The 75 greatest NBA players of the 2010s, ranked

Stephen Curry, James Harden
Stephen Curry, James Harden / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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4) James Harden

In many ways, James Harden is one of the most iconic players of the 2010s, with his rookie season coinciding with the start of the decade. He spent his first three seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder and was a key part of one of the best young teams in NBA history. 

In 2013–14, Harden was a key reason why the Thunder went to the NBA Finals and he was rewarded with a Sixth Man of the Year award. He was later abruptly traded in what is now considered to be one of the worst deals in NBA history, with the Houston Rockets making out like a bandit. For the final seven seasons of the decade, Harden put up huge numbers, averaging 29 points, 6 rebounds, 7.7 assists, and 1.8 steals.

He also won three straight scoring titles, with the first two counting here. He also won MVP in 2017–18 and had three more second-place finishes in MVP voting, showing that he was an elite player for the majority of the 2010s. Harden ultimately played 765 total games from 2009–10 to 2018–19 and posted monster numbers: 24.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 1.6 steals. That makes him one of the five best players of the era.