THE BEST PLAYERS OF THE "POST-JORDAN ERA" 1998-2009/10
This list doesn't include players drafted this decade. It's for what will end up 20 years from now being known as the "Post-Jordan era", the generation of players bridging the gap from the Jordan era to Lebron/D-Wade/Howard/Melo/Paul/Rose/Durant era. A time that will be passed over 25 years from now by our kids , much like the 70's were; the bridge between the Russel/Wilt era to the Bird/Magic era.
REQUIREMENTS the majority of your career and your accomplishments must have happend in the years in between Jordan hitting The Shot 2.0 against Utah and the end of next season. You must have been drafted no later than 2000. You must have a place in basketball fans hearts and memories for good, bad, style, offcourt, just be memorable.
Finals mvp's mean the most, followed by regular season mvp's, total championships, scoring titles, defensive player of the year's, and everything else means a lot but varies player-to-player on how much.
Tier #1- Guys from the last 10-13 years that are in the top 5 all time at their positions/ top 15 ever
1. Tim Duncan: four championships, 2 regular season (rs) mvp's, 3 finals mvp's, nine all nba first teams, 8 all nba first defensive teams, 4 all-nba 2nd defensive teams, 1998 rookie of the year, 11 all star games 1 all-star mvp's. IMPORTANT NOTES: He was the BEST player on four title teams. Will go down as the greatest power forward ever. Should have had a fourth finals mvp, let tony parker get it in '07 finals, but really was the best player on that team.
2. Shaquille O'Neal: four championships, 1 rs mvp, 3 finals mvp's, 2 scoring titles, 8 all-nba first teams, 2 all-nba 2nd teams, 3 all-star mvp's, 3 all-nba 2nd defensive teams. IMPORTANT NOTE: During the 3 year stretch of 99/00-01/02 he was one of the most dominate players of all time, and maybe the most physically dominate player ever. A gregarious personality playing in Holywood made him the face of the league. There was no one in the league that could guard him in his prime, maybe no one in history could have. He was that much of a monster. MOST IMPORTANT PLAYER ON 3 1/2 (2006 Heat even with D-Wade) TITLE TEAMS
3. Kobe Bryant: four championships, 1 rs mvp's, 1 finals mvp, 2 scoring titles, 7 all-nba first teams, 2 all-nba 2nd teams , 6 all-nba first defensive teams, 3 all-nba 2nd defensive teams, 3 all-star mvp's. IMPORTANT NOTES: should have another rs mvp but no one liked him enough to vote for him during '06 campaign. He was most complete player of this generation, his scoring titles+defensive first teams are proof of that. Will go down as maybe the third greatest guard ever. Once scored 81 points in a game. Might be higher except for 3 BIG BLACK MARKS-- 05/06 first round game 7 against the suns, after much chagrin about his surrounding parts REFUSES to shoot in the second half and only takes 7 shots the whole game. 07/08 finals game 4 at home against the Celtics proceeds to blow a 24 point second half lead in a must win game in the finals, THE JORDAN COMPARISONS SHOULD HAVE ENDED THAT MOMENT. 07/08 finals in an elimination game in the FINALS against the celtics QUIT in the 3rd quarter.
TIER # 2- LEGENDARY PLAYERS IN THE TOP TEN OF THEIR POSITIONS, AND TOP 50 OF ALL TIME *possibillity to move in to tier 1
4. Kevin Garnett*: 1 Championship, 1 rs mvp, 1defensive player of the year, 4 rebound titles, 4 all-nba first teams, 2 all- nba 2nd teams, 8 all nba-defensive teams, 2 all-nba defensive 2nd teams, 1 all-star mvp, 12 time all-star. IMPORTANT NOTES: Would have won 08/09 defensive player of the year if not for injury, would have won 08/09 nba championship if not for injury, and maybe 04 championship if Sam Cassel doesn't get hurt. The most intense player in the history of the league played every minute of every game like it was his last, maybe to his detriment sometimes. The best defensive power forward of all time. Played on bad timberwolves teams for most of his career, and was without a first round pick for 5 years in his prime. WILL MOVE INTO TIER ONE IF CELTICS WIN TITLE IN '09/'10
5. Allen Iverson: 1 rs mvp, 4 scoring titles, 2 all-star mvp's, 3 time all-nba first team, 3 time all-nba 2nd team, 1997 rookie of the year, 10 time all-star, 3rd highest points per game ever. IMPORTANT NOTES: Was the best under 6 foot player of all time. Single handedly took a crappy '76ers team to the finals, and also had one of the most amazing games ever in game one of the '01 finals. Was an icon for an entire generation of american youth, is greatly responsible for hip-hop's globalzaiton.
