The 75 greatest NBA players of the 2010s, ranked

Stephen Curry, James Harden
Stephen Curry, James Harden / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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12) Tim Duncan

San Antonio Spurs icon Tim Duncan was still going strong in his third decade in the NBA after being one of the best players of the 2000s. In 493 games, old man Duncan posted averages of 14.7 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, and 2.8 assists between 2009–10 and 2016–17. 

That might not seem all that impressive but Duncan started the decade at 32 years old and played seven seasons on a creaky knee. During the 2010–11 season, the Spurs moved away from a Duncan-led offense in favor of Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili running the show. 

They won 61 games but were upset in the first round of the playoffs by the Memphis Grizzlies, with Duncan looking both old and out of shape. However, he lost significant weight that summer, became a terrific mid-range shooter and regained his agility. That Renaissance helped the Spurs make the Western Conference Finals three straight seasons for the first time ever, make back-to-back NBA Finals, and win a championship in 2014 with Duncan as their best all-around player. 

The Spurs would remain championship contenders and rely on Duncan even in his late 30s, with his defense being key to their success. Despite barely getting off the ground, his length and positioning made him arguably the best defensive player of the 2010s over the first seven seasons, even though he never won Defensive Player of the Year. Nevertheless, he was clearly one of the 12 greatest players of the 2010s.