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
40 of 78

38) Grant Hill

NBA legend Grant Hill was one of the best players in the NBA in the 1990s but the 2000s were not particularly kind to him. After making the all-star team in 1999–00, Hill played just 47 games in a four-year span, out of a possible 328 games. The Orlando Magic, who had acquired him to be their star post Shaquille O'Neal, struggled as a result. 

He did have a comeback season in 2004–05, averaging 19.7 points in 67 games, but injuries returned, and he eventually left Orlando for the Phoenix Suns. There, he played the final two seasons of the decade. Even despite missing the bulk of four seasons, Hill put up perfectly good numbers, averaging 16.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 426 games.

He also made three all-star teams, even during the 2000–01 season, when he played just four games. The three all-star appearances alone guarantee him a place in these rankings, though one can't help but wonder what he could have done if he hadn't missed those 281 games during his late twenties and early 30s. It still worked out for him since he made the Hall of Fame but that was partially due to him playing well as a role player deep into his 30s.