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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21) Chauncey Billups

On the surface, Chauncey Billups' numbers don't jump off the screen. He posted just 15.6 points, 5.9 assists and 3.1 rebounds in 712 games from 1999–00 and 2008–09, but he was one of the best players of the 2000s.

"Big Shot Billups" was the starting point guard and leader of the Detroit Pistons, who made six straight Eastern Conference Finals appearances in the decade, consecutive NBA Finals, and a title in 2004, with Billups as the Finals MVP.

Had they not come up just short to the Spurs in Game 7 of the 2005 Finals, he would be a two-time champion and a two-time Finals MVP. Had that happened, he would have a strong case for being one of the best point guards of all time. It wasn't meant to be but after being traded to the Denver Nuggets, he and Carmelo Anthony helped lead them to the Western Conference Finals in 2009.

That marked his seventh straight trip during the 2000s, an outrageous stretch that often goes underrated and guarantees him a spot in the top 25. It's no wonder that he just got inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame and is certainly deserving of the honor, with his 2000s resume being better than most players of any decade.