NBA / Dec 22, 2009 / 8:10 am

Who will be the best player of the next decade?

LeBron James

Some things are just predictable, and you can’t even fault anybody for being predictable about it. For example, at the end of a calendar year, magazines and TV shows and websites all roll out their “Best of the Year” lists, rankings and recaps. And at the end of a decade, you inevitably see the same thing on a bigger scale.

So while everybody is getting in their “Best [NBA-related thing] of the Decade” lists for the period covering 2000-2009, let’s switch it up a bit:

Who will be the best player of the NEXT decade?

Put on your Future-Vision goggles and look at 2010 through 2019. By the end of that stretch, LeBron will be 35 years old, Kobe will be 41, D-Wade will be 37, and Dwight Howard will be 34. Barring some miracle of medical science, two of the MVP candidates for this current decade — Tim Duncan (43) and Shaq (47) — won’t factor into the discussion (although Anthony Johnson will probably still be on somebody’s roster.)

But what about kids like John Wall, Blake Griffin or Brandon Jennings? What about Chris Paul, Brandon Roy or Carmelo Anthony?

Tell us who you think will hold the crown 10 years from now and why, and we’ll print some of the best answers in an upcoming issue of the magazine.
(Dime reserves the right to edit submissions for length and clarity.)

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  • got beef

    Tyreke Evans is the truth man. that kid can ball and he is puttin up Lebron type numbers as a rook, he’ll definately be in the mix

  • Keith

    Depends on championships. If LeBron can deliver a couple of titles (wherever they may be) then he’ll take the crown. Otherwise, Bryant might just take it based on the first 5 years if he can keep picking up rings

    Don’t see Howard being considered among the elite until he can learn to shoot free throws, thus making him dependable in the clutch.

    And people need to chill on Blake. Kids got game, don’t get me wrong, but he’s not played a minute of league ball yet and you want to consider him in this arguement? Jennings looks like he could be an Arenas-type jacker, but could become top-10 if he improves his decision making.

    Oh and Chris Paul and Melo will be top 10 players for the next 10 years. D-Rose, Durant and Brandon Roy get some love too.

  • Nautic

    Lebron, Carmelo, and Dwight will have the most visible impact as they are the players most close to reaching their peak 2-3 years from now and sustaining it. However, Jennings, Evans, Bargnani, Durant, are all 4-5 years from reaching their peaks and sustaining it so they will leave a more lasting impact. I think Carmelo/Dwight/Durant/Evans/Lebron have the most well rounded offensive games and will most likely be the premier players for the next generation. With that being said, there will be a void to fill with regards to PF/C so a guy like Blake Griffin, Jason Thompson, Andrea Bargnani, Jonas Jerebko, Anthony Randolph, Brook Lopez, Paul Millsap, Ersan Ilaysova, Michael Beasley and Brandon bass etc. might get more hype than they deserve because they’ll be one of the few 20-10-2 caliber big men. However, they are all more likely to be in the mold of Antawn Jamsion/Chris Bosh than any other player (with the exception of Brook Lopez who could be a slower Alonzo, Bargnani = Okur 2.0) so it’s hard to say. Easy choice is Lebron but Lebron will be at the top of his position along with Carmelo. and then He’ll have another 8 positions. If their teams have more success, then the individual brilliance of a player will be overlooked for team success.


    …although Anthony Johnson will probably still be on somebody’s roster. – ROFL

  • MBE18


  • http://www.basketsim.com BNZA

    Brandon Jennings the MAN. The first true US/Europe hybrid will kill teams as Eminem kills mics. Simple as that.

  • Luigi

    Its gonna be some guy that you guys will hype up in like 2012 or somewhere around that time thats gonna take the league by storm

  • klassix

    Depends on team success. Top-10 best chance? I thought you’d never ask.
    1. LeBron
    2. Melo
    3. Wade
    4. Dwight
    5. CP3
    6. John Wall
    7. Reke
    8. Blake
    9. Jennings
    10. Hasheem Thabeet

  • L

    Chris Paul.

    you see dudes like nash and kidd balling like hell right now. just imagine cp3 in 10 years

  • http://www.WhyCandaceWhySheldon.thatbastard.com Chicagorilla

    LBJ is the most likely, but Kevin Durant is in the best situation. With the guys around him being talented and near his age. They can run the L in a few years. Brandon Roy will be there too.

