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MVP of the decade (1998-2008)

By 12.19.08
Tim DuncanTim Duncan (photo. adidas)

After last night’s Magic/Spurs game, today’s Smack comments turned to a Tim Duncan vs. Dwight Howard debate. Reader “Three Stacks” chimed in with: “If you were to pick a model player over the past ten years, it’d have to be Duncan. I don’t think anyone else comes close.”

Agreed. I’ve written before that over the last decade — calendar year 1998 to calendar year 2008 — Tim Duncan has been the best basketball player in the world. And the only other players that do come close are Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. With the end of the year coming up, now’s as good a time as any to settle it. Here’s how they stack up:

DUNCAN (’98-present)
* Four NBA championships (’99, ’03, ’05, ’07)
* Three Finals MVP’s
* Two regular-season MVP’s (’01, ’02)
* 10 All-Star Games (one MVP)
* Rookie of the Year
* 11-time All-Defensive
* 11-time All-NBA
* Regular-season numbers: 21.6 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 3.1 apg, 2.4 bpg, 0.8 spg
* Playoff numbers: 23.4 ppg, 12.7 rpg, 3.5 apg, 2.6 bpg, 0.6 spg.

KobeKobe Bryant, Dime #39

BRYANT (’98-present)
* Three NBA championships (’00, ’01, ’02)
* Regular-season MVP (’08)
* 10 All-Star Games (two MVP’s)
* Two-time NBA leading scorer (’06, ’07)
* 10-time All-NBA
* Eight-time All-Defensive
* Regular-season numbers: 26.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 4.9 apg, 1.5 spg, 0.6 bpg.
* Playoff numbers: 25.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 4.8 apg, 1.4 spg, 0.6 bpg.

ShaqShaquille O’Neal, Dime #38

O’NEAL (’98-present)
* Four NBA championships (’00, ’01, ’02, ’06)
* Three Finals MVP’s
* Regular-season MVP (’00)
* Nine All-Star Games (two MVP’s)
* NBA scoring leader (’00)
* Nine-time All-NBA
* Three-time All-Defensive
* Regular-season numbers: 24.0 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 2.7 apg, 0.5 spg, 2.2 bpg.
* Playoff numbers: 25.1 ppg, 12.2 rpg, 2.5 apg, 0.5 spg, 2.3 bpg.

Who gets your vote?


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