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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40) Shawn Marion

Shawn Marion spent all but half a season of the 2000s with the Phoenix Suns and he turned out to be an unconventional linchpin to their success. He spent most of the decade playing alongside Steve Nash and Amare Stoudimire and served as the third option on the "Seven Seconds or Less" Suns teams. This is despite not having any plays run for him. Instead, he scored off of catch and shoots, cuts, and putbacks with surprising effectiveness.

In 745 games during the 2000s, Marion posted 17.8 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. Defensively, he was equally effective, with his size allowing him to guard power forwards and his mobility making it possible for him to defend wings and even guards. That was on full display during the 2005 Western Conference Finals against the San Antonio Spurs.

Marion split time defending Hall of Famers Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker. Outside of LeBron James, he is the only player to ever do that in a series. Although he was a crucial part of their success, the Suns opted to trade Marion for Shaquille O'Neal near the end of the decade, but he'll always be remembered for his time as a member of the Suns.