The NBA All-Decade Team by Position from 2000-2010

Jonathan TjarksSpecial to Bleacher ReportNovember 10, 2010

The NBA All-Decade Team by Position from 2000-2010

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    While no one could bring the NBA to the heights of popularity it reached when Michael Jordan ruled the league, the decade of 2000-2010 featured a slew of Hall of Fame caliber players great in their own right.

    Laker dynasties book-ended the decade, while Tim Duncan's Spurs quietly piled up championships in non-consecutive odd-numbered years.

    Perhaps the biggest on-court development was the continued evolution of the seven-footer, as guys like Kevin Garnett and Dirk Nowitzki played magnificently all the way out to the three-point line, creating a matchup nightmare defenses have yet to solve.

    The newest generation of seven-footers grew up wanting to shoot 3-pointers and handle the ball, resulting in a more dynamic brand of basketball and a gradual diminishing of genuine back to the basket threats.

    Without further adieu, here is one man's all-decade team:

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2nd-Team PG: Steve Nash

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    Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    Awards:

    2004-2005 and 2005-2006 MVP

    Three All-NBA First Teams

    Two All-NBA Second Teams

    Three All-NBA Third Teams

    Seven-time All-Star

    Bio:

    The architect of some of the league's all-time greatest offenses in Dallas and Phoenix, Nash was the ultimate offensive weapon. He was a regular member of the 50/40/90 club -- a player with a field goal percentage over 50, three-point percentage over 40 and free throw percentage over 90.

    He became one of the greatest free-agent signings of all time and helped to shift the balance of power in the Western Conference, when he came over to Phoenix in 2005. Unfortunately, his inability to impact a game defensively made him the first MVP never to appear in an NBA Finals and fueled fire to the debate over his worthiness for the award.

2nd-Team SG: Dwyane Wade

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    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Awards:

    2005-2006 Finals MVP

    Two All-NBA First Teams

    Two All-NBA Second Teams

    One All-NBA Third Team

    Three All-Defensive Second Teams

    Six All-Star Appearances

    Bio:

    Part of one of the greatest draft classes of all-time, Wade made an out-sized impact despite playing in only seven years of the last decade. An undersized shooting guard with an unbelievable ability to get into the lane, he carried the Miami Heat to one of the most unlikely title runs in recent NBA history.

    Only injuries, the result of the reckless way he plays the game, have slowed him down since entering the league out of Marquette.

2nd-Team SF: Paul Pierce

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    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    Awards:

    2007-2008 NBA Finals MVP

    One All-NBA Second Team

    Three All-NBA Third Teams

    Eight All-Star Appearances

    Bio:

    Not the flashiest scorer, Pierce's fundamentally sound game has aged well over the last decade. With an uncanny ability to generate space on his mid-range jumper, he is one of the toughest covers in the league, especially in the last two minutes.

    The acquisition of Ray Allen and KG gave him a late-career rejuvenation, allowing him to prove his abilities by out-dueling LeBron James and Kobe Bryant in a memorable run to the 2008 NBA title.  An underrated defender, he's quietly entered the pantheon of Celtic greats.

2nd-Team PF: Dirk Nowitzki

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Achievements:

    2006-2007 MVP

    Four All-NBA First Teams

    Four All-NBA Second Teams

    Two All-NBA Third Teams

    Nine All-Star Appearances

    Bio:

    Truly the first of his kind, Nowitzki was on the forefront of a wave of European players that brought fundamentally sound play back into the league.  With a high release and the ability to fade away from a defender, there is almost nothing a defensive player can do to bother his shot.

    Considering how little of his game depends on his athletic ability, Dirk could continue a high level of play well into the next decade.  But disappointing performances in his two best chances to win a title (the '06 Finals and the '07 playoffs after the Mavs had won 67 games) have colored many fan's perception of his career.

