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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47) Antonie Walker

The name Antonie Walker isn't as well known as others from his star-studded draft class but he was the sixth overall pick during the 1996 draft and went on to have a good career. By the start of the 2000s, he had four seasons under his belt and had already made an all-star team as a member of the Boston Celtics. He would make a total of three all-star appearances during his first eight years in the NBA, all with the Celtics.

Unlike many of the players of his era, Walker bombed away from outside without conscience. Through the first six seasons of a decade, he averaged 5.7 attempts per game as a starter, well above the league average at the time and certainly more than most power forwards. 

While he shot just 32.5% from outside during his time as a starter during the decade, he averaged a terrific 19.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1.3 steals. He also made two all-star teams during that six-year stretch. After being traded to the Atlanta Hawks ahead of free agency, he signed with the Miami Heat, where he became a sixth-man on the first two Shaq and Wade teams.

That ultimately worked out for him, resulting in him winning a championship in 2006 before his final season in 2007–08. All in all, Walker posted 16.9 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 687 games between the 1999–00 and 2007–08 seasons, while being a two-time All-Star and winning an NBA title. That is certainly deserving of a spot on this list.