He played in the heyday of great centers--spanning a career that included playing against Russell and Chamberlin (actually he and Chamberlin were teammates his rookie year) to Kareem. He played against so many other greats like Willis Reed, Wes Unseld, Bob Lanier, Zelmo Beatty and so many other top centers.
You could tell how respected he was by all the greats who speak of him in such reverential terms including the likes of Kareem, LeBron, Jerry West, Rick Barry and others.
Check out some all-time great quotes about Nate Thurmond
"Nate was one of the great centers to ever play the game and I was privileged to call him a teammate and dear friend"--Rick Barry
He plays me better than anyone ever has."--Kareem Abdul Jabbar
He played with unbelievable intensity and was simply a man among boys on most nights, especially in the defensive end."--Jerry West
I wasn't a hell of a leaper but I had good timing."--Nate Thurmond, on his rebounding and block shot ability
"Knowing you played in the same rec league as me growing up, gave me hope of making it out."---Tweet from LeBronFollow me on twitter @sportsquotation
He was as ferocious as any player in the history of the game on the court, but one of the kindest and nicest guys in everyday life."--Al Attles
"Blocking shots still turns me on, I wish they were counting blocked shots in my big years. They started keeping track of them to late for me"--Nate Thurmond, on what his blocked shot numbers would have looked like in his early years
"Nate Thurmond was a great of his era and one of the greatest players in the history of the game"--Adam Silver
"It's demoralizing to a guy if you score on him at one end and shove him out of the way at the other end."--Nate Thurmond
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