Sport: The Centers of Contention

Pro basketball's endurance contest is down to two

The nature of basketball, some would say the flaw in basketball, is that the game is nearly always won or lost at the center position. Julius ("Dr. J") Erving of Philadelphia and Earvin ("Magic") Johnson of Los Angeles lead their teams artistically, but Erving is a forward and Johnson a guard. It is around the 76ers' Moses Malone and the Lakers' Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the centers, that the current championship series, and the basketball universe itself, revolves.

For the purposes of easy identification, Abdul-Jabbar, 36,7 ft. 2 in.,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!