ShyneIV's NBA All-Decade Team
It would seem that the NBA will unveil the players of the decade at this year’s All-Star Weekend. But I have news for you; if NBA All-Star Weekend is like the black Super Bowl (commonly referred as such) that’s on pay per view, the SBG blog is like the Arab dude you call to install a bootleg satellite to get it for free. So instead of waiting until February, I’m giving you the hook p right now. By the way, my NBA All-Decade team has a combined six league MVPs, five NBA Finals MVPs, seven All-Star Game MVPs,37All-Star game selections and 25 All-NBA 1st team selections. I’m sure I’ve teased you long enough, let’s unveil Shyne’s NBA All-Decade team (by position).
Point Guard: Steve Nash
Two time league MVP (04-05, 05-06)
#1 in assists per game three straight season (2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-2007)
6 All-Star selections this decade
Selected three times to All-NBA 1st team (2004-2005, 2005-2006, 2006-2007)
His case: I spoke to my friend Sara (huge NBA fan) about the roster of the decade and she was somewhat surprised that I left Jason Kidd off the squad. I can’t blame her because Jason Kidd was really the closest thing we had seen of Magic Johnson in a long time. However, Steve Nash changed the culture of NBA basketball. While everyone was busy trying to go one on one and score on his defender, Steve Nash made it cool to look for the open guy, he made it cool to make the extra pass; and consequently he made his teammates look for the open guy. Kids were no longer obsessed with just scoring baskets, now they wanted to pass the ball and play up tempo. If that’s not enough to convince you, this probably will: only one player in this list has more MVP trophies during his career than Steve Nash (Tim Duncan). ‘Nuff said.
Shooting Guard: Kobe Bryant
2007-2008 league MVP
2008-2009 Finals MVP
3 time All-Star Game MVP (2001-2002, 2006-2007, 2008-2009)
Selected to every All-Star Game this decade
2 Time scoring champ (2005-2006, 2006-2007)
Selected seven times to the All-NBA 1st team (2001-2002, 2002-2003, 2003-2004, 2005-2006, 2006-2007, 2007-2008, 2008-2009)
His case: I don’t want to make this comparison because some might feel as though I am putting these two players on the same level, but I’m not. However, can you name another shooting guard that has consistently dominated the NBA for a whole decade? You know his name but you refuse to say it because it seems blasphemous to you. And once again, I understand your feelings. Kobe Bryant isn’t as cool as Mike, he doesn’t project the same aura, he doesn’t instil the same fear that Mike did, and we never openly debated about what other player in the league was better than Mike. So Kobe can’t possibly have the same size cojones as MJ right? But then again, who does? Instead of openly complaining about what Kobe Bryant is not, let’s focus on what he is. Kobe Bryant is the best pure scorer the NBA has ever seen. If you were created the perfect shooting guard, you would want him to be a great ball handler (we tend to forget, but Kobe Bryant was once considered to have the same handle on the ball as Allen Iverson), a good or great shooter, be able to play point guard at times and facilitate for his teammates, be able to get off a quality shot as the shot clock is winding down, carry the offense for stretches, shut down the guy he’s guarding and score in crunch time. Any of that sound familiar? In a nutshell, I just described the Black Mamba.
Small Forward: LeBron James
2008-2009 league MVP
5 All-Star selections this decade
2003-2004 Rookie of the Year
Two time All-Star Game MVP (2005-2006, 2007-2008)
Selected three times to All-NBA 1st team (2005-2006, 2007-2008, 2008-2009)
His case: No player in the history of the league has come in with as much hype and expectations as LeBron James. The NBA and its fans hoped that LeBron would be a semi-great player that the league could market and that its audience might learn to appreciate. Instead, LeBron James became the face of the NBA; put the Cavaliers on the map and elevated his status to the point that he is a global figure and most probably Nike’s front man (sorry Tiger, that’s not what they meant when they said “Just Do It”). LeBron’s exploits mind you are not limited to his off the court activities. Since joining the league in 2003, LeBron has been the best small forward in the NBA. His combination of size, speed, strength, athleticism and court vision have made him a match up nightmare. LeBron James has the ability to score whenever he wants; he sees the court like few others do and he is able to battle underneath the boards with some of the toughest big men in the league. In addition, he and Kobe Bryant are currently the best players in the league bar none. So far in his young career, he has exceeded all expectations and might end up being the league’s signature player for years to come.
Power Forward: Tim Duncan
Two time League MVP this decade (2001-2002, 2002-2003)
Two time Finals MVP this decade (2002-2003, 2004-2005)
Selected six times to All-NBA 1st team (2000-2001, 2001-2002, 2002-2003, 2003-2004, 2004-2005, 2006-2007)
Selected to every All-Star Game this decade
His case: Tim Duncan is the best power forward to have ever played in the NBA. The beauty of Duncan’s game is his ability to play big and loud on the court without ever making a sound or ever pumping his chest. All Duncan does is score in the paint, rebound, block shots, anchor the defense, either hedge or trap on the pick and roll, then recover back to his man, empower his teammates and win rings. Despite the previously mentioned points, some might ask the question: why Duncan over Garnett? Put it this way, Garnett is like an expensive house. He looks good, he’s situated in a great neighborhood, everybody knows where to find him and you can easily find him on Google Earth. Duncan on the other hand, is like an expensive home. He gives those involved with him warmth, security, memories and an unshakable foundation. When things are going bad and you need something or someone to pick you up, all you have to do is go home. Quick note: People are quick to forget, but it was a Duncan led Spurs team that put an end to the Lakers dynasty earlier in this decade.
Center: Shaquille O’Neal
Selected to eight All-Star Games this decade
Two time NBA Finals MVP this decade (2000-2001, 2001-2002)
Two time All-Star Game MVP this decade (2003-2004, 2008-2009)
Selected 6 times to All-NBA 1st team this decade (2000-2001, 2001-2002, 2002-2003, 2003-2004, 2004-2005, 2005-2006)
His case: “He’s a complicated man, no one understands him but his woman
Ah yea, can you dig it?
That boy Shaq is a bad mother..SHUT YOUR MOUTH!”
Simply put, the Diesel is arguably the baddest bad man the league has ever seen. We have never seen the combination of such strength, brute force, quickness and agility all in one big package. Earlier in the decade, Shaquille O’Neal was a force like no other. The Diesel was so good, that he kept a bunch of scrub big men employed in the league. With teams fearing that their big men would be in foul trouble when facing O’Neal, they all signed mediocre big men just to take a few fouls on Shaq. He was such a dominating force that you needed a few weaklings to send at him to protect your starting big men from fouling out. Remember, in this day and age, it’s hard to fathom that Wilt Chamberlain had a season in which he averaged 50 points and about 20 rebounds; and yet for about a three year stretch (from 2000 to 2002), we saw Shaq have some games that led us to believe that he had the potential to do it. Shaq had a few 30-20 games and would occasionally have a 40-20. In addition, Shaq dismantled some pretty good big men tandems on his way to multiple rings: Rasheed Wallace and Arvydas Sabonis, Tim Duncan and David Robinson (twice) and Chris Webber and Vlade Divac (twice). It’s crazy to think that one man took those big men combinations head on and annihilated. But then again, it’s not that crazy; because such feats are what got him on this list.
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