The acquisition of Dwight Howard will continue the stranglehold the Los Angeles Lakers have had on the center position throughout NBA history.
As a Lakers fan, I'm fine with this.
The Lakers' dominance at the center position is nothing short of remarkable.
I wanted to research just how dominant Laker centers have been after reading an article making the case that Marcin Gortat is the best center in Phoenix Sun's history.
(Marcin Gortat? Yeesh! Glad I'm a Lakers fan.)
With data taken from Basketball-Reference, 36 centers in NBA history have scored at least 10,000 career points and grabbed 6,000 rebounds.
Of the 36 centers in the 10,000/6,000 club, nine spent at least four years with the Lakers.
This list will grow to 10 if Dwight Howard signs an extension with Los Angeles.
Not only did these dominant Lakers centers put up solid individual stats, most of them won titles. In fact, the only centers to reach the 10,000/6,000 mark who spent at least four years with the Lakers and did not win a title with the team were Vlade Divac and Elden Campbell.
Here are the Lakers centers in the 10,000/6,000 club, the years they played for the Lakers, and the titles they won with the team. Again, this list of Lakers represents 25% (9 of 36) of all centers to reach the 10,000/6,000 threshold.
Lakers Centers - Career 10,000 Points and 6,000 Rebounds (Sorted by Total Points)
1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Lakers 1976-1989) - 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988 Titles
2. Wilt Chamberlain (1969-1973) - 1972 Title
3. Shaquille O'Neal (1997-2004) - 2000, 2001, 2002 Titles
4. Bob McAdoo (1982-1985) - 1982, 1985 Titles
5. Vlade Divac (1990-1996, 2005) - No Titles
6. Mychael Thompson (1987-1991) - 1987, 1988 Titles
7. Clyde Lovellette (1954-1957) - 1954 Title
8. Elden Campbell (1991-1999) - No Titles
9. LeRoy Ellis (1963-1966, 1972-1973) - 1972 Title
Four Years From Now: Dwight Howard (2012-Present) - Already at 10,000/6,000.
Honorable Mention: George Mikan (1949-1956) - 1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954 Titles (Mikan scored 10,156 career points but rebounds were not kept as a stat his first two years, though he did average 13.4 boards throughout his career.)
Dwight Howard: What He Has and What He Lacks
At just 26 years old, Dwight Howard will undoubtedly rise up this list assuming he signs a long-term deal with the Lakers and can remain healthy.
With an ailing back that has already required surgery, Howard's health will always be a concern.
But what currently separates Howard from the other Laker legends on this list is the lack of an NBA title.
He almost singlehandedly led the Orlando Magic to the 2009 NBA Finals by averaging 20.3 points, 15.3 rebounds, 2.6 blocks, and 60.1% shooting, but Orlando lost 4-1 to Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and the Los Angeles Lakers in the Finals.
Dwight Howard now prepares to begin his Lakers career as Los Angeles continues its absolute domination of the center position.
Andrew Sweat is a die-hard Lakers fan. For more from this author, or check these out articles:
- Sports & Recreation
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Dwight Howard