The NBA in Retrospect ('99 - '09)

We are almost two weeks into 2010, and like many others, I have been reflecting on the NBA throughout the last decade (starting in the 99-00 season and ending in the the 08-09 season). In retrospect, it’s been nothing short of bad-ass. We were blessed with:
  • -the primes of several will-be all-time greats (to be heavily discussed later).
  • -the historically awesome draft class of 2003.
  • -the unpopular-but-should-be-super-effin’-popular dominance of the small market San Antonio Spurs. Why is it that people complain about “a league full of tatted-up thugs”, big-market/NBA/referee corruption, lack of basketball fundamentals, excessive dunking and contested three-point shots, and selfish basketball and isolation plays when the Spurs–who refute all of the the aforementioned complaints–have dominated the decade of basketball? Oh wait, I forgot. We live in a world of racism, stupidity, AND xenophobia. Sorry on behalf of the You Ess of Frickin’ Ay! to the French Tony Parker, the Argentinean Manu Ginobili, and the Virgin Tim Duncan (that joke was too easy I know, but also fitting for the not-so-attractive and relatively quiet Duncan, born in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Maybe his blogosphere nick name should be “The Big Virgin”?).
  • -the reemergence of tiny, dominant, point guards (this is paramount seeing as I, myself, am the 5′11″ white guy dishin’ and dodgin’), which goes hand in hand with a more aesthetically pleasing NBA product as a result of increased pace, defensive 3-seconds, and stricter hand-checking rules.
  • -the development of the extensive NBA blogosphere and the use of advanced statistics (APBRmetrics, in case you haven’t heard Vathsup! *Bruno Voice*) within and outside of NBA organizations. PER, Win Shares, WARP, Wins Produced, Adjusted +/-, SPM. It’s taking over the world faster than Adam Morrison!
  • -in speaking of which, the breathtaking transition of a mid-major towel-man/reserve to breathtaking superstar on the NBA champion Lakers. Congrats, Adam Morrison.
  • -Having a porn-star coach lead a team to the NBA finals (keep lookin’ sexy Stan).
  • -the awesomeness, excitement, and sheer popularity that the new-look NBDL has brought to the basketball world.
  • -the sustained, unrivaled dominance of USA basketball in international play.
  • -the long awaited dominance of the Washington Wizards franchise. Who can argue with four championships in ten years? Take that Spurs/Lakers!
Okay, so maybe the last five bullet points were blatant falsehoods, and maybe I didn’t have to take two shots at Adam Morrison, but the other, more true points severely outweigh the negatives (Donaghy scandal, Brawl at Auburn Hills, and uh, uh [insert casual sports fan] the Spurs’ boring ways and the thuggery of the NBA!)

You get the point, the 2000’s as a decade was an phenomenal decade for basketball. At the end of this post, we will link you to some of the best articles reviewing the past decade of the NBA that have been circulating the NBA blogosphere. For now we will keep it simple: This post will determine All-Decade teams (1st, 2nd, and 3rd teams) with some not-so-brief commentary. In the next post, we will argue the merits of four candidates in the debate for “Player of the Decade.”

This is just an exercise–nothing here is fact–however after my own personal reflection and after having reviewed trillions of other arguments (side note: I’ve heard a lot of arguments…after collecting opinions on facebook like the guy who asks the world “Should I choose Harvard or Yale?”, relentlessly stalking the NBA blogosphere, and having an abundance of NBA conversations in college (double side note: this is what we are forced to talk about at the Tufts University parties that lack attractive girls…well, maybe that was a cheapshot, I guess it’s that I just love to talk about this stuff))