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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23) Manu Ginobili

San Antonio Spurs legend Manu Ginobili was selected with the 57th pick in the 1999 NBA Draft. However, he didn't make his debut until the 2002–03 season at the age of 25 and didn't play a major role until his second season. Still, he makes the cut.

After winning a championship in his rookie season while playing alongside Hall of Famers David Robinson, Tim Duncan, and Tony Parker, Ginobili took on a bigger role and thrived. His playmaking, shooting, and shifty drives to the basket made him a nightmare to stop, particularly when paired with Duncan and Parker.

As a member of the Big 3, Ginobili won two more championships during the decade, in 2005 and 2007, with him playing a major role. Against the Detroit Pistons in the 2005 NBA Finals, Ginobili shined, averaging 18.7 points and 5.9 rebounds, with many believing he should have won the Finals MVP over Duncan.

Against the Cavaliers in the 2007 NBA Finals, he averaged an impressive 17.8 points and 5.8 rebounds while coming off the bench. His move to the bench resulted in him prolonging his career and winning Sixth Man of the Year in the 2007–08 season.

All in all, he averaged 14.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in 478 games over seven seasons in the 2000s. He also won three championships, made an all-star team, and received a Sixth Man of the Year award. That makes him one of the most successful players of the 2000s.