NBA Announces All-Decade Teams

Kliq

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NBA.com announced their All-Decade NBA Teams yesterday, chosen by a group of writers and broadcasters.

First Team:

G Steph Curry
G James Harden
F LeBron James
F Kawhi Leonard
F Kevin Durant

Second Team:

G Chris Paul
G Russell Westbrook
F Carmelo Anthony
F Anthony Davis
F Blake Griffin

Third Team:

G Dwyane Wade
G Kobe Bryant
F Paul George
F LaMarcus Aldridge
F Giannis Antetokounmpo

The First Team I think is pretty indisputable and hard to mess up. I guess you could argue that there is no-one to play Center, but a true center wasn't chosen on any of the teams. The only one you could really argue is Dwight, since the list did include the 2009-2010 season as part of this decade, which gives Dwight five really good seasons before he went off the reservation, including a trip to the Finals and 5 All-NBAs.

The internet is not happy with the Kobe placement, with a lot of people unfortunately thinking he got screwed being placed on the Third Team. Since this list does include 2009-2010, Kobe does squeeze in a Finals MVP and a ring into that timeframe. But his last good season was 2012-2013 which were followed by three miserable seasons, one where he blew out his Achilles and two where he was undoubtedly the most destructive player in the NBA. During his four good seasons, he did make a lot of first team All-NBAs and Defense teams, although you can argue if he got some of those based off of reputation.

I'd probably lobby for Klay Thompson for Kobe's spot; he doesn't have the counting stats or the accolades, but Klay played 8 seasons in the decade, averaged 20 ppg on 46/49/84 shooting, was a significantly better defender despite only making one all-defense team, and played in five finals, winning three rings.
 

Kliq

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Not to get O/T but looked up the VORP numbers to see how got screwed. Somehow Steve Francis led the league in VORP in 2000-01...
To be honest that is a case against Kobe in general, since VORP tends to correlate with players with high-usage rates who had to have to do a lot for otherwise mediocre teams. It shows just how inefficient Kobe was that even the season he averaged 35 ppg, he never led the NBA in VORP.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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My inclination was to look up Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki to see if they could have snuck on to the 3rd team, but I can't make a justification that their early 2010s overcome anyone there. Giannis is the most suspect member due to the lack of volume, but I mean he is the either the #1 player or 1A/1B depending on what you value. So leaving him off any all-decade teams would look odd.

Edit: also wanted to add that Aldridge may quietly wind up in the top 20-25 on the NBA scoring list at the rate he is going. Just quietly compiling those stats...
 

ifmanis5

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To be honest that is a case against Kobe in general, since VORP tends to correlate with players with high-usage rates who had to have to do a lot for otherwise mediocre teams. It shows just how inefficient Kobe was that even the season he averaged 35 ppg, he never led the NBA in VORP.
Good point. VORP has a bias for high usage players like PER has for the Marreese Speights types.
 

Kliq

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Good point. VORP has a bias for high usage players like PER has for the Marreese Speights types.
Yeah, VORP is more of "how much work is this guy really doing" stat while PER tends to measure volume and efficiency on a per minute basis. PER is famous for overvaluing back-up bigs who play under 20 mpg; although I think it may have been tweaked over the years to try and correct that.
 

Devizier

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Only guy who really got boned was Horford. You could bounce Giannis or even 'Melo for him but its easy to see why he was excluded (supporting guy, not a star).
 

Sam Ray Not

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If we're talking about impact on winning ballgames, Draymond should be on there ahead of LaMarcus, Melo, Davis, Griffin, and (to date) Giannis. Draymond has also typically abused most of those guys head-to-head when they've matched up in big games/series. Think Russell v. Wilt.

Iguodala should also be on there somewhere, imho, and get a few brownie points for spanning the whole decade. He dragged a sorry Sixers team to the playoffs in 2010-11 and 2011-12 as by fair their best player; and the one year he led Denver (2012-13) was the best team in their NBA franchise history.

I mean, homer alert, but since the Warriors are the pretty unequivocal team of the decade (1960s Celtics, 1970s ?, 1980s Lakers, 1990s Bulls, 2000s Spurs/Lakers, 2010s Warriors) it doesn't seem unreasonable to propose more than one player from the 73-win team among the top 15.

Melo and Blake over Wade also seems pretty dubious to me, even given Wade's late-decade fade. I guess I just put a high premium on winning over piling up numbers.

