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What Was the NBA Like in the 2000s?

Scott Morris | May 14, 2023
NBA life in the 2000s

The 2000s decade of the NBA started with back-to-back-to-back championships of the Los Angeles Lakers which had arguably the greatest duo of all time in Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. This decade also introduced some of the great players that shaped up the next decade with the likes of Lebron James and Stephen Curry who are considered to be the best players of the current era and have been ruling the NBA scene for some time now. A total of five different teams won the title during the 2000s decade, Lakers winning four, San Antonio Spurs winning three, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, and Boston Celtics winning one each. 

The NBA in the 2000s welcomed a lot of different strategies, and all games were high scoring which attracted a lot of viewership from around the world. It also renewed the rivalry between the Celtics and Lakers as they met in the 2008 finals with Celtics coming out on top in six games and winning their seventeenth championship and they have not won a title since then. The Lakers have also equaled their championship wins too now. On the other hand, the Spurs have won five titles in total, three of which came in the 2000s and this just says a lot about the versatility and different happenings in that decade. The Kobe-Shaq Partnership is still talked about to this day and their three-peat to start the decade is still one of the greatest achievements ever. 

Shaq, who was already an established star, got most of the spotlight but Kobe also had moments of his own. Kobe proved that he could also do it without Shaq when he led the Lakers in back-to-back finals during 2008-2009 and also won the latter final against Orlando Magic 4-1. Shaq also won his fourth championship with Miami Heat which would be his last before he retired in 2011. 

The NBA also started to use technologies to review controversial calls and started using advanced statistical analysis to review players’ stats so that coaches can make better decisions regarding their players. In 2006 Kobe dropped one of the most talked about individual performances when he scored a massive eighty-one-point game against the Toronto Raptors and lit the court on fire. Phil Jackson, one of the most decorated coaches in the history of the NBA won his tenth title taking him above the Celtics manager Red Auerbach who had nine.

 All in all, the NBA in the 2000s was full of different teams making a mark and new players coming up. Lebron who is now considered to be the best in the business is a great example of the players that the 2000s has produced. Stephen Curry, who is the greatest three-point shooter in the game was also drafted in 2009 as a round one and seventh overall pick, and the teammate alongside whom he would rule the next decade was drafted in 2007, Kevin Durant. 


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