullets, Career Per-Game Stats: 10.8 points, 14.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.6 blocks, Ultimate Season: 16.2 points, 18.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.9 blocks, Career Advanced Stats: 16.0 PER, .537 TS%, 113 ORtg, 96 DRtg, 110.1 WS, 0.147 WS/48, 0.639 MVP Shares, Performance Metrics: 1679.09 PP, 448.09 AS, 241.01 CC, 18.54 CC/Season, 0 LMVPs, 0.39 LMVP Shares. He put up 50.4 points and 25.7 boards per contest during the 1961-62 season. A reliable presence during the playoffs, Gasol has actually been surprisingly valuable no matter the situation. That's high praise, and it was much deserved. But the prominence of metrics and advanced statistics doesn't mean context can be thrown out the window, either. He's capable of serving as an offensive hub in the half-court set, dominating with his passing and even running the break as a de facto point center. It's not about the longest careers. The numbers, however, do put him in the elite tier but don't compare favorably to those ranked ahead of him. And his Career Contributions per season? If Artis Gilmore's work in the ABA counted for the purpose of these rankings, he'd fare even better. The conversation has to begin and end with rebounding when discussing Nate Thurmond's career. Third place gets 0.33 LMVP shares, and so on and so forth. Up to this point of his career—and remember, Howard is still playing out his athletic prime—this prep-to-pro phenom has a total rebounding percentage of 20.7 percent. Not only has the biggest knock on Robinson long been that he didn't win a title until Duncan came around, but there's also what I like to call the Duncan Theorem. And that's key: His teams were eliminated. Think back to his best days with the Magic, when opponents had to plan around either letting him dominate one-on-one matchups on the interior or risk the bevy of shooters torching them from the perimeter while they paid more attention to the force in the middle. They've often been at the heart of both offenses and defenses, making them vitally important in the construction of so many standout teams. In fact, the biggest problem for O'Neal—bigger even than his free-throw shooting, penchant for lackluster rap songs and feud with Kobe Bryant—was the absence of an ability to retire. Though he never posted the top score in the league, Malone finished close to the pole position so many times that he trails only six centers in that category, three of whom still have yet to appear. At his best, O'Neal was a constant source of quotes, nicknames and games that stacked up to turn into some of the most dominant seasons we've ever seen, regardless of position. That means his points per game could come from his rookie year, while his rebounds per game could be drawn from a season five years down the road. However, he was also playing on a team with a gaudy collection of talent, which is emphasized by his Career Contributions. Plus, 66 percent of his career minutes have come at what's usually the biggest position on the court. But with these new ones, we have insight into his playoff performances, as well as how valuable he was to his team and throughout the league in general. Career Per-Game Stats: 17.6 points, 13.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.9 blocks, Ultimate Season: 20.5 points, 16.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.3 steals, 1.3 blocks, Career Advanced Stats: 17.0 PER, .496 TS%, 106 ORtg, 96 DRtg, 86.3 WS, 0.140 WS/48, 1.338 MVP Shares, Performance Metrics: 1595.77 PP, 630.79 AS, 185.11 CC, 16.83 CC/Season, 1 LMVP, 1.08 LMVP Shares.

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