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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14) Vince Carter

Recent Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Vince Carter ranks as one of the most electrifying players of his era. Carter spent the first five and a half seasons of the 2000s with the Toronto Raptors, putting up monster numbers, posting 23.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game with eye-popping play after eye-popping play. Despite that, he was traded to the New Jersey Nets and he admitted that he didn't try his hardest with the Raptors at times.

That turned Toronto fans against Carter, who must have felt betrayed, though he just had his jersey retired by the team after 15 years, suggesting that things are all good now. With the Nets, he formed a terrific pairing with Hall of Famer Jason Kidd.

Actually, Carter was arguably better as a member of the Nets than he was as a Raptor, averaging 23.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 4.7 assists over his four and a half seasons with the team. From 1998–99 to 2008–09, Carter averaged 23.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.4 assists in 727 games. He also won Rookie of the Year and made nine all-star teams and three all-NBA teams during the decade, en route to what is now a Hall of Fame career.