The top 10 athletes of the 2000’s….No. 9December 11, 2009
While flash and gaudy stats have dominated the NBA this decade, one player dominated the sport without the showmanship of a Lebron James or Allen Iverson. Despite being a quiet player off the court, this man has made plenty of noise with two MVP’s, three NBA finals MVP’s and three championships in the 2000’s. Furthermore, he has been elected to the All-Star team every season, and was also named to the All-NBA team in each year of this decade.
Number 9 athlete after the jump
Tim Duncan of the Spurs has been one of the NBA’s greats ever since leaving Wake Forest. This decade Duncan has averaged 21 points per game, 10.9 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game.
While his offensive game is unmatched by most, he is equally impressive on the defensive side of the floor and received 8 first team NBA All-Defensive nominations.
Duncan was also named by the Association for Professional Basketball Research as one of “100 Greatest Professional Basketball Players of The 20th Century”, the youngest player on that list. In the 2001–02 season, he won the IBM Player Award and The Sporting News (TSN) MVP Award, becoming the third player to ever win the NBA MVP, IBM Player and TSN Player Awards in the same season.
Critics have labeled Timmy as “boring” because of his simple but effective style of play, thus earning him the nickname “The Big Fundamental.” Following his first championship ring in 1999, Sports Illustrated described him as a “quiet, boring MVP”, a characterization which persists today.
The Big Fundamental, nonetheless, has never let detractors affect his play.
“If you show excitement, then you also may show disappointment or frustration. If your opponent picks up on this frustration, you are at a disadvantage.”
As much as I hate everything Boston, I have to give props to Kevin Garnett. He was the NBA MVP in 2004 while with Minnesota, as well as the Defensive player of the year in 2008. He also made the all-star team every year this decade, including four times being elected to the All-NBA First team. He led the NBA in rebounds per game four times and led the league in points scored in 2004. It was tough to leave him off this list, but mediocre Timberwolves teams from 04-06 didn’t help.