The NBA is defined by its stars. Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and others throughout the years have controlled the narrative of the league simply by their performance on the court. These guys changed the game.
And, as we close out another decade of NBA basketball, it's important to remember which players defined this era. On ESPN, a panel of league analysts did their best to name the top three.
We posed this question to a panel of ESPN's NBA experts: Who was the player of the decade? Voters ranked their top three picks in order -- considering the 2009-10 season through 2018-19 -- and here are the results.
LeBron James was an overwhelming pick at No. 1, with a tight race between former teammates Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant for Nos. 2 and 3.
LeBron James, Steph Curry, and Kevin Durant were the selections, and it's easy to see why.
Since the 2010 NBA season, LeBron has won three NBA Championships, made 9 All-Star teams, and 3 Finals MVP's. He has cemented himself as not only the greatest player of this generation but one of the best All-Time. His "decisions" have radically changed the NBA landscape.
For Curry, while he may not match up statistically, his impact on the league overall is (perhaps) the greatest we have ever seen. His shooting ability changed the NBA, forcing an outside-in style of gameplay and even helping in the push for "superteams." His success and electrifying rise make him an easy choice for #2.
And, finally, Kevin Durant. Though Durant is not the most popular player, he has widely been regarded as the second-best player in basketball since at least 2013. His status as one of the best scorers ever coupled with his dominant run in Golden State has cemented an All-Time legacy for the 10x All-Star.
While some cases could be made for other names, perhaps the bigger question is this: who will come next? Who will be the group of stars that defines the 2020's? Only time will tell.