2nd-Team C: Kevin Garnett

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    Achievements:

    2003-2004 MVP

    2007-2008 Defensive Player of the Year

    Three All-NBA First Teams

    Three All-NBA Second Teams

    One All-NBA Third Team

    Seven All-Defensive First Team Appearances

    Two All-Defensive Second Team Appearances

    Ten All-Star Appearances

    Bio:

    It seemed only fair to include three power forwards on this team, considering the increasing versatility of the league's seven footers as well as the vanishing number of true centers. For most of his career, Garnett was a one-man show, dominating on both sides of the ball for mediocre Minnesota teams.

    Fans got a glimpse into how talented he was when he finally teamed up with All-Star talent in Boston and helped the Celtics to their first title in over two decades. In his prime, KG had the ability to defend all five positions and score from any part of the floor.

PG: Jason Kidd

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Achievements:

    Three All-NBA First Teams

    One All-NBA Second Team

    Three All-Defensive First Team Appearances

    Four All-Defensive Second Team Appearances

    Seven All-Star Game Appearances

    Bio:

    One of the greatest point guards of all-time, Kidd maintained an incredibly high level of play well into his second decade into the league. At 6'4, he combined the size and athleticism of a wing player with the floor vision of an elite point guard.

    He single-handedly revived a moribund Nets franchise, leading them to two NBA Finals appearances. From Richard Jefferson to Kenyon Martin and Mikki Moore, more than a few NBA players owe a percentage of their pay-checks to Kidd's ability to create open shots for them.

SG: Kobe Bryant

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Achievements:

    2008-2009 and 2009-2010 Finals MVP

    2007-2008 MVP

    Eight All-NBA First Teams

    One All-NBA Second Team

    One All-NBA Third Team

    Seven All-Defensive First Team Appearances

    Two All-Defensive Second Team Appearances

    Ten All-Star Game Appearances

    Bio:

    Love him or hate him, the NBA's most polarizing player has had one of the most memorable decades in the league's history. He earned three rings playing alongside Shaq before smashing individual scoring records in Shaq's absence and returning to the Finals after the acquisition of Pau Gasol.

    A dominating two-way player with the ability to guard three positions on defense and create his own shot from any spot on the floor on offense, Kobe has appeared in seven of the last ten NBA Finals.

SF: LeBron James

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    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Awards:

    2008-2009 and 2009-2010 MVP

    2003-2004 Rookie of the Year

    Four All-NBA First Teams

    Two All-NBA Second Teams

    Two All-Defensive First Team Appearances

    Six All-Star Game Appearances

    Bio:

    LeBron has already packed a career's worth of achievements into his first seven years in the NBA.  His Cavalier teams were perennially one of the league's best despite having no other legitimate All-Stars.

    James is one of the most athletic and most skilled players in the league, a 6'9 260 freak of nature with the ability to run the point and dominate a game athletically. After his controversial move to Miami in the off-season, nothing but a Celtic-like run of championships will satisfy many of his fans.

PF: Tim Duncan

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Awards:

    2002-2003 and 2004-2005 Finals MVP

    2001-2002 and 2002-2003 MVP

    Six All-NBA First Teams

    Three All-NBA Second Teams

    One All-NBA Third Team

    Six Defensive First-Team Appearances

    Four Defensive Second-Team Appearances

    Ten All-Star Games

    Bio:

    No player was as consistently dominant through the last decade as "The Big Fundamental." Despite picking up basketball relatively late in the Virgin Islands, Duncan was a force as soon as he entered the league.

    The first player since Bill Russell to win a championship with an entirely different roster around him, Duncan's Spurs missed the second round of the playoffs only twice in his thirteen-year career.

C: Shaq

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    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    Awards:

    2000-2001 and 2001-2002 Finals MVP

    Six All-NBA First Teams

    One All-NBA Second Team

    Two Defensive Second Team Appearances

    Eight All-Star Games

    Bio:

    A combination of size, strength, athletic ability and skill unseen since the days of Wilt Chamberlain, the 350+ lb. Shaq was the most unstoppable force of the last decade. In his prime, the only way to stop him was to send him to the foul line.

    Even at 38, the oldest player in the NBA, he still commands a double team around the basket. No player more thoroughly dominated the paint and demoralized his opponents than the man of a million nicknames -- from the Big Shaqtus to the Big Aristotle and everything in between.