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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8) Dwyane Wade

Despite being the fifth pick in the loaded 2003 NBA draft, legend Dwyane Wade seemingly came out of nowhere. He had a good rookie season for the Miami Heat but finished a distant third in rookie of the year voting because of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. However, after the Heat traded for Shaquille O'Neal ahead of his sophomore year, Wade quickly stole the spotlight.

He helped lead the Heat to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2004-05 and the NBA Finals in 2005-06, where he scored at will against the Dallas Mavericks en route to his first championship. For the next five years of the decade, Wade was as good as any player on this list, posting a shocking 26.8 points, 5 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 1.9 steals, and 1 block per game in 333 games.

On the whole, over six seasons during the 2000s, Wade averaged 25.2 points, 6.7 assists and 4.9 rebounds in 394 games. Not only that but Wade made five all-star teams, led the league in scoring and won a championship and Finals MVP. Ironically, he probably had a better 2010s but his run during the 2000s was absolutely top-tier.