  • klassix

    Wow, I can’t believe I left Durant off the list. Redo.
    1. LBJ
    2. Melo
    3. Durant
    4. Wade
    5. Dwight
    6. CP3
    7. Wall
    8. Reke
    9. Blake
    10. B-Roy
    467. Hasheem Thabeet

  • http://www.WhyCandaceWhySheldon.thatbastard.com Chicagorilla


    with all the money Chicago has to spend for Free Agency… you fail to put DRose in your top 10. No OJ Mayo (who was the cats meow last year) yet Tyreke Evans makes it, and Hasheem Thabeet (I assume that was a joke). John Wall is Keyon Dooling, stop hyping that kid up.

  • http://www.basketsim.com BNZA

    Wall has yet to prove he is better than Jennings.

  • http://www.basketsim.com BNZA

    Who will be the best player of the next decade?

    BNZA sez:

    1. CP3
    2. LBJ
    3. Durantula
    4. Young Money
    5. The Natural
    6. D12
    7. Flash
    8. Brook Lopez
    9. Stephen Curry
    10. Tyreke Evans

  • QQ

    Ok cause I cant decide on a single player, I’ll do it by position:

    PG:John Wall/Brandon Jennings
    SG:Tyreke Evans
    SF:Kevin Durant
    PF:Al Jefferson
    C:Dwight Howard

  • klassix


    D-Rose is overrated. If the Bulls spend to get a free agent like D-Wade or Bosh, then doesn’t that make it D-Wade’s or Bosh’s team?

  • http://www.petsocietyhelp.com Pet Society Help

    Wake the hell up people, Ricky Rubio.

  • klassix

    Stephen Curry & Brook Lopez but no Carmelo Anthony? C’mon Man!

  • klassix

    Who is The Natural?

  • http://www.basketsim.com BNZA

    sorry, revised, simply forgot Rubio & Melo, pardon me

    BNZA sez (2.0):

    1. CP3
    2. LBJ
    3. Ricky
    3. Durantula
    4. Young Money
    5. The Natural
    6. D12
    8. Melo
    9. Flash
    10. Brook Lopez
    11. Stephen Curry
    12. Tyreke Evans

    yes, I believe Ricky Rubio will be THIS GOOD, all he needs is experience and get his muscles on.

    Melo will just may be the best pure Scorer the game has ever seen, but Versatility & Defense will be the most important things in the game moving on.

  • http://www.basketsim.com BNZA

    CP3 is in the worst situation a player with his Oldschool style of play can be. Once his teammates are turned into some Finishers and Shooters, we will be the best PG the NBA Game has ever seen. And he still is overlooked & underrated, now he has a chip on his shoulder.

    Paul will be HAKEEM AT THE POINT.

    Lebron just keeps wasting energy on self-marketing, when he could be practising instead.

  • http://www.basketsim.com BNZA

    Brandon Roy is The Natural.
    He is sooo versatile, durable and mentally stable. Look at his clutch plays. I love him. He will be very good.

  • http://www.basketsim.com BNZA

    I am considering that Dwight Howards ceiling maybe isnt as high as previously thought. He is a Beast, but he needs to quit on most that funny stuff. Again, energy that is wasted. Whats with the fucking Free Throws?! He should consider councelling.

  • loons

    OK, so first you ask who the best rookie of the decade is. Now you are asking who will be the best player of the next decade? Are we trying to see how many questions have the answer ‘LeBron James’?

  • http://www.basketsim.com BNZA

    Of course, at 6ft/1.83m CP§ wont do The Dream´s post moves.

    But imagine Chris Paul´s scoring combined with Kidd´s Sense for Rebounds. I hope CP3 can develop this, when the Scoring is taken of his shoulders, and he has a defensive anchor behind him, his steals will be as good as ever, and he has time to learn how to grab boards. He is small, but a true leader.

