The 75 greatest NBA players of the 2000s, ranked

The 2000s were an important decade for the NBA, with new stars emerging to carry the league into a new era. But which players were the best of the decade?
Tim Duncan, Shaquille O'Neal
Tim Duncan, Shaquille O'Neal / Jed Jacobsohn/GettyImages
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67) Stephen Jackson

Former second-round pick Stephen Jackson had to earn his spot in the NBA and managed to carve out an impressive career. From 2000–01 to 2008–09, Jackson played for several teams, including the New Jersey Nets, San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers, Atlanta Hawks, and Golden State Warriors, and made an impact on each team.

He proved instrumental in the Spurs' 2003 championship run, including hitting six threes in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Dallas Mavericks, helping the Spurs get past their archrivals. He then signed with the Hawks and put up bigger numbers, averaging 18.1 points and 4.6 rebounds per game before being traded to the Pacers, where he was even better.

After they won 62 games the year before, Jackson was brought in to help them get over the hump and win a championship. He did average a career-best 18.7 points and 4.9 rebounds but he was part of the Malice at the Palace, which effectively ended the Pacers' title hopes.

Jackson was then traded to the Warriors, where he played a crucial role on the Warriors team that upset the Mavericks, with Jackson being tasked with slowing down MVP Dirk Nowitzki. Ultimately, Jackson's solid numbers, averaging 15.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.3 steals, coupled with his postseason heroics, earn him a spot on this list.