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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55) Rashard Lewis

Former NBA star Rashard Lewis spent the bulk of his 16-year career with the Seattle Supersonics, where he became a star. In nine seasons with Seattle, he averaged 16.6 points while shooting 38.6% from three to go along with 5.8 rebounds per game. At 6'10, his size on the perimeter allowed him to shoot over smaller players and he drilled more than 1400 threes in a 10-year span while shooting a blistering 39.2% from deep.

That proved to be potent, especially when paired with prime Ray Allen. During the 2004–05 season, the Supersonics won 56 games and nearly knocked off the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs in the second round of the playoffs, with them as their two best players. Lewis eventually turned that success into a monster six-year, $120 million contract with the Orlando Magic.

While that turned out to be one of the worst contracts in NBA history, Lewis did make an all-star team in the second year of his deal and led the league in 3-pointers made. He was also Orlando's second-leading scorer on the team that went to the NBA Finals.

Overall, Lewis averaged 17.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per game to go along with two all-star appearances, a ridiculous number of made threes and being the second-best player on a Finals team. Not many players can say they did that during the 2000s.