Can You Identify the NBA Team if We Give You 3 of Its Greatest Centers?

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By: Jonnathan Chadwick

6 Min Quiz

Shaq and Dwight Howard were both nicknamed "Superman." With Nikola Vucevic, what franchise do they represent?

Shaq has many nicknames, but one of the most popular is "Superman," and he even has a Superman tattoo on his arm. By 2008, Dwight Howard began referring to himself as Superman, and the two superstars publicly started disliking each other. Also on the team, Vucevic became an all-star in 2019.

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What team did Alonzo Mourning, Shaq and Chris Bosh play for?

Shaq played for six NBA teams, including Orlando and Miami. Shaq and Alonzo won rings with the Heat in 2006 alongside Dwyane Wade. Bosh won two rings with Miami alongside Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. However, the superstar trio also lost two championships.

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Hakeem Olajuwon, Yao Ming and Ralph Sampson were all number one draft picks. What team did they play for?

The Houston Rockets boast some of the greatest centers in NBA history and have chosen many centers with the number one pick in the draft. Yao Ming is the most famous Chinese basketball player in the world and one of the tallest to ever play.

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Patrick Ewing, Willis Reed and Charles Oakley are three of the most beloved athletes in their city's history. What team did they play for?

Willis Reed played his entire NBA career with the New York Knicks and led the franchise to its only two NBA championships in 1970 and 1973. Patrick Ewing and Charles Oakley ran into Michael Jordan and the Bulls in the '90s and were never able to win a ring.

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Can you name the team Marc Gasol, Pau Gasol and Shareef Abdur-Rahim played for?

Pau Gasol played for the Grizzlies between 2001 and 2008, and his brother Marc joined the team in 2008. Pau won his first ring with the Lakers in 2009, and Marc won his first in Toronto in 2019. Shareef Abdur-Rahim played for the franchise when it was still in Vancouver.

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Where did Kevin Garnett, Al Horford and Kendrick Perkins play?

The Celtics have the most NBA championship titles and are loaded at every position. Even Shaq and Bill Walton played center for the franchise at different points in time. Garnett and Perkins helped lead the team to a championship in 2008, the team's first in two decades.

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David Robinson is the most recent NBA player to record a quadruple-double. Where did Robinson, Tim Duncan and Artis Gilmore play?

Tim Duncan is listed alongside Shaq as the greatest center of that generation. He led the San Antonio Spurs to five championships and was named NBA MVP twice. David Robinson recorded the league's most recent quadruple-double back in 1994.

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What franchise lists Steven Adams, Jack Sikma and Michael Cage as its best centers?

Jack Sikma helped lead the franchise to its first and only NBA championship in 1979. Michael Cage led the league in rebounds his first season in Seattle, and Steven Adams became a key piece of the team when it moved to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder.

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Where did Amar'e Stoudemire, Alvan Adams and Mark West play?

The Phoenix Suns have never won an NBA Championship but won back-to-back-to-back division titles from 2005 to 2007 behind strong play from Amar'e Stoudemire. Alvan Adams played his entire career with the franchise and won several awards.

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Can you name the franchise Bill Walton, LaMarcus Aldridge and Arvydas Sabonis represent?

The Trail Blazers won the team's only NBA championship in 1977 behind strong play from MVP Bill Walton. Arvydas Sabonis and LaMarcus Aldridge put up great numbers for the franchise over several seasons, but they never got the help needed to win a championship.

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Do you know the team Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins and David West represent?

The New Orleans Pelicans are the NBA's newest franchise and haven't had much time to establish greatness, but they did draft Anthony Davis in 2012. David West is naturally a power forward, but during his breakout year in 2005-06, he spent a lot of time playing center.

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What franchise lists Karl-Anthony Towns, Al Jefferson and Kevin Love as its best centers?

Before Kevin Love helped LeBron win Cleveland's first championship in franchise history, he was an all-star center for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Karl-Anthony Towns is the team's best center in history.

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Do you know where Bob Lanier, Rasheed Wallace and Rick Mahorn played?

