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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Honorable Mentions

80) Boris Diaw

79) Antonio McDyess

78) Andre Miller

77) Josh Howard

76) Richard Jefferson

Honorable Mention: Theo Ratliff

One-time NBA all-star Theo Ratliff probably isn't remembered much nowadays unless he was on your favorite team during the mid-to-late 1990s and 2000s. Despite being one of the best shot blockers of his era, he bounced around, playing for the Philadelphia 76ers, Atlanta Hawks, Portland Trailblazers, Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves, Detroit Pistons, and the Sixers again in a 10-year span.

For those keeping count, that's six different teams with two stops in Philadelphia. Even still, he provided solid production, putting up 7.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.7 blocks in 27.7 minutes per game over 468 games in the 2000s.

In fact, he led the league in blocks a staggering three times in five seasons and averaged 3.4 blocks per game during that span. That resulted in Ratliff making the all-star team in 2000-01 with the Sixers and helping them make the NBA Finals that season. He also made two all-NBA defensive second teams in that span.

Being an elite rim protector in an era where teams relied more on shots in the paint made him incredibly useful and deserving of a spot in the top 75. Ratliff making an all-star team also puts him ahead of other defensive role players, though it is surprising that he never won Defensive Player of the Year.