Otherwise pretty okay lists — definitely hard to quibble with anything about the first team, except that it lacks a center.
 
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Philip Jeff Frye

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I can't claim to have followed the NBA that closely over the last decade, but the first thing that came to mind seeing the first team was "recency bias." I suppose Carmelo Anthony's inclusion on the second team argues against that though.
 

InstaFace

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The internet is not happy with the Kobe placement, with a lot of people unfortunately thinking he got screwed being placed on the Third Team. Since this list does include 2009-2010, Kobe does squeeze in a Finals MVP and a ring into that timeframe. But his last good season was 2012-2013 which were followed by three miserable seasons, one where he blew out his Achilles and two where he was undoubtedly the most destructive player in the NBA. During his four good seasons, he did make a lot of first team All-NBAs and Defense teams, although you can argue if he got some of those based off of reputation.
Just as good a time as any to post:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCZ3DhCLpBc
 

luckiestman

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Not having centers is kind of goofy. It’s just grouping the best players in tiers.
 

cheech13

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Giannis and Lamarcus over Dirk, Duncan and Dwight seems sort of egregious, even given how much the latter three tailed off over the second half of the decade. Dirk in particular was the best player on a title team in 2011 and played at a very high level several more years thereafter.

When I heard about the outrage over Kobe I thought it would be because he was included at all, not that he should have been higher. When looking back at his stats, however, it is hard to knock him off the list, but he really didn't do anything of note after the 2012-3 season.
 

Kliq

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Young people who grew up with Kobe, imo, generally overrate him because he was constantly marketed as this unbeatable warrior driven only by championships, when he in reality he was a very selfish player motivated only by HIS own success. It isn't a complete crime that he made Third Team, but people of a certain generation that grew up with Kobe often don't have a real, proper understanding of his career; a lot of them think he had a better career than Duncan or LeBron. I think how people consume basketball (more social media, YT highlights, NBA discussion on television, etc. and less watching of actual games) has an impact when it comes to that particular generation.

Duncan has an interesting case because as he aged his counting stats went down, but his production on a per-minute basis remained virtually the same for most of the decade and some advanced metrics still rated him among the games elite; plus his teams were always very good, which separates him from Kobe and Dirk.
 

Captaincoop

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If we're talking about impact on winning ballgames, Draymond should be on there ahead of LaMarcus, Melo, Davis, Griffin, and (to date) Giannis. Draymond has also typically abused most of those guys head-to-head when they've matched up in big games/series. Think Russell v. Wilt.

Iguodala should also be on there somewhere, imho, and get a few brownie points for spanning the whole decade. He dragged a sorry Sixers team to the playoffs in 2010-11 and 2011-12 as by fair their best player; and the one year he led Denver (2012-13) was the best team in their NBA franchise history.

I mean, homer alert, but since the Warriors are the pretty unequivocal team of the decade (1960s Celtics, 1970s ?, 1980s Lakers, 1990s Bulls, 2000s Spurs/Lakers, 2010s Warriors) it doesn't seem unreasonable to propose more than one player from the 73-win team among the top 15.

Melo and Blake over Wade also seems pretty dubious to me, even given Wade's late-decade fade. I guess I just put a high premium on winning over piling up numbers.

Otherwise pretty okay lists — definitely hard to quibble with anything about the first team, except that it lacks a center.
Homer alert is right if you're arguing for Iguodala as an all-decade guy...

:)
 

cheech13

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Young people who grew up with Kobe, imo, generally overrate him because he was constantly marketed as this unbeatable warrior driven only by championships, when he in reality he was a very selfish player motivated only by HIS own success. It isn't a complete crime that he made Third Team, but people of a certain generation that grew up with Kobe often don't have a real, proper understanding of his career; a lot of them think he had a better career than Duncan or LeBron. I think how people consume basketball (more social media, YT highlights, NBA discussion on television, etc. and less watching of actual games) has an impact when it comes to that particular generation.

Duncan has an interesting case because as he aged his counting stats went down, but his production on a per-minute basis remained virtually the same for most of the decade and some advanced metrics still rated him among the games elite; plus his teams were always very good, which separates him from Kobe and Dirk.
Oh, you're definitely right on that. People under 30 and/or people from California generally put Kobe as high as number 2 all-time behind Jordan, which is just absurd. I don't even think he was the second best player in the post-Jordan, pre-Lebron era (say 1999 to 2012). To me Duncan and Shaq were better and more dynamic at their respective peaks than Kobe was. He's definitely top 20, maybe even top 10 all-time, but Kobe/Lakers stans just lose their shit when you say that, even if you're backing it up with numbers and player comps.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Homer alert is right if you're arguing for Iguodala as an all-decade guy...:)
I guess it depends on one's criteria.

