The NBA was one of the hottest commodities in the sporting world in the 2000s, and it was a very important time for the league in general. Coming off of the Michael Jordan-d0minated 1990s, the league needed to show that they were able to sustain their success as a major player in American sports. With the influx of new stars when the older ones were hitting retirement, they were able to achieve that, and the NBA became a more well-rounded league with a variety of top talent that were recognizable to anyone aware of the world of mainstream sports.
Through the inevitable passing of time however, many of these once-prominent NBA players have been forgotten, and fallen out of the public eye. While many were not as popular as the K0be Bryants of the world, they were also instrumental in moving the NBA forward in the Y2K Era, and for any fan of the league back then, they were required viewing during any season. Let's see what some of them are up to at the moment,
Ranked below are 15 NBA stars from the 2000s that you completely forgot about, and what they're doing now.
15 15. Jason Williams
One of the more popular point guards of his day, Williams was once one of the game's biggest rising stars when with the Kings in the early part of the decade. He eventually went on to have success in Memphis and Miami as well, and was consistently an exciting talent who was a mainstay of the era.
As the decade wore on, regressing play and significant injuries began to take their toll on Williams. His last season was the 2010-11 campaign as a mostly unproductive member of the Grizzlies, in his second stop with the team. Now, Williams lives in Florida with a family, and recently competed in the NBA-alumni-driven Big3 league, but injured his knee in the debut.
14 14. Elton Brand
At one time, Brand was one of the most dominant big-men in the league, and probably the best thing going for the Clippers. Both a dynamic rebounder and scorer, he was able to average a double-double on several occasions, and was truly an All Star-caliber player. He had some nice years with the Sixers as well, before he was reduced to a shell of his former playing-self because of injuries.
After retiring officially after the 2015-16 season, Brand has been active in the Philadelphia front office as a player development consultant, and currently holds the title of General Manager for the Delaware 87ers, which is the Sixers developmental squad. There seems to be a long future in the NBA for Brand still to come.
13 13. Gilbert Arenas
Though he could be eccentric at times, Arenas was one of the best point guards in the league during the Y2K Era, and he was able to at least give the Wizards some semblance of hope every season. At his best, he was an MVP-level player, and everyone in and around the league knew it. His numbers simply speak for themselves. Even though he didn't have a sprawling 20-year career, he was able to make his mark in the league, even if his postseason success didn't really measure up.
In addition to having a family, Arenas has recently decided to get into broadcasting in a somewhat unique manner. He co-hosts a sports news show on Complex News' YouTube channel with media personality and ex-adult film star Mia Khalifa.
12 12. Shawn Marion
In his days with the Suns, Marion was one of the league's marquee players. Although that's been generally forgotten about over time, he was able to extend his career well into the 2010s, though he only played a marginal role near the end of it. As it stands, he was one of the best players of the era, and one that honestly deserves more credit than he's given. The fact that he's been underrated says a lot about the talent level of the 2000s in the NBA.
Having finally retired in 2015, it's tough to say that Marion's next move will be. He seems to just be enjoying his time off right now, and was also recently involved in the hurricane relief during the Fall. Keep an eye on Marion's endeavors throughout the next few years as he gets further into his retirement.
11 11. Michael Redd
Redd was one of the most lethal shooters of his time, and he terrorized defenses with his 3-point shot while with the Bucks. His approach to the 3-pointer was almost ahead of its time, and he was able to knock it down from just about anywhere on the court. His game was fierce, and for a while, he and Ray Allen were one of the better duos in the league. He would retire officially in 2013.
Now, Redd works as a venture capitalist for a firm in Ohio that specializes in growing technology companies. It's an interesting start to his post-NBA career, but as one of the more cerebral players in the league during his prime, it's a career choice that could fit Redd swimmingly. It will likely be a good move, and pay dividends for years to come.
10 10. Rip Hamilton
One of the integral pieces for the Pistons during their improbably Championship season during the mid-2000s, Hamilton was one of the league's most exciting players for a long while. He was a pure scorer; a player that would be able to put points on the board in crucial situations, even if other aspects of his game may have been lacking at times. Not the right fit for every team, but on the Pistons during that era, it was a perfect compliment to the other talents on their roster.
Today, Hamilton has a family and seems to be enjoying his retirement. Last season, the Pistons retired his jersey number, and he returned to Detroit for the opening ceremony. It was a well-deserved honor for a great player, and one of the more notable ones of his time.
9 9. Jermaine O'Neal
A truly dominating big-man who averaged a double-double during the prime of his career with the Pacers, O'Neal's name is best remembered by younger fans as a journeyman player who sat the bench on winning teams at the end of his career. That really couldn't be further from the truth, and O'Neal was a marquee player for a long time, and was arguably the Pacers' best player after Reggie Miller left, until the present day.
Though he last played in the league in 2013, O'Neal hung on as unofficially active player on the free agent market, before calling it quits within the last few years. He does have a family, and is actually a very faith-based person, often putting it on public display. He was also able to participate in the BIG3 league from this past year.
