With the decade coming to a close, what better way to end it than by picking the 2010’s best NBA players and putting them into the ALL-2010’s Teams. This decade was propelled by social media creating never before seen excitement and drama all throughout the league. Today we’re putting all of that aside and going into the cold, hard facts about the best players of the decade.
There will be 3 teams, the ALL-2010’s First, Second, and Third teams. The criteria that we used for picking these teams are as follows: There must be 2 Guards, 2 Forwards, and 1 Center on each team. If a player has played multiple positions in their career then we took the position they played a higher percentage of minutes at.
The players picked were the most IMPACTFUL players over the course of the decade, meaning one great season doesn’t solidify a spot on the roster. What a player accomplished in 2011 is every bit as important as what they accomplished in 2019. This list takes into account regular season performance (Chris Paul) but postseason production (Kawhi Leonard) is far more convincing.
All stats and accolades used are from the 2009-2010 season to the 2018-2019 season. Feel free to send us your All Decade lists and we’ll give you our feedback. Without much further ado, let us begin…..
G Stephen Curry:
The point guard who forever changed the way NBA basketball is played by glorifying the 3 point shot, played his entire career in this decade. He’s a one time scoring champion, a 3x NBA champion, 2x league MVP (First Ever Unanimous MVP), holds the single season record for 3’s made, and is quite possibly the greatest shooter in history. No doubt about it.
G James Harden:
James Harden has been an absolute offensive juggernaut this decade. He’s a two time scoring champion, improved his PPG each and every season, averaged 36.1 PPG behind only Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan, 1x assist leader, 1x 6MOY, and was the league MVP in 2018.
Harden is a top 5 scorer in league history and has been in the MVP conversation every year since 2015, and whether you like his play-style of ISO-ball and getting to the free throw line 8 times a game, the least you have to do is recognize his success.
F Lebron James:
No explanation needed. The face of the NBA for the entire decade and quite possibly the greatest player of all time. This decade treated Lebron very well, 3x NBA champion, 3x Finals MVP, 3x league MVP, 9x All-NBA team member (9x First), and an All Star Game appearance in every year of the decade, what more is there to accomplish?
F Kevin Durant:
Durant has dominated this decade in both individual accolades and team success. He started it off as a member of the Thunder, leading them to the NBA Finals (2012), four time scoring champion (2010-2012, 2014), made the playoffs every season, and was the NBA MVP In 2014.
Then with the Warriors, he won two Championships and two Finals MVP’s. Durant was also an All Star every season and was a 9 time All-NBA team member (6x First, 3x Second), as well as a top 5 scorer in NBA history. He dominated this decade.
C Anthony Davis:
The center position was definitely a casualty during the age of “position-less basketball”, but Davis still managed to dominate at the position. Since entering the league in 2013, he’s been the 3x blocks leader, 3x All-Defensive team member (1x First, 2x Second), 3x All-NBA team member (3x First), and he’s averaged 24 PPG, 10.5 REB, and 2.4 BPG in his career. Davis experienced very little playoff success in this decade but with the lack of depth at the position he was BY FAR, the decades best center.
G Chris Paul:
Chris Paul will forever be known for his lack of playoff success, but he has experienced MAJOR regular season success. This decade he’s been: back to back to back NBA steals leader, 3 time assists leader, and 5x All Defensive First Team. He’s a vocal leader, and forever one of the smartest guards to ever play in the league, so even with his physical abilities declining in the latter part of the decade he still remained consistent and productive.
G Russell Westbrook:
During this decade, Russell Westbrook has set the NBA World on fire changing the way fans and analysts view success. Prior to his breakout 2017 season, the triple double was seen as the holy grail of stats, but in 2017 Westbrook averaged a triple double for the ENTIRE SEASON, forever normalizing the stat.
He’s racked up many accolades such as the 2nd most triple doubles in history with 144, 8x All Star, 8x All-NBA team member (2x First, 5x Second, 1x Third), two time scoring champion, and 2x assists leader. Westbrook is often overlooked because his inconsistent shooting and reckless play-style have hurt his teams in the playoffs, but nonetheless he has been one of the most accomplished players in this decade.
F Kawhi Leonard:
Kawhi was the biggest enigma in the entire NBA this decade. While he was a top tier defensive player (nicknamed the Lebron stopper) and had MAJOR success in the playoffs, he also started a league-wide debate on load management, because he has constantly saved his body during the regular season so he could perform at a Superstar level in the playoffs.
The debate really became apparent when Kawhi sat out the entire 2017 season with an undisclosed injury which further created the mystery around his name. Kawhi’s decade consists of being a 2x NBA Champion (2014 with Spurs, 2019 with Raptors), 2x Finals MVP, 5x All Defensive Team (3x First, 2x Second), and he’s a 2x Defensive player of the year.
F Paul George:
Paul George has had one hell of a decade. The former Fresno State star has earned 6 all-star appearances, 5 All NBA selections, 4 times all-defensive teams, and was named most improved player in 2013. George’s career looked to be nearly over after a horrific injury in 2014, but a swift recovery and a change in number led to George rediscovering his old form.
The only thing missing from George’s resume is a championship, and he came close to taking down the Big three Heat in Indiana and couldn’t get out of the first round in Oklahoma City, but now being teamed with Kawhi in LA, George is set to add to a hall of fame resume in the next decade.