If you asked me to pick a guy in 2010 to build a winning team around for the next decade, I'd take Andre — whose ability to play PG while guarding 1-4 at a high level make him a fairly perfect 2010s player — over Melo, Blake, or LaMarcus without much hesitation.

If we're talking playoff success, give me the Finals MVP who has won 19 playoff series in the decade over Melo, Blake and LaMarcus — 3 career playoff series wins each — even with his obvious advantage in teammate quality.

If we're talking PPG, Fantasy Points, ESPN highlights and such, sure, give me those three over Andre.
 

Captaincoop

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If Kobe was a "very selfish player, only motivated by his own success", then I'd argue Michael Jordan and LeBron were that as well. And it seemed to work for all of them.

He also won, what, five titles? So his selfishness didn't hold his teams back.

Not everyone is Bill Russell or Larry Bird. The Venn Diagram would show a lot of overlap between elite champions in all sports and very selfish personalities maniacally driven by their own success.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Oh, you're definitely right on that. People under 30 and/or people from California generally put Kobe as high as number 2 all-time behind Jordan, which is just absurd. I don't even think he was the second best player in the post-Jordan, pre-Lebron era (say 1999 to 2012). To me Duncan and Shaq were better and more dynamic at their respective peaks than Kobe was. He's definitely top 20, maybe even top 10 all-time, but Kobe/Lakers stans just lose their shit when you say that, even if you're backing it up with numbers and player comps.
Kevin Garnett crushes Kobe too, both by peak level and sustained period of excellence (even though peak Kobe was pretty awesome).
 

Captaincoop

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I guess it depends on one's criteria.

If you asked me to pick a guy in 2010 to build a winning team around for the next decade, I'd take Andre — whose ability to play PG while guarding 1-4 at a high level make him a fairly perfect 2010s player — over Melo, Blake, or LaMarcus without much hesitation.

If we're talking playoff success, give me the Finals MVP who has won 19 playoff series in the decade over Melo, Blake and LaMarcus — 3 career playoff series wins each — even with his obvious advantage in teammate quality.

If we're talking PPG, Fantasy Points, ESPN highlights and such, sure, give me those three over Andre.
If you built a team around Iguodala at any point in the last 6-7 years, you wouldn't be in the playoffs, let alone the finals.

Steve Pearce is the reigning World Series MVP. I wouldn't build a team around him, either.
 

nighthob

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The First Team I think is pretty indisputable and hard to mess up. I guess you could argue that there is no-one to play Center, but a true center wasn't chosen on any of the teams. The only one you could really argue is Dwight, since the list did include the 2009-2010 season as part of this decade, which gives Dwight five really good seasons before he went off the reservation, including a trip to the Finals and 5 All-NBAs.
Just a note, the all decade team starts with the 2010 season, Dwight made the finals in the 2009 season. I'm not sure he really deserves to be on the team for this decade.
 

Sam Ray Not

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If you built a team around Iguodala at any point in the last 6-7 years, you wouldn't be in the playoffs, let alone the finals.
The last 7 years includes 2013-14, when he instantly turned the Warriors' defense from mediocre to elite, and ranked by a lot of advanced metrics as the top player in the NBA (RPM with its boxscore "correction" had him at #3, right after LeBron and CP3, ahead of Durant and Nowitzki). It also includes the year before that when he led the Nuggets to a 56-26 record, the #3 seed, and best net rating in their NBA history (better than Melo ever managed as their #1 guy).

Steve Pearce is the reigning World Series MVP. I wouldn't build a team around him, either.
That'd be a fair comp if Steve Pearce ever rated by advanced stats as the best player in the league (or anywhere close); or if Pearce had earned his MVP not just with timely offense but also by (the baseball equivalent of) holding absolute peak LeBron to .477 true shooting in a six-game series. Obviously, I don't think peak Andre as your #1 guy gets you to the Finals — his offensive limitations make it tough — but then neither do peak Melo, Blake or LaMarcus. I do think you'd find winning ballgames and championships easier with peak Andre as your #2 guy than with peak Melo, Blake or DeMarcus in the same role (say, with LeBron, KD or Steph as the #1 guy).
 

