LeBron James leads AP’s 2010s all-decade team

Apr 5, 2022, 11:01 AM | Updated: 11:06 pm
FILE - Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry acknowledges the crowd during a ceremony for winni...

FILE - Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry acknowledges the crowd during a ceremony for winning the NBA's Most Valuable Player award before Game 2 in a second-round NBA playoff basketball series between the Warriors and the Memphis Grizzlies, May 5, 2015, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

              FILE - Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki, center, goes up for a shot as Nicolas Batum (88) and Brandon Roy, right, defend, in the first half of an NBA playoff basketball game, April 16, 2011, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)
            
              FILE - Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki celebrates after scoring his 25,000 career point during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Hornets in New Orleans, April 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman, File)
            
              FILE - Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James shoots during the first half of Game 4 of basketball's NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, June 8, 2018, in Cleveland. (Gregory Shamus/Pool Photo via AP, File)
            
              FILE - Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James celebrates after scoring and drawing a foul during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)
            
              FILE - Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden reacts during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic, Nov. 19, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
            
              FILE - Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant reacts after sinking a 3-point shot against the Milwaukee Bucks during the fourth quarter of Game 5 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, June 15, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
            
              FILE - Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) shoots as Golden State Warriors forward Kelly Oubre Jr., (12) defends during the first quarter of an opening night NBA basketball game, Dec. 22, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
            
              FILE - Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry, center, celebrates a score against the Indiana Pacers during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Dec. 5, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)
            
              FILE - Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) shoots between Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) and guard Cameron Payne during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 25, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)
            
              FILE - Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry acknowledges the crowd during a ceremony for winning the NBA's Most Valuable Player award before Game 2 in a second-round NBA playoff basketball series between the Warriors and the Memphis Grizzlies, May 5, 2015, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

STEPHEN CURRY

The NBA’s career leader in 3-point goals, Curry changed the game by making shots from well beyond the arc seem routine. But in addition to being prolific, he is a career 43% shooter from deep. The Golden State Warriors won three NBA titles in the 2010s as Curry and Klay Thompson lit up the league with unmatched perimeter shooting and expert passing. Curry was league MVP in 2015 and 2016 and he led the league in scoring and steals in 2016. He led the Warriors team that posted an all-time best 73-9 regular season record in 2015-16.

KEVIN DURANT

A versatile 6-foot-10 small forward, Durant quickly lifted the Oklahoma City Thunder to prominence after the franchise moved from Seattle. He won scoring titles with the Thunder in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014. He led Oklahoma City to the NBA Finals in 2012 and was league MVP in 2014, famously calling his mother “the real MVP” in his acceptance speech. He controversially left the Thunder to join the powerhouse Golden State Warriors, their biggest rival at the time. He fit right in with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and won two NBA titles and two Finals MVP awards with the Warriors. He was All-Star MVP in 2012 and 2019.

JAMES HARDEN

Harden is a scoring machine whose impeccable footwork popularized the step-back jumper, pushed the limits on traveling and earned him seemingly endless trips to the free throw line. The 6-foot-5 guard started his career with the Oklahoma City Thunder and was the NBA Sixth Man of the Year, but he flourished after he was traded to the Houston Rockets before the 2012-13 season. He led the league in assists in 2017 and won scoring titles in 2018 and 2019. He averaged 36.1 points in 2018-19 — the eight-highest single-season average in NBA history. He was league MVP in 2018.

LeBRON JAMES

James shifted the league’s landscape in 2010 when he announced he would leave the Cleveland Cavaliers — based near his hometown of Akron, Ohio — to “take my talents to South Beach” and join the Miami Heat. By the end of the decade, fans were debating whether he had reached Michael Jordan’s level. He was league MVP in 2010 with Cleveland and 2012 and 2013 with Miami. He was Finals MVP in 2012 and 2013 with Miami and in 2016 after he returned to Cleveland. He played in the NBA Finals each year from 2011 to 2018.

DIRK NOWITZKI

Germany’s greatest basketball player spent his entire 21-year career with the Dallas Mavericks before retiring in 2019. His success expanded the game globally, and teams still scour Europe hoping to find the next Dirk. His one-legged fadeaway jumper has been imitated by many of the game’s greats. He was one of the first 7-footers to regularly shoot 3-pointers. He did most of his best work in the 2000s, claiming the league MVP award in 2007. But he saved some of his best action for the 2010s, when he won his only NBA title in 2011 and was Finals MVP. He is the No. 6 scorer in NBA history.

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