The 75 greatest NBA players of the 2010s, ranked

Stephen Curry, James Harden
Stephen Curry, James Harden / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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11) Dirk Nowitzki

Dallas Mavericks icon Dirk Nowitzki played an eye-popping 21 seasons in the NBA, with his career spanning three decades: the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. Surprisingly, Dirk was still more than capable for most of his final decade in the league. 

In fact, he started off the decade strong, averaging 25.9 points per game in 2009–10. In 2010–11, he put together an iconic playoff run, averaging 27.7 points and 8.1 rebounds while leading the Mavericks to wins over several Hall of Famer or Hall-of-Famer-caliber players. He beat LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard, and the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round. 

Next up were Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, then Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant in the West Finals, and Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwayne Wade in the NBA Finals, en route to his only championship. Unfortunately for Dirk and the Mavericks, they weren't all that good in the last eight seasons of his career. They made the playoffs only four times during that span, with four first-round exits. 

Luckily, they were bad enough one of those years to have a top-5 pick, which they used to trade up for future Hall-of-Famer Luka Doncic. He played with Dirk for a season before Dirk retired at the end of the decade after posting 18.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game in 683 games. For someone who started his career in the late 1990s, he was still among the top players of the 2010s.