6. Jason Kidd: 5 all-nba first teams, 4 all-nba defensive first teams, 2 all-nba second teams, 9 time all-star IMPORTANT NOTES: The ONLY great player on two finals teams, all time leader in triple-doubles. Everyone credit's Nash and D'antoni with making the run-n-gun syle envogue, but really it was Kidd and the Nets that started the trend. Single handedly took two Nets teams to the finals, albeit through two of the crappiest eastern conferences ever. One of the three best defensive point guards ever. Was the best floor-leader of his generation.
TIER #3- ALL TIME GREATS, BUT WHO WILL ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED BY OUR GENERATION HIGHER IN HISTORY THAN MAYBE SHOULD BE. TOP 15 AT THEIR POSITION ALL TIME/ TOP 75 EVER *possibility to movie to tier 2
7. Paul Pierce* 1 championship, 1 finals mvp, 2 all-nba second teams, 9 all-star games. IMPORTANT NOTES: Went head-to-head with Lebron and Kobe in 07/08 playoffs and outplayed both so called, "best players in the league," enroute to winning the finals mvp. The main cog in both the greatest playoff comeback ever and the greatest finals comeback ever. One of the five or six greatest small-forwards of all time. (Bird, Baylor, Hondo, Dr. J, Scottie, Paul)
8. Dirk Nowitzki* 1 rs mvp, 4 time all-nba first team, 3 time all-nba second team, 8 time all-star. IMPORTANT NOTES: One of the greatest shooting big guys in nba history, but also a great rebounder and inside presence. The best foriegn player off all time. Had one of the greatest game sevens in nba history in game 7 of the 05/06 west semis including 3-point play at the buzzer to force overtime, and an amazing 37 points and 15 boards. Scored 50 points in game 4 of the 05/06 west finals. BLACK MARKS: Losing a 15 point lead in the fourh quarter of the 05/06 finals. Blowing the rest of the 05/06 finals, with a little help from Bennete Salvatore. After winning the 06/07 rs mvp, and leading the Mavericks to the best record since Jordan, proceeds to fold and wilt against the upstart 8TH SEEDED Warriors.
9. Steve Nash 2 rs mvp's, 3 50-40-90 seasons, 3 time all-nba first team, 2 time all-nba 2nd team, 6 time all-star. IMPORTANT NOTES: One of four players to ever to average 50% percent from the field, 40% percent from 3, and 90% from the line, he accomplished this feat 3 times. Changed the nba with his Sun's teams style of play, made it so, yes, you could win with a run-n-gun team. BLACK MARKS: Though his teams were successfull and popular, they never could quite get over the hump always losing to the defensive minded Spurs year-after-year.
10. Ray Allen 1 championship, 2 time all-nba second team, nine time all-star, single season record holder for 3-pointers, 2nd on career 3-pointers list. IMPORTANT NOTES: Generally considered the greatest shooter of his generation. The only great player on the 01 east finalist Bucks. Was on bad teams for most of career yet still has a plethera of great clutch playoff shots. Nicknamed "Jumpshot Jesus" in part for a terrific acting performance along side Denzel in the Spike Lee film "He got game."
TIER #4 - Great Players in their time, will always be higher in this generations memories/ top 25 all time at their positions. *possibillity to move up to tier 3
11. Chris Webber 1 all-nba first team, 1 rebound title, 4 all-nba second teams, 5 all-star games. IMPORTANT NOTES: One of the greatest passing big men of all time. Was a member of the 01 Sacremento Kings, the only team in sports history to actually have evidence of a ref or refs costing them the series. An all time basketball talent, there wasn't a thing he couldn't do on the court. An injury in the late nineties cost him a lot of his explosiveness but was able to adapt his game and still be an all-star. BLACK MARKS: Was by far the best player on the early 00's kings, but in crunch time was there 3rd or sometimes 4th scoring option. Will never be able to live down calling a time out that his Fab Five University of Michigan team didn't have costing them a championship.
12. Chauncey Billups* 1 championship, 1 finals mvp, 2 time all-nba second team, 2 time all-nba defensive 2nd team, 4 time all-star. IMPORTANT NOTES: Was the best player on 6 1/2 (tied in 08/09 with Melo) straight confernce finals teams, and 2 finals teams. Traded to Denver in 08/09 and turned them into a title contender the moment he got arrived. BLACK MARKS: Did not become a truly great player until mid-way through his career.
13. Tracy McGrady* 2 scoring titles, 5 all-nba 2nd teams,
TIER #5 Good players who weren't quite great for one reason or another (injuries, lack of heart, were mid carreer when drafted, played on horrible horrible teams, etc) but we will all remember as better than they were
14. Rasheed Wallace 1 championship
16. Vince Carter
17. Mike Bibby
18. Ben Wallace 1 championship, 3 defensive player of the years, 2 rebounding titles
19. Jermaine O'Neal
20. Antoine Walker
left a couple spots open if anyone has people i left out. thoughts or comments much appreciated