TheSportster.com

Top 15 NBA Players of Our Generation

Everyone loves to debate the best players of their generation and everyone has their favorites. Every generation likes to think their players were the best but it's hard to argue against the athleticism and explosion in today's NBA. The 70s were dominated by the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elvin Hayes and John Havlicek. The 80s had names like Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Isiah Thomas who dominated the sport and helped define the generation. When their time wound down, names like Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and Hakeem Olajuwon took over. In any sport, you'll hear fans from every era claim that theirs was the best and nobody could compare today to theirs.

Ten to 20 years from now, we'll have new names dominating the sport, and we'll inevitably compare them to the stars of today and nostalgia will cause us to claim our generation is and always will be superior.

For this article let's say that this generation is from 2000 to current, the post-MJ era (let's act like that Wizards stint never happened). This generation saw a shift from the focus on post-ups and dominant centers to the emergence of perimeter scorers and the importance of the 3 point line. Teams started looking in new places to find the next star and looked to draft players from oversees and high school. These stars led teams like the Spurs, Mavs and Lakers to become the teams of this era. From The King to the Black Mamba, Everyone has their favorites, here's our ranking.

15 Ray Allen

via fansided.com

The league's best 3-pt shooter of all time (although Curry might have already taken that title) finished his career as primarily a spot up shooter so it might be hard to remember what a star he was early in his career. Ray Allen started his career with the Bucks leading them to Game 7 in the Eastern Conference finals before moving on to Seattle and then Boston.

14 Vince Carter

via sportsnet.ca

13 Kevin Durant

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

12 Paul Pierce

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

11 Dwyane Wade

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

10 Jason Kidd

via wikimedia.org

9 Allen Iverson

via cbschicago.com

8 Tracy McGrady

via complex.com

7 Shaquille O'Neal

via espn.com

6 Steve Nash

Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

5 Kevin Garnett

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

4 Dirk Nowitzki

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

3 LeBron James

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

2 Tim Duncan

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

1 Kobe Bryant

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Black Mamba, the closest thing we have to MJ since MJ owned his generation. Kobe Bryant won five rings during this time to go along with 16 all-star selections and 11 all-NBA first team recognition. Bryant has the killer instinct on the court and always wants the ball in his hands for the final shot. Kobe dropped 81 points against the Raptors, an unbelievable feat for his generation and for a guard, only second behind Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game. Bryant emerged from the shadows of Shaq by winning two more rings after he left.

As his athleticism has decreased Bryant has grown into a more savvy scoring, with some of the best footwork a guard has ever had. Guarding Kobe was demoralizing for other teams. It seems like the tougher the shot the more likely he is to make it. Kids from all around the world have picked up a ball and want to play basketball because they were/are fans of Kobe.

Give TheSportster a Thumbs up!

Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?

Get Your Free Access Now!

More in NBA

Top 15 NBA Players of Our Generation