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If the question is "You already have three Hall of Famers. Who are 15 affordable role players who could play with those guys and not blow the NBA Finals?" Then, Iguodala unquestionably makes that team.
 

Captaincoop

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I have never heard of the stat you linked to, but it also seems to indicate that Nick Collison and Markief Morris were two of the other top 10 players in the NBA that year. Which I don't recall being the case in the real world.

What a bargain OKC had that year. They had the sixth-best player in the entire NBA for under $3M!

(Don't take this the wrong way - I love your posts and am just busting your balls for your rabid Dubs perspective)
 

Sam Ray Not

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I'm taking Andre on a max deal — over the three guys I mentioned — even if I have just one Hall of Famer (other than Andre, haha) and one max contract to hand out in 2010.

Nick Collison is the common bathwater-that-gets-thrown-out-with-the-baby when it comes to advanced stats (i.e. adjusted plus-minus measure like RPM and RAPM) but it should be noted that he never played more than 21.5 mpg in the 2010s, and only 16.7 mpg (16.2 playoffs) in the season in question. Andre played 32.4 mpg (35.4 in the playoffs) in the season in question; and at his 2009-12 peak played 36-40 mpg both in the regular season and playoffs. Starting in 2014-15 (his age 31 season), Kerr started ramping down his regular season minutes to keep him fresh — 26-27 mpg in the regular season, 27-32 in the playoffs. But that's still a qualitatively different level from Collison. Collison also provided none of Andre's defensive versatility, which is no doubt part of why he played such limited minutes.
 

nighthob

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No, Andre Iguodala is not one of the 15 best players of the last decade. Marcus Smart is essentially Iguodala's Minime and he won't belong anywhere near the 2020s All Decade team.
 

JakeRae

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Lowry should’ve made the third team. His consistently strong play over the last decade gets unfairly discounted because people mistakenly think DeRozan was an asset rather than an albatross around the team’s neck. Despite that, he’s a five time all star and now has a championship under his belt. I don’t think his overall career compares to either Wade or Kobe but for this decade, he’s been better.
 

johnmd20

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I'm taking Andre on a max deal — over the three guys I mentioned — even if I have just one Hall of Famer (other than Andre, haha) and one max contract to hand out in 2010.

Nick Collison is the common bathwater-that-gets-thrown-out-with-the-baby when it comes to advanced stats (i.e. adjusted plus-minus measure like RPM and RAPM) but it should be noted that he never played more than 21.5 mpg in the 2010s, and only 16.7 mpg (16.2 playoffs) in the season in question. Andre played 32.4 mpg (35.4 in the playoffs) in the season in question; and at his 2009-12 peak played 36-40 mpg both in the regular season and playoffs. Starting in 2014-15 (his age 31 season), Kerr started ramping down his regular season minutes to keep him fresh — 26-27 mpg in the regular season, 27-32 in the playoffs. But that's still a qualitatively different level from Collison. Collison also provided none of Andre's defensive versatility, which is no doubt part of why he played such limited minutes.
Your Andre fetish is weird and problematic. He shouldn't be in the Top 15 for the past 10 years and it's not really a question. He's never been close to the best player on his team. He's not in the Top 15. Let it go.
 

Sam Ray Not

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He's never been close to the best player on his team.
You mean except for 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12, and 2012-13, when he was his team's best player by far?

The teams on which he was the best player also made the playoffs 3 of those 4 years, including taking the Celtics to 7 games in the second round in 2012, and snagging the #3 seed in the West in 2013 (before succumbing to Curry and the ascendant Warriors in the playoffs, in a series in which he put up 18.0 pts / 8.0 reb / 5.3 ast / 2.0 steals per game on .621 true shooting). The next year (his first year with GS) he rated #1 in the NBA by RAPM (a ridiculous +18.0 net/off per 100 possessions, if you want just the raw number); and the next year after that he won Finals MVP.

Problematic fetishes aside (lol), that's a pretty Top 15-ish first six years, imo. After that he tailed off a bit (in terms of minutes anyway) and became more of a role player among superstars, but then Melo started tailing off right around then, too. Andre has actually played significantly more minutes since 2014-15 than Melo, counting playoffs. And been a way better basketball player in those minutes.

