Center: Artis Gilmore (66.5 WS)
Wrapping things up here with the man in the middle, the race for the starting center position wasn’t quite as cut and dry as the other positions thus far. Separated by less than 10 total win shares between first and second place, it’s Artis Gilmore who steps up here to claim the final spot.
Originally playing in the ABA with the Kentucky Colonels, Gilmore would instead join forces with the Chicago Bulls following the merger in the early ’70s. For a long time, GIlmore single-handedly kept the Bulls relevant, averaging 20.1 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game across six seasons in Chicago.
Artis Gilmore’s incredible impact on the Bulls shouldn’t be lost or forgotten with time.
It’s for this reason that despite a relatively short tenure with the team, Gilmore was for a long time known as the greatest player in Chicago Bulls history. That was, of course, until MJ stepped up to the plate. To this day, Gilmore still holds the record for most total blocks and blocks per game, as well as the highest field goal percentage for any player in a Bulls uniform.
Unfortunately, Chicago failed to surround Gilmore with adequate talent to become a truly competitive team. Posting a 228-254 record with the Bulls, Artis would leave to spend the remainder of his productive years with George Gervin and the Spurs. San Antonio would go 53-29 in their first season with Gilmore, but ultimately fall short of their championship aspirations.
Looking back, Gilmore absolutely deserves his spot in the Hall of Fame after earning 11 All-Star selections and an ABA MVP award in 1972.
2nd string: Joakim Noah (57.3 WS, 7th all-time)
3rd string: Tom Boerwinkle (38 WS)