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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54) Brandon Roy

Even though his career lasted just six seasons, Portland Trailblazers legend Brandon Roy has enough of a resume to make the list. Roy was taken 8th overall in the 2006 NBA Draft and immediately showed that he was worth it, averaging 16.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 4.4 assists en route to winning Rookie of the Year.

He quickly ascended from there, making the all-star team in just his second season, something generally reserved for only the top young players. Not just that but he did it again in 2008–09 and looked to be on pace for a big decade heading into the 2010s.

Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Roy's knee forced him into an early retirement at 27 years old, though he did briefly unretire, returning for five games during the 2012–13 season as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves. With just three seasons under his belt, he has the second-fewest years played in the 2000s of any player on this list.

Still, Roy won a major award, ironically, the Rookie of the Year award (ROY), as well as two all-star teams and two All-NBA teams. That is an impressive number of accomplishments for such a short career, and he makes the greatest players of the 2000s list as a result.