The 10 Most Creative NBA Players of the Past Decade

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IAugust 16, 2010

The 10 Most Creative NBA Players of the Past Decade

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    Since the NBA prides itself on being the place "where amazing happens," I thought it would be cool to create a list of the top 10 players who have captured fans' imaginations time and time again.

    Whether it's a cleverly-placed pass in traffic, a rainbow shot over the backboard, or a inbounds pass off of the opposing team, these players have wowed us a few times with their creativity.

10. Deron Williams

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    Deron Williams kicks off the list at No. 10.

    A young star with a promising future in the NBA, Williams is a magician in Utah's pick and roll and is even more exciting in the open court.

9. Gilbert Arenas

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    OK, so the "Hibachi" has cooled off a little over the past few seasons, but that isn't enough to exclude Arenas from the list.

    Anything but your traditional point guard, Arenas finds all kinds of ways to score. His 30-foot threes are casual, and his buzzer-beaters come from almost anywhere on the floor.

    If your still not convinced, go watch some highlights on YouTube of his 60-point game against Kobe and the Lakers.

8. Chris Paul

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    Like Williams, Chris Paul is an emerging star in today's game, but already in his young career Paul has accumulated thousands of jaw-dropping highlights.

    His endless number of lob passes to Tyson Chandler and his famous spinning and-one layup against San Antonio in the 2008 NBA playoffs are just some of his artistic athletic achievements.

7. Chauncey Billups

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    "Mr. Big Shot's" creativity often gets overlooked by his quality point guard play and late-game heroics.

    Regardless, Billups has made a name for himself in the league the past few years by combining crafty veteran skills with a high basketball I.Q. The result: pulling up for threes going full speed and last second drop-off passes for dunks.

6. Rajon Rondo

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    Rondo uses his large hands and quick first step to make defenders look dazed and confused. With behind-the-back fakes and teardrop layups that touch the rafters at TD Garden, Rondo is a visionary in today's NBA.

    Of course everyone remembers Game Three of the 2010 Eastern Conference Finals in Boston, when Rondo slid across the court to beat Jason Williams to a loose ball and finished with a massive crossover and layup.

5. Jason Williams

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    Jason Williams, or "White Chocolate," had more no-look passes and off-balance three-pointers than anyone else during his time with the Sacramento Kings.

    Williams' ingenious game even helped Miami to a title in 2006.

4. Allen Iverson

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    Though no longer the player he used to be, "The Answer" captured the minds of fans across the globe over his 15-year career with the 76ers, Nuggets, and Pistons.

    Iverson could score from nearly anywhere on the floor and brought ankle-breaking crossovers into the mainstream.

    He will likely best be remembered for his crossover of Michael Jordan when Iverson was a rookie.

3. Manu Ginobili

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    A three-time NBA champion, Ginobili is one of the game's most innovative players of all time.

    Ginobili uses his left hand and unlimited range to give defenders nightmares. Whether it's an off-balance one-legged jumper, or a behind-the-back Euro-step, Manu's play never gets old.

2. Kobe Bryant

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    A five-time champion, league MVP, and one of the best players in NBA history. Oh yeah, his game isn't exactly hard on the eyes either.

    Though he has one of the most polished all-around games in the NBA, Kobe's creativity is best expressed late in games, where he thrives as the "Black Mamba."

    It's hard to pick just one of Kobe's buzzer-beaters, but if there is one to solidify him at No. 2 on the list, it's his banked in three-pointer floating to the left against the Miami Heat last season.

1. Steve Nash

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    A two-time league MVP and two-time winner of the Playstation Skills Challenge at All-Star Weekend, Steve Nash caps off the list at No. 1.

    Nash's unique soccer background and unmatched passing ability has rejuvenated several NBA careers and even the Phoenix Suns franchise.

    Wrap-arounds, one-legged runners, left-handed jump hooks, no-look bounce and drop-off passes, three-quarter-court alley-oops, and one of the most accurate shots in NBA history. Just a few of the things that make Steve Nash the NBA's most creative player over the past decade, if not of all time.