C Marc Gasol:
Gasol was the most consistent center from 2010-2019 as he started off the decade as the Defensive Player of the Year in 2013 and ended it with an NBA Championship in Toronto in 2019. He started the decade as a defensive anchor but continued to expand his game to be an offensive force as well, from 0 3’s attempted in 2010 to attempting 3.3 Per Game in 2019, and making them at a 38% clip.
He was also a 3 time All Star and a 2 time All NBA team member (1x First 1x Second), but the way he elevated the Grizzlies defense as well as playing a key part in the Raptors title run is the reason for him being vaulted up to the Second Team.
G Dwayne Wade:
Although Wade didn’t have the best finish to the decade, he started off the decade as a top 5 player, and an effective leader. He helped lead the Heat to four straight finals appearances, winning the finals twice. He was a 4x All-NBA team member (1x First, 1x Second, 2x Third), and an 8x All Star.
Lebron gets the majority of credit for the 2 championships in Miami, but Wade was the emotional leader of the team and made the ultimate sacrifice to let Lebron take control when needed on the court. As Wade’s physical abilities began to deteriorate, he made his impact by being a veteran inside the locker room and keeping the Heat and Bulls competitive.
G Klay Thompson:
Although the argument could definitely be made for Kyrie Irving here, Thompson has had a decade full of consistently great performances and seasons. Klay’s decade consisted of: 60 points in 29 minutes, the highest scoring quarter by any player in NBA history with 37 points, shooting 42% from 3 in his career, and he’s a 3x NBA champion.
He’s been a hugely underrated part of the Warriors Dynasty as he’s been asked to defend the best guards in league (Harden, Kyrie, Dame) to cover Curry’s weaknesses, get hot on offense when Curry is cold, and to play second and third fiddle to Curry and Durant. While no one else is giving Klay recognition, he’s earned it in my books.
F Blake Griffin:
Although he will mainly be remembered as the player to jump over a car in the 2011 Slam Dunk Competition, his spot on this list was solidified because of his consistency throughout the decade. He made the all star game in his rookie season, won Rookie of the Year, has never averaged less than 18 PPG and 7.6 REB, and is a 5 time all NBA Team member (3x Second, 2x Third).
Griffin has produced in a huge way for the Clippers (2011-2018) and Pistons (2018-2019), leading both teams to the playoffs, but the main reason for him not making the Second Team is because of his lack of playoff success to go with the regular season success. In 6 straight seasons he led the Clippers to a top 5 seed, but he never once reached the Western Conference Finals.
F LaMarcus Aldridge:
Lamarcus Aldridge is arguably the most underrated player of the decade. Aldridge doesn’t get the respect he deserves because he played in two relatively small market teams in San Antonio and Portland where he was not given the talent needed to go deep in the postseason. Aldridge has had a superb decade averaging over 20 ppg seven times and a double double twice. Aldridge did get recognition for his efforts being named to seven all-star teams and was an All NBA selection five times.
C Dwight Howard:
You could make a case for guys like Tim Duncan, Demarcus Cousins, and Draymond Green here, but Howard was CONSISTENTLY a productive big man every year of the decade. He started it out in the midst of his prime as a 2x DPOY (2010-2011), 5x All-NBA team member (3x First, 1x Second, 1x Third), 3x All-Defensive First Team, and a 2x rebounds leader.
Once he was traded to the Lakers in 2013, he started to “fall out of his prime”, but he still averaged a double double every year except for 2019. Although it seems like he was ineffective after 2013, he was still producing at a high level as he only missed the playoffs 3 times and never averaged less than 26 minutes a game. He never experienced major postseason success in this decade like other big men, but he was consistently producing at a solid level.
G Kyrie Irving:
Irving’s resume in the 2010’s is exceptional: NBA Rookie of the Year, 6x All Star, and he hit one of the biggest shots of the decade in Game 7 against the Warriors to become an NBA Champion. He was one of the most skilled players in the decade, and it showed in his individual stats, 22.4 PPG on 47% FG and 38% from 3. This was easily the toughest decision because of his resume and individual dominance, but the 6 guards that made the list ahead of him were more convincing.
F Giannis Antetokounmpo:
The main reason for Giannis being an honorable mention is because he wasn’t consistently among the leagues elite players throughout the entire decade. He was drafted in 2013 but it took until 2016 for him to reach his star potential. Although he’s an honorable mention, he definitely deserves recognition because of his late decade dominance: Most Improved Player, 2x All Defensive Team (1x First, 2x Second), and he was the NBA’s MVP in 2019.
G Damian Lillard:
Damian Lillard in clutch time wasn’t given the nickname “Dame Time” for no reason. He’s hit two series ending 3 pointers this decade, two shots that will go down as some of the biggest in the decade. He’s consistently put up solid regular season numbers and had great playoff performances, but his resume is being held back by the lack of individual accolades and postseason success.
Consistently he’s led the Blazers to a top 4 seed in the West, but only once have they reached the WCF, and they got swept by the Warriors when they did. Lillard was the Rookie of the Year in 2013 and a 4x All-NBA team member (1x First, 2x Second, 1x Third), but did not do enough to make an All Decade Team.