ESPN ranks Bill Russell No. 3 center of all time after Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain

It's not as if this is a unreasonable conclusion by the folks in Bristol.  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA's all-time leading scorer by a large margin, and Wilt Chamberlain owns five of the top seven scoring seasons in league history.  Bill Russell only averaged 15.1 points per game.

However, two of the main criteria ESPN mentions are championships and MVPs.  Here's the breakdown between these three:

Abdul-Jabbar: 6 MVPs, 6 titles
Chamberlain: 4 MVPs, 2 titles
Russell: 5 MVPs, 11 titles

Hmm.  Let the debate begin.

Two more top 10 centers also made cameo appearances with the Celtics late in their careers:

No. 4 Shaquille O'Neal
No. 10 Bill Walton

And here are the other former C's to appear in ESPN's all-time rankings:

Power forwards: No. 5 Kevin Garnett, No. 6 Kevin McHale
Small forwards: No. 2 Larry Bird, No. 7 John Havlicek
Shooting guards: No. 8 Ray Allen
Point guards: No. 10 Bob Cousy

RELATED: ESPN ranks Larry Bird as the second-greatest small forward ever--behind LeBron James

Photo via Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images

Follow Mark Vandeusen on Twitter @LucidSportsFan