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Sports Then and Now



Best of the Decade: Best NBA Players 8

Posted on December 27, 2009 by Dean Hybl
Lakers Bryant drives past Bulls Hinrich in Chicago

Kobe Bryant was a first team All-NBA selection seven times in the decade and led the Lakers to NBA titles to start and end the decade.

As we near the end of 2009 and thus the end of the first decade of the 21st Century, Sports Then and Now is looking at some of the athletes and moments that shaped the decade.

When the decade started many were wondering how the NBA could overcome the retirement of Michael Jordan. Of course Jordan did come back for two seasons during the decade as a member of the Washington Wizards, but he really was more of a footnote in the decade rather than a main player.

The decade belonged to two powerhouse teams, the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs. There were other teams with good runs, but those two squads were consistently contending for NBA titles.

Some are still looking for the next Michael Jordan, but while it is doubtful there will never be another MJ, as the NBA heads into the new decade it has a plethora of talented young stars poised to lead the league into the future.

Who is the Best NBA Player of the Decade?

  • Kobe Bryant (46%, 32 Votes)
  • Tim Duncan (20%, 14 Votes)
  • LeBron James (11%, 8 Votes)
  • Shaquille O'Neal (9%, 6 Votes)
  • Dwyane Wade (4%, 3 Votes)
  • Kevin Garnett (4%, 3 Votes)
  • Steve Nash (3%, 2 Votes)
  • Allen Iverson (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Jason Kidd (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Tony Parker (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 70

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Below is a look at our picks for the top 10 NBA players over the past decade:

Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

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