  • Nick

    Your comments are immediatey disqualified for mentioning Bargnani in this conversation.

  • Banga

    Tyreke Evans or Kevin Durant

  • Dragonyeuw

    Unless someone else emerges from nowhere, using the players we know now, I can’t see any other logical answer than Lebron. Watch out for Kevin Durant though…

  • Claw

    @BNZA – U serious?
    No way Steph Curry even makes an All Star team and if Rubio develops by adding muscle, quickness, a jump shot, and an actual game – does he even make it off the bench? JWill Light – Very Light

    1. Lebron
    2. Kobe
    3. Melo
    4. Durant
    5. CP3
    6. DHo
    7. Wade
    8. Deron
    9. BRoy
    I cheated with #10 but Bogut has been beasting this year, if he becomes consistent he could become a top center in the next decade, Lopez is right there though.

    Tyreke has impressed with overall game, and his D, will be interesting when KMart comes back.

    Just missed also was Danny Granger, guy is a scorer but his D is lacking and needs more boards.

  • Michorizo

    Tyreke has all the potential to be the best.

  • http://www.WhyCandaceWhySheldon.thatbastard.com Chicagorilla

    LMAO@ DRose being overrated, but Tyreke, Jennings, Rondo, JOHN F^KING WALL, and Blake Griffin on the list isn’t overrated. You’re a f^king idiot. And for just so you know, DRose has eaten up Tyreke and Jennings this year. Last night Reke was getting a new a$$hole torn before Vinny took DRose out of the game, then Reke got hot against Kirk and Deng. But i’m sure you knew that.

  • http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/ProphetGK ProphetGK

    Durant obviously! Come on fellas, he’s clutch with crazy athleticism, all he needs is to sharpen up his D and gain about 20 pounds of muscle..

  • Drink the Haterade

    Kobe could get like another 3 championships with the team he has now as long as they stay healthy. Mitch will make sone trades to keep them going for a long time. And remember only Fish and KB24 are over 32 yrs old. Everyone else including Pau is under 30.

  • kudos^^

    No way lebron is gonna be the best of the decade. Dime has been saying that since he came aroun in ’03. A few years into lebron’s first decade of nba, and he hasn’t shown much. Kobe hands down, as we’ll see what he’s capable of the next 5 years.

    Maybe someone in 2015 or 2020 will be a beast. Until then, nawwww.

  • wifey

    It’s gonna be a sad day when Kobe retires..

  • http://www.yoquieroserempresario.com Paul E Gonzalez

    To be the best player of the next decade, we have to look at the past couple of decades were MJ/Kobe, Shaq/Duncan, Bird/Magic & Russell/Wilt/Kareem ruled.

    The question is: Who can be named in the same breed as those guys?
    The answer is: LeBron James.

  • Luigi

    im tellin you…its gonna be some stud a few years from now like about 2012/2013..the stud is gonna get drafted n hailed the new LeBron.. i can see it now.

    aside from dreaming…uhh either Durant or LeBron. maybe Cp3. or it could be some stud basketball player from my highschool class of 2012. lol

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @kudos — You really think LeBron “hasn’t shown much”? He’s got one MVP, one scoring title, averaging about 26-7-7 or so every year, already been to one NBA Finals and two conference finals. All before the age of 25. I’m not even trying to hype LeBron up, but you’re selling him short to act like he hasn’t done anything.

  • Cp

    I can’t believe some of the responses I’m seeing… Mostly that I haven’t seen Deron Williams’ name, but I’ve seen Rose’s name numerous times.

    Let’s see John Wall play in the NBA before we call him number one.

    Tyreke will be up there, but again, D Will is deserving to be above half the dude some of you guys have on your lists..

    Just sayin..

