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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4) Dirk Nowitzki

Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki was selected 5th overall in the 1998 NBA Draft so the 2000s saw him come into his own. From 1999–00 to 2008–09, Nowitzki made a total of eight all-star teams and won an MVP in 2007, making him one of five players to do so in the 2000s alongside Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Allen Iverson, and Shaquille O'Neal.

That makes him one of the best players of the 2000s, especially considering he averaged 23.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 2.8 assists in 792 games. That makes him the third-leading scorer for the entire decade, behind only Kobe and Iverson and one of just three players to make nine all-NBA teams during the 2000s.

The accolades speak for themselves and Nowitzki even led the Mavericks to the playoffs each year, joining Duncan as the only other player on this list to lead one team to the postseason 10 straight times.

Nowitzki would go on to play a record 21 straight seasons with the Mavericks and retire in 2019. That means that his career spanned three decades, with him not only being among the best players of the 2000s but of the 2010s as well.