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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18) Amare Stoudemire

Four-time NBA all-star Amare Stoudemire was one of the most productive big men of the 2000s. In 434 games over seven seasons—all with the Phoenix Suns—Amare averaged a terrific 21.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks. Amare owes some of that production to Steve Nash and the "Seven Seconds or Less" Suns, who played a modern style of ball.

Of course, Nash owes some of his success to Amare too, and his explosive athleticism helped make Nash's passing all the more dangerous and made their pairing a nightmare to defend. Together, they led the Suns to the best record in the NBA during the 2004–05 season and all the way to the Western Conference Finals, where they ran into the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs.

Stoudemire averaged 37 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks, though they were outplayed by the big three of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili, all of whom were in their prime. The Suns would make the Western Conference Finals again the following season but with Stoudemire playing just three games.

Those Suns would make the playoffs three more times, including a third trip to the West Finals with him before he left for the Knicks. Overall, Stoudemire won Rookie of the Year and made four all-star appearances during his seven seasons played during the decade, making him one of the more accomplished players of that era.