The 2018-19 NBA season is almost upon us, and LA Clippers fans can begin to look forward to what should be a promising year at Staples Center.
While the Clippers have loaded up on talented guards and forwards, the center position is somewhat in flux. The changing dynamic of the modern game has also shifted the importance and design of the center position in 2018-19.
While a Clippers’ great like Elton Brand would be a center today, he was a power forward during his tenure. Meanwhile, other great centers, like Marcus Camby, did not boast the longevity of several other players at the position.
As we prepare for next season, we look at the top 5 centers in Clipper history:
5. Benoit Benjamin
Benoit Benjamin provided the Clippers with longevity and consistency. While he was not Bob McAdoo, he averaged a solid 13.3 PPG and 8.7 RPG in his six seasons with the franchise. He will always be known for his ability to block shots and rebound, serving as the team’s original DeAndre Jordan.
4. Swen Nater
Like Benjamin, Swen Nater played six seasons with the Clippers. In 348 games, he averaged an impressive double-double with 13.5 PPG and 12 RPG. He once led the league in rebounds per game while wearing a Clippers uniform. He also paired with Bill Walton to form an old-school Blake Griffin-DeAndre Jordan combo.
3. Chris Kaman
Even though Chris Kaman was not necessarily an NBA great, he was one of the most effective centers in Clippers’ history. His distinction is that he was named to an NBA All-Star Game as a center, not something many can say. Kaman nearly averaged a double-double with the Clippers, and he displayed a feathery scoring touch. Kaman played eight seasons and 493 games for the franchise.
2. DeAndre Jordan
DeAndre Jordan emerged as a modern-day Clippers great, and quite the success story. Drafted in the second round, Jordan did not enter the league with Blake Griffin’s fanfare or come to the team with Chris Paul’s resume. However, he became the face of the Lob City Era, the most successful in Clippers’ history. While with the franchise, Jordan became one of the league’s best defenders and a force on the boards.
1. Bob McAdoo
Even with DeAndre Jordan building a great career for himself in LA, he still never surpassed the contributions of Bob McAdoo. While he didn’t grace the Staples Center hardwood, McAdoo was one of the great players in the organization’s lineage. An MVP winner and multiple-time All-Star, McAdoo averaged nearly 30 PPG with the Buffalo Braves. The Rookie of the Year in 1972-73 was also a three-time scoring leader. He impacted both ends of the floor and will go down as one of the league’s greats.
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