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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5) Kevin Garnett

After being drafted in 1995, Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett spent all of the 1990s and most of the 2000s with the Minnesota Timberwolves, trying to win a championship with little help. He was tasked with playing big minutes and doing a lot of everything, from scoring, rebounding, and defending to even playmaking.

It didn't matter, with his teammates often unable to make open shots, resulting in him missing the playoffs five times in the 2000s while with the Timberwolves. To their credit, they did acquire Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell in 2003–04, giving Garnett enough firepower to help make a deep playoff run.

He would win MVP that season and nearly lead them to the NBA finals but was ultimately stopped by the Shaq and Kobe Lakers. In 2007, he was finally traded to the Boston Celtics. Once in Boston, he finally got the help and recognition that he deserved.

It unsurprisingly resulted in him winning Defensive Player of the Year and a championship in 2008 and making another trip to the NBA Finals in 2010. Overall, Garnett would make 10 straight all-star teams and average a stellar 21.6 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 4.7 assists in 769 games between 1999–00 and 2008–09. That makes him one of the five best players of the 2000s.