Bob Lanier played on the Pistons in the '70s and Mahorn joined the team in the '80s, when they were known as the "Bad Boys." Mahorn was known as one of the baddest players on the team, but Rasheed Wallace holds the franchise record for technical fouls with 317.

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What franchise does Rudy Gobert, Greg Ostertag and Mark Eaton represent?

Karl Malone is the best big man in Utah Jazz history, but he played at power forward. Rudy Gobert is a throwback to NBA centers of the 1990s. Today he has the longest wingspan in the league and stands more than seven feet tall.

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Do you know where Brad Daugherty, Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson played?

Brad Daugherty was the best center in Cavaliers' history until LeBron James came along and gave the team hope. Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson started the championship season with Cavaliers, but Varejao was eventually sent to Warriors and faced his old team in the finals.

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On what team did Bob Lanier, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Moses Malone play?

Kareem is regularly considered the best center of all time, and he was drafted number one overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969. He led the franchise to its first and only NBA Championship in 1971, winning the NBA MVP and Finals MVP awards that year. He also led the league in scoring that season.

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Can you name the team Kristaps Porzingis, Shawn Bradley and Tyson Chandler all played for?

Shaw Bradley stood 7'6'' and is one of the tallest NBA players ever. He wasn't the greatest player on the court, but he did lead the league in blocks one season. Tyson Chandler helped lead the Mavs to a championship in 2011 against the Miami Heat.

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Where did Sam Perkins, Pau Gasol and George Mikan play?

Sam Perkins helped lead the UNC Tar Heels to an NCAA championship alongside Michael Jordan in 1982. Perkins bested legendary Georgetown center Patrick Ewing in that game. Pau Gasol won two rings with Kobe and George Mikan is one of the greatest basketball players ever.

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Clint Capela, Moses Malone and Elvin Hayes are three of the best centers for what franchise known for great centers?

Clint Capela has a long way to go to catch Malone and Hayes, but he's well on his way. Capela began his career in the D-League and worked his way up to a five-year contract worth $90 million in 2018. Legendary centers Olajuwon, Mutombo, Malone, Hayes, Ming and Sampson all played for the Rockets.

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What franchise did Rik Smits, Myles Turner and Jermaine O'Neal play for?

Rik Smits paved the way for today's centers. The 7'4'' Dutchman was known for spreading the floor on offense while still being one of the league's best defenders. He had an unheard of shooting percentage for a 7'4'' center.

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What franchise is represented by Andre Drummond, Ben Wallace and Bill Laimbeer?

The Detroit Pistons were once known as the "Bad Boys," and Bill Laimbier was one of the baddest of them all. Laimbeer's father was a corporate hotshot who laughed at his son's NBA salary. Laimbeer continued with his hoop dreams, however, and won two championships with the Pistons.

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Where did Bill Cartwright, Will Perdue and Horace Grant win multiple championships?

With Jordan and Pippen taking all the limelight, it's easy to forget the centers on those legendary Bulls teams. Everybody remembers Dennis Rodman, but he was a power forward. Horace Grant split time between power forward and center. Perdue and Cartwright were the main centers.

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On what legendary team did Dave Cowens, Bill Russell and Robert Parish play center?

Bill Rusell won 11 championships with the Boston Celtics and is considered one of the greatest players of all time. He dominated the league, but at just 6'8'' and 215 pounds, he'd hardly be a center in today's game.

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Kareem, Wilt and Shaq are arguably the three greatest centers in history. What team did they all play for?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA's all-time leading scorer and helped lead the LA Lakers to five championships. Shaquille O'Neal played eight seasons in Los Angeles and won three consecutive championships. Wilt Chamberlain won his second and last championship while he played for the Lakers.

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Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson and Zydrunas Ilgauskas all played on what Midwest team?

The Cavaliers have only won one championship in history. Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson split duties at center during the championship run. Zydrunas Ilgauskas played center when the Cavs were swept by the Spurs in the 2007 NBA Finals.

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Do you know the franchise that DeMarcus Cousins, Vlade Divac and Jerry Lucas represent?

Vlade Divac is a Kings legend who later became the vice president of basketball operations for the franchise. While in the front office, Divac famously traded away DeMarcus Cousins for next to nothing. Jerry Lucas played for the franchise when it was called the Cincinnati Royals.

