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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48) Shareef Abdur-Rahim

Former all-star Shareef Abdur-Rahim was the third overall pick of the famed 1996 NBA Draft, which featured several Hall of Famers including Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, and Steve Nash, with Abdur-Rahim largely forgotten. That wasn't due to him being a bust, however, since he put up big numbers for years, including in the 2000s.

From 1999–00 to 2007–08, Abdur-Rahim posted 17.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game in 501 games. He also averaged 20 points and nine rebounds for three straight seasons and 19.9 points and 8.4 boards during the 2002–03 season but had only one all-star appearance to show for it.

That was largely thanks to him playing in a loaded Western Conference that had far more talent than the East. A lack of all-star appearances, or all-NBA appearances, may have resulted in his having a lower profile than he should have. Nevertheless, his numbers speak for themselves, and he was more than productive enough to be included as one of the greatest players of the decade.