Dwight Howard's press conference with Houston Rocket legends attending was the impetus for trying to figure out which NBA teams have the all-time best Big Men. Oh, and there was also those contributions by Shaq and Kareem of Dwight not living up to the L.A. limelight.
6) New York Knicks-Best known for Patrick Ewing, but Willis Reed had the biggest moment and was part of the last championship run. Tyson Chandler has to be part of the NY roster because he has won a championship in Dallas and is one of the best centers in the league now.
5) Philadelphia 76ers-Moses Malone won Philly's last title with the Doctor, but many remember Darryl Dawkins for his crafty game, shattering backboards and awesome nickname of 'Chocolate Thunder' given to him by Stevie Wonder of all people. And, of course, Dikembe Mutombo made his best mark with Allen Iverson in reaching the NBA Finals and is the only 7-Footer on this list who has his own Geico commercial. Wilt Chamberlain and Moses are the only ones to make their marks on two teams. Wilt played in Philly many years, but only four were with the Sixers. He won one NBA championship with Philly.
4) San Antonio Spurs-The Admiral (David Robinson) and the Big Fundamental (Tim Duncan) combined for two championships and multiple MVP's as well. Duncan went on to win two more titles. Artis Gilmore was recently inducted into the NBA HOF. He played 5 solid seasons with the Spurs, leading them to three playoff seasons and two all-star appearances.
3) Boston Celtics-Bill Russell says it all in 11 rings (even though he's listed at 6'10''). After Bill, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish have to be part of the Celtic roster with 3 championships with Larry Legend. And, then, Kevin Garnett has to be part of the picture as the 'man' for the last Boston title. Bill Walton helped out 'big' in his sixth man of the year award year for one of those Bird championships.
2) Los Angeles Lakers-Got to start with Wilt 'the Stilt' Chamberlain and his stellar play for many years and one championship alongside Jerry West. Then, the other obvious ones, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tagging with Magic for 5 championships and Shaquille O'Neal partnering with Kobe for an additional three. The only controversial one may be Andrew Bynum. But, he's got to be part of the Laker list. He won two championships and was dominating during them. Pau Gasol deserves mention too for those last two and making Bynum look so good. Also, Vlade Divac can't be forgotten. He helped lead the Lakers to six playoffs in seven seasons and helped Magic get to his last Finals appearance against Michael and the Bulls in their first championship season.
1) Houston Rockets-Dwight Howard has made the difference. He puts Houston over the top and besting all other NBA teams for historical relevance with the greatest of 7-footers. It is up to Dwight to maintain Houston atop the others. He will need multiple Finals appearances and a title. Hakeem 'the Dream' Olajuwon and his two championships are remembered for including Clyde 'The Glide' with him for one of them and for his shakes and bakes. And, don't forget the original Twin Towers of Hakeem and Ralph Sampson paired together. Yao Ming makes it for his all-star years and battles with Shaq. Then, there's Moses Malone and his original NBA team, which he took to five straight playoffs and a Finals loss to the Celtics. Elvin Hayes gets an honorable mention for finishing his career where he went to college. He also played for the Rockets of San Diego in the NBA.
Its the variety and contemporary nature of the Rockets that seals the deal. Without Sampson and Yao, the nod would have to go to LA. So Dwight, here's one more reason to have gone the Houston route. You can also play for the Houston 'Big Man' reputation.
Getting these Rocket 'big men' together at the same time in one room is like seeing all the living U.S. Presidents at one time. Its a rare occurrence, but Dwight's presser brought it together (but still no Moses in the pic above).