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Where did Derrick Coleman, Jayson Williams and Brook Lopez play?

Shaquille O'Neal has gone on record saying the only person to have ever dunked on him was Derrick Coleman. Shaq never forgot the dunk and actually broke the basketball hoop on a dunk when the two teams had a rematch.

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Can you name the franchise Chris Bosh, Antonio Davis and Jonas Valunciunas played for?

Chris Bosh attained a lot of success, winning two championships alongside Dwyane Wade and LeBron James in Miami, but he was an all-star in Toronto before that. Jonas Valunciunas helped lead the franchise to its first and only championship in 2019.

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Where did Dan Issel, Marcus Camby and Dikembe Mutombo dominate at center?

Although Issel never won an NBA championship with the Nuggets, he's the franchise's second-leading scorer. When you combine his ABA and NBA stats, there are only three players in history who have scored more points than him.

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What franchise does Bill Walton, Bob McAdoo and DeAndre Jordan represent?

Bob McAdoo played for the franchise when it was called the Buffalo Braves. That's when he won the NBA MVP Award. Bill Walton and McAdoo also played for the Celtics, but DeAndre Jordan never did. They all represent the Clippers.

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Where did Wes Unseld, Elvin Hayes and Rick Mahorn play center?

Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes are two of the best NBA players of all time, and both helped lead the Washington Bullets to the team's first and only championship in 1978. Hayes mostly played power forward alongside Unseld but filled in at the center role from time to time.

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Where did Dikembe Mutombo, Bob Petit and Walt Bellamy play?

Dikembe Mutombo may not have been the most prolific offensive scorer, but he was an imposing figure on defense. He led the league in rebounds for two consecutive years on the Hawks, and in blocked shots for three consecutive years before that.

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Moses Malone and Daryl Dawkins were known for shattering backboards. Along with Dolph Schayes, what franchise do they represent?

Moses Malone was one of the first basketball players to turn professional straight out of high school. Daryl Dawkins was nicknamed "Chocolate Thunder" and was known to shatter a backboard or two in his day; the NBA implemented breakaway rims because of Dawkins. Schayes helped lead the franchise to its first championship in 1955.

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Gheorge Muresan and Manute Bol are the tallest players in NBA history. Along with Wes Unseld, what team do they represent?

Muresan and Bol were both listed at 7'7", and no player in the NBA has matched or surpassed that. Wes Unseld is a full foot shorter than them but is the best center in the franchise's history. He led the team to its only championship in 1978.

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Who did Wilt Chamberlain, Neil Johnston and Nate Thurmond play for?

Wilt Chamberlain and Nate Thurmond both played for the Warriors when they were still the Philadelphia Warriors. Johnston led the Philly Warriors to a championship in 1956, and Chamberlain won his first championship playing for the Philadelphia 76ers after the Warriors moved west.

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Image: Wiki Commons by Keith Allison and Erik Drost

About This Quiz

The NBA center is vanishing right before our eyes. There was a time when the center was the biggest, baddest, best and most dominant player on the court. It was commonplace for Wilt Chamberlain to average 50 points a game for an entire season. He once grabbed 55 rebounds in a game and scored 100 points in a game, and averaged more than 22 rebounds per game for his entire career. 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was so powerful that the NCAA outlawed dunking. Kareem invented the skyhook shot in response, and it's been called the most unstoppable move in basketball history. Shaq was so supreme he inspired a new NBA tactic called "Hack-a-Shaq." The concept was simple: If Shaq caught the ball underneath the basket, the other team would hack him. If he didn't get hacked, it was a guaranteed two points. 

Bill Russell has 11 rings and just 10 fingers to put them on. Nobody has more championships than him.

But all that dominance happened so long ago. Wilt and Kareem would be the slowest players on the court today. Shaq only made one three-pointer in his entire career, and today's game is dominated by three-pointers. Bill Russell dominated, but he was only 6'8''. That's the size of a point guard today. Today's centers don't look anything like yesterday's, but they're still centers. Can you name the franchise if we list three of its greatest centers?

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