Anyway, I'll let it go except to say Andre over Melo all day and twice on Sunday. And this:

 
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BaseballJones

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If we're talking about impact on winning ballgames, Draymond should be on there ahead of LaMarcus, Melo, Davis, Griffin, and (to date) Giannis. Draymond has also typically abused most of those guys head-to-head when they've matched up in big games/series. Think Russell v. Wilt.

Iguodala should also be on there somewhere, imho, and get a few brownie points for spanning the whole decade. He dragged a sorry Sixers team to the playoffs in 2010-11 and 2011-12 as by fair their best player; and the one year he led Denver (2012-13) was the best team in their NBA franchise history.

I mean, homer alert, but since the Warriors are the pretty unequivocal team of the decade (1960s Celtics, 1970s ?, 1980s Lakers, 1990s Bulls, 2000s Spurs/Lakers, 2010s Warriors) it doesn't seem unreasonable to propose more than one player from the 73-win team among the top 15.

Melo and Blake over Wade also seems pretty dubious to me, even given Wade's late-decade fade. I guess I just put a high premium on winning over piling up numbers.

Otherwise pretty okay lists — definitely hard to quibble with anything about the first team, except that it lacks a center.
LOL. Russell never came close to “abusing” Wilt. He simply managed to lessen his dominance more than other guys. This narrative needs to end.
 

Sam Ray Not

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LOL. Russell never came close to “abusing” Wilt. He simply managed to lessen his dominance more than other guys. This narrative needs to end.
Totally fair. I haven't watched them head to head nearly enough to judge (before my time), but by all accounts your characterization — "managed to lessen his dominance more than other guys" — is much more apt. And I think that also goes for Dray$ v. AD, Griffin, LaMarcus, and co.
 

Kliq

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I think you can’t have an all decade team without including Leandro Barbosa, Quinn Cook, Nick Young and Patrick McCaw.
 

JakeRae

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You mean except for 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12, and 2012-13, when he was his team's best player by far?

The teams on which he was the best player also made the playoffs 3 of those 4 years, including taking the Celtics to 7 games in the second round in 2012, and snagging the #3 seed in the West in 2013 (before succumbing to Curry and the ascendant Warriors in the playoffs, in a series in which he put up 18.0 pts / 8.0 reb / 5.3 ast / 2.0 steals per game on .621 true shooting). The next year (his first year with GS) he rated #1 in the NBA by RAPM (a ridiculous +18.0 net/off per 100 possessions, if you want just the raw number); and the next year after that he won Finals MVP.

Problematic fetishes aside (lol), that's a pretty Top 15-ish first six years, imo. After that he tailed off a bit (in terms of minutes anyway) and became more of a role player among superstars, but then Melo started tailing off right around then, too. Andre has actually played significantly more minutes since 2014-15 than Melo, counting playoffs. And been a way better basketball player in those minutes.

Anyway, I'll let it go except to say Andre over Melo all day and twice on Sunday. And this:

There’s a significant difference between the question was Iggy better than Melo over the last 10 years and does he deserve to make any of the all decade teams. Personally I would answer the former yes and the latter no.
 

Sam Ray Not

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There’s a significant difference between the question was Iggy better than Melo over the last 10 years and does he deserve to make any of the all decade teams. Personally I would answer the former yes and the latter no.
Yeah, that’s fair. I’d have a much harder time with Andre over Dirk or Duncan (even in their decline years) than over Melo. Not sure I’d take Andre over Draymond, either (even though Andre checks the “best player on his team” box and Draymond does not.)
 

HomeRunBaker

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Yeah, VORP is more of "how much work is this guy really doing" stat while PER tends to measure volume and efficiency on a per minute basis. PER is famous for overvaluing back-up bigs who play under 20 mpg; although I think it may have been tweaked over the years to try and correct that.
I’m not so sure about the fix although I haven’t followed this much Didn’t Kanter finish in the Top5 or Top10 a couple years ago?

All these varying metrics ruin discussions imo. They take away from debating a players skillset and effectiveness to it essentially becoming a debate about which metric is more accurate and telling than the other. Blah.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Lowry should’ve made the third team. His consistently strong play over the last decade gets unfairly discounted because people mistakenly think DeRozan was an asset rather than an albatross around the team’s neck. Despite that, he’s a five time all star and now has a championship under his belt. I don’t think his overall career compares to either Wade or Kobe but for this decade, he’s been better.
DeRozan being an albatross around his teams neck belongs in the same category as Russ abusing Wilt and Kanter being a Top-10 player. I love stats sometimes.