  • ctkennedy

    plays small forward with power forward size
    center strength shootin guard hops and range point guard speed and vision avg. 20 5 5 at his worst which was his rookie season and only 3 doin it in the league right now as we speak the king who else LEBRON JAMES

  • Celts Fan

    I think you guys forgot to name the only guy that has a real shot at toppling LeBron from #1 here – Kevin Durant. On the real though, it’s Bron unless he gets hurt or decides to give baseball a try…

  • VerbalVenom

    Lebron James is a great player, but the tragedy is that Durant will have more success than him when it comes to winning championships.

  • oO

    If Kobe is going to get a couple more rings he will ge the G.O.A.T.
    I mean come on guys if Lebron is going to NY next Summer then he is going to fuck up everything he worked for. And then he will not even mentioned to be best of the decade cause he isn’t going to the Finals with a crappy team. And Durant is not the man everyone wants to see, yes he can score but that’s all.

  • justlovethegame

    LeBron James

    P.S. I really hate this,’too little words’ thing going on, on this site. Can yall do something about it? If I have only two words to write I wanna just write two words.

  • Sykez12

    Rudy Gay…Hello

  • http://yahoo.com shakashi

    neither lebron, b-roy,wade or melo will be the players of the decade in the next decade,they will all be at least 35 years of age and the’re production will likely decrease due to aging
    since the league has a lot of point guards,most of which are young, i see the next decade of nba as the time when points rule the court
    we all know that only a few centers exist in todays game so dwight,brooke lopez, or al horford will most likely be the top 3 centers in the next decade since they aren’t injury prone, and are productive
    shooting guards in the next 10 years will hands down bow to durant his team has a young core of players and he is the leader at only 21 years.plus he has a chance to average 30 ppg for the whole 10 years or close to it knowing he’s averaging almost 28ppg today

    top 10 players from 2010-2020
    1.kevin durant
    2.chris paul
    3.lebron james
    4.carmelo anthony
    5.tyreke evans
    6.dwight howard
    7.brandon jennings
    8.rudy gay
    9.deron williams
    10.brandon roy or brooke lopez

  • rob

    What about Kevin Martin or David Lee not #1’s but canidates for the top 10

  • analord

    lbj and cp3 as of now.

  • JTreke

    My top 15 player of the next decade:

    1.Tyreke Evans
    2.Kevin Durant
    3.Michael Beasley
    4.Chris Paul
    5.Blake Griffin
    6.LeBron James
    7.Dwyane Wade
    8.Dwight Howard
    9.Carmelo Anthony
    10.OJ Mayo
    11.Derrick Rose
    12.Rudy Gay
    13.Ricky Rubio
    14.Brandon Jennings
    15.Brandon Roy

    Honorable Mention:
    1.Al Jefferson
    2.Deron Williams
    3.Ty Lawson
    4.Russel Westbrook
    5.John Wall(not sure)
    6.Jonny Flynn
    7.James Harden
    8.Anthony Randolph
    9.Jason Thompson
    10.Donte Greene
    11.Derrick Favors(not sure)
    12.Kevin Love
    13.Andrea Bargnani
    14.Brook Lopez
    15.Jerryd Bayless

  • JTreke

    i forgot Andrew Bynum =)

  • James

    Kevin Durant is only 21 and he’s putting up just about 30 a game. He has insane length and rebounds well. Once his teammates catch up he’ll rack up more assists and show everyone who’s the real king.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_The_Twins_ P

    ok… i can tell alot of yall dont kno NOTHING about basketball!!!! but here is the REAL top ten

    1. Lebron (cant go wrong choosen him) stop hating on the king
    2. KD (next ten years he will be dubbed the best scorer the leauge has ever seen)
    3. Kobe (still has 6 great more year left to get more rings) come on its Kobe
    4. Chris Paul (NEEDS to get someone to run with him…. someone please help cp3)
    5. Melo (he’s a one sided player but a great one… offensively he’s a monster
    6. D Howard (needs a go to move and to work on his freethrows)
    7. D Rose (highly underrated… this is the decade of the pg’s and he will be one of the best)
    8. D Wade (if his knee was better he will be alot higher)
    9. John Wall (no coment yall will see)
    10. D Will (thats how u kno the nba is full with talent,,, d will at 10 wow

    there is some much talent but the best players have rings….. so lets see how it pan out