8 8. Antoine Walker
One of the most intense players in the league at the time, Walker was the best player on the Celtics during a down period for the team. He was a threat as soon as he came into the league, and remained that way for the next decade. While he may not have the playoff pedigree that some others had during this time, there's no denying that almost nobody wanted to face a player of Walker's caliber. He played tough, and with reckless abandon every chance he got.
It was a rocky start to Walker's post-NBA career. Gambling debts and bankruptcy complicated matters for a few years, and several arrests followed, though no jail time ever needed to be served. He attempted several comebacks to the NBA, all of which failed, and it seemed like Walker had no direction to go in. Finally, he got debt-free, and landed a job as a basketball analyst for 120 Sports. He's also done broadcast work for the SEC Network.
7 7. Kwame Brown
A former 1st-overall draft pick, Brown never did live up to the hype. Unfortunately for him, he always had the high-profile from his younger days hanging over his head, which ultimately may have affected his game more than anything else. While the Wizards may have whiffed on the Brown pick, he was somehow able to at least stay on an NBA roster for the next decade-plus.
Brown's last NBA action came in 2013 for the Sixers, but he attempted a comeback in 2016 when he signed with a player agency. It didn't amount to anything, but it was clear that he still wanted to keep playing the game. He found a good middle ground in 2017 when he joined the NBA-alumni-based BIG3 league, which he can't be too unhappy about, all things considered.
6 6. Michael Finley
Next to Dirk Nowitzki, Finley may be the most beloved player in Mavericks history, and it would be well-deserved. He was instrumental in the formation of a team that would go on to eventually steal a title from the hands of LeBron James, cementing one of the best upsets in league history. Finley helped pave the way for the future success with elite play for nearly a decade.
In his post-NBA career, he's come full circle, working for the Dallas front office as their Assistant Vice President. He's also dabbled in the world of film, producing Lee Daniels' The Butler and Birth Of A Nation. He's a well-rounded NBA legend for sure, but one that's been cast over in recent years when talking about the Y2K Era.
5 5. Baron Davis
Though he never had much success in the playoffs, Davis was truly one of the most feared point guards of his time. He went on to extensive success for the Hornets and Warriors, always ranking among the best at his position in the NBA. His last live NBA action came in 2013, as a member of the Knicks. Since then however, Davis has had a hard time giving the game up entirely.
He signed with some D-League teams after his season in New York, and participated in the 2017 NBA Celebrity All-Star Game. On top of that, he'll be appearing in the upcoming film My Other Home about Stephon Marbury's career in China, and he's also begun his own clothing and Christmas-based company, called Black Santa.
4 4. Latrell Sprewell
Sprewell's prime may have been short in comparison to others, but when he signed with the Knicks from the Warriors in the early-2000s, it was some of the biggest news in the NBA. His career took a downturn in New York, but he still was one of the league's most prominent names around that time, until he called it quits in 2005, after a few years with the Timberwolves.
It's been an up-and-down post-playing career for him, with the latter outweighing the former. Sprewell has had severe financial trouble over the years; having his yacht repossessed, and losing properties as just a few examples of that. He's not the first ex-NBA player to suffer this misfortune, though he seems to be coming around to a more stable life recently.
3 3. Antawn Jamison
Everyone forgets now that Jamison was once a top-5 overall pick, and one of the most promising prospects at the time of the late-90s. He may not have been an outright bust, but he left a lot to be desired when he left the Warriors early on in his career. Always a relevant name, and always good for some highlights, but many expected more out of his career when it was all said and done.
Since retirement in 2014 however, he's transferred out of the league smoothly. He was first hired as a TV analyst for the Lakers, and after a few years of that he recently signed on to work in the team's scouting department. Despite his relative lack of success as a player, he's always good former player to have around the game in the modern day.
2 2. Jason Richardson
One of the marquee dunkers of his time, and also one of the league's best players in the early part of his career, Richardson was a human highlight reel for most of the decade, especially when he was with the Warriors. This was the prime era of the NBA Dunk Contest, and for a few years, Richardson put on an absolute show, cementing his legacy as one of the greatest high-flyers of his generation.
In somewhat of a surprise, since his official retirement in 2015, he's pursued a career in golf, on top of raising his family. He's attempted to get on the PGA Tour, and is still trying, claiming that he has 14 years to go until he's 50.
1 1. Robert Horry
Horry may never have been the most talented member of the Championship-winning Lakers and Spurs teams, but he exemplified the kind of role player that those teams needed in order to be successful. Valuable in his leadership and experience, Horry contributed in significant ways, even though the teams were led by elite players such as Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan. Horry may be somewhat forgotten in the present day, but he was considered an integral part of those elite teams of the time, and deserves more recognition in the modern day.
Now he works as a broadcaster for Spectrum SportsNet, and continues to bring his expertise of the game to the fans. A grand total of seven NBA Titles to his name, Horry is more than qualified to continue to have a role in basketball, and it wouldn't be surprising to see him step into a front office role with an NBA team somewhere down the line. He was a mainstay in the NBA Finals for years, and an understated legend of the era.
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