The past decade of NBA action was defined by superstars — not only superstar performances, but also superstar movement.
Sporting News' starting five for the 2010s features four players who switched teams, and those relocations led to incredible success. This group collected a combined 10 NBA championships and seven MVP awards, and one player went a perfect 10-for-10 in All-Star and All-NBA selections.
In the spirit of the pace-and-space era, we've shifted away from the frontcourt setup with a traditional center in favor of two guards and three forwards. This lineup brings plenty of size, speed, shooting and flexibility, an ideal blend for the modern game.
(Note: Statistics from 2019-20 NBA season not included. All numbers via Basketball Reference.)
G: Stephen Curry
Why he's here: The greatest shooter of all time, full stop. Curry thrived at the center of Golden State's offense, finishing with the best 3-point percentage (43.6) among the decade's top 100 scorers, not to mention the best free throw percentage (90.5). His 2015-16 run will go down as one of the best offensive seasons in NBA history.
By the numbers: Three-time NBA champion, two-time NBA MVP, six-time All-Star, six-time All-NBA, 23.5 points, 6.6 assists, 4.5 rebounds
G: James Harden
Why he's here: Buckets only for "The Beard." Harden transformed from Sixth Man extraordinaire with the Thunder to annual MVP candidate with the Rockets. Despite not becoming a consistent starter until the 2012-13 season, Harden scored 18,267 points in the decade, third to only LeBron James (19,550) and Kevin Durant (19,445).
By the numbers: 2017-18 NBA MVP, seven-time All-Star, six-time All-NBA, 24.3 points, 6.2 assists, 5.2 rebounds
F: LeBron James
Why he's here: That perfect All-Star and All-NBA guy? Shocker, it's LeBron. He checked every box for the 2010s, landing on the top-10 lists for total points, rebounds, assists, steals and field goal percentage. He also blew away the rest of the field with more than 27,000 minutes played. He's a no-brainer for Player of the Decade.
By the numbers: Three-time NBA champion, three-time NBA MVP, 10-time All-Star, 10-time All-NBA, 26.9 points, 7.7 rebounds, 7.6 assists
F: Kawhi Leonard
Why he's here: He may not boast the raw numbers of his rivals, but Leonard absolutely left his imprint on the 2010s. Originally known for his defensive prowess with the Spurs, Leonard grew into a complete player and led the Raptors to their first championship in franchise history last season. The most bonkers number from Leonard's decade: He had more total steals (829) than fouls (793).
By the numbers: Two-time NBA champion, three-time All-Star, three-time All-NBA, 17.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists
F: Kevin Durant
Why he's here: Durant was the most unguardable offensive force of the decade, and he certainly has a case as the most versatile scorer the league has ever seen. In nearly 700 games, Durant finished with 50.1/38.4/88.5 shooting splits (field goal/3-point/free throws), and, oh yeah, he was a pretty good defender, too.
By the numbers: Two-time NBA champion, 2013-14 NBA MVP, 10-time All-Star, nine-time All-NBA, 28.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists