Two seasons from now will be 10 years since the 2009-10 season, meaning that we'll be a full decade since we entered the 2010s. Do you know what I was doing in 2010? Getting barmitzvah'd and hoping the Nets landed the No. 1 overall pick in 2010. To avoid thinking about getting old, let's instead be nostalgic and talk about NBA stars from the 2010s. There's not many ground rules for this quiz, other than the obvious about players who are still active being ineligible. LeBron James is still a no, Kevin Durant is still a no, Chris Paul is still a no, etc. There are players on this list who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame and there are some who will be really obvious, but we're working off the ground rule that players on this list have to either be officially retired or damn near close to it.
In other words, someone who's playing overseas in Israel right now isn't eligible, but someone who retired and will return to action in the BIG3 league is eligible because that's an exhibition league.
Grab your ball, dig up your old NBA 2K games, and let's try to get David Stern out of office as quickly as we can because we're going back to the early part of the 2010s...and now.
1If you don't know this one, leave the quiz
You shouldn't need any semblance of help with this one, especially not after how many quizzes we've done that has featured this former Los Angeles Lakers star. Seriously, the fact that I have to write a description and you're sitting here reading it instead of just clicking the answer means you're probably trying to tank to see what the final result is. Either that or you genuinely don't know, in which we suggest you re-evaluate your life, even if you're not the NBA fan you once were.
2Big man who became a big disappointment in Cleveland
Even before Cleveland got LeBron James back and made several questionable moves (looking at all of the veteran signings), the Cavaliers did show moments of desperation when The King was in Miami. But landing this big man, previously an All-Star in his previous stops, on a cheap deal was actually considered to be one of the smarter moves in recent memory. Alas, he showed up out of shape, was cut midway through the year, and we're left with images like this. Who was this player?
3When the Knicks were competitive, this former top pick helped
It's such a shame to see the New York Knicks in purgatory right now, especially when you remember that the team has genuinely tried to rebuild the right way in the past two years. Competing will be a long way off after Kristaps Porzingis' injury, so we're left with pictures and memories of earlier this decade when it seemed like Carmelo Anthony's Knicks could actually top LeBron and the Miami Heat for Eastern Conference supremacy. Who was this veteran Knicks big man?
4Brooklyn went hard, especially with this All-Star in town
I'm not going to sit and defend the Brooklyn-Boston trade even as a currently tortured Nets fan, but I will say the team had good intentions when they did it because they thought everyone would stay healthy, stay up to par, and stay in Brooklyn. This veteran former All-Star wasn't long for the city, not as long as people would've liked, but he had flashes of his former brilliance and helped the Nets to a playoff upset over the Toronto Raptors in 2014. Who was this Net?
5An ex-NBA star who thrived in China
Fine, we're going to cheat here because even though this ex-NBA star didn't play for an Association team during this decade (and likely isn't going to over the next 21 months), he was so marketable overseas in China as one of the best players in their history that it'd just feel wrong leaving him off. We told you we wouldn't include foreign stars who were mediocre over here, that part is true, but this is a former NBA All-Star who became a legend overseas.
6Only a fire extinguisher could put out this All-Star when he was hot
Fine, we did make this joke because of the whole "punching the fire extinguisher" thing that left this former All-Star injured in the postseason. Before all of the injuries and the anguish over losing his former ability, there was a reason people thought he would be an instant star wherever he went in free agency, powerful enough to lure other marquee free agents and turn his new team into a perennial NBA Finals contender. Neither of those things really happened. Who was this?
7Not officially retired, but also likely never to return
The question's title and the picture should both be fairly obvious given that this is still a recurring conversation if we'll see this former Miami Heat veteran or not, but I'll try to help you if you still haven't figured it out. There are issues with his lungs that could come back and potentially kill him on the court if he exerts himself too much. If that isn't enough to help you answer this question, then why are you taking this quiz?
8Who else is excited to see this former Laker become a coach?
Believe it or not, this former Lakers star - known for having a bit of a temper, if we're going to put it mildly - is currently serving as a coach in the G League. Sooner rather than later, his name is going to pop up for an open NBA job. Can you imagine HIM, of all people, being the one to instruct young players on how to conduct themselves? He's just lucky that we love him AND we know his name. Do you?
9A reliable point guard even in his final days
It felt like this former NBA champion was everywhere in his final NBA seasons, but now he's comfortable at ESPN and is rising through the network's NBA ranks. If Jeff Van Gundy or Mark Jackson take a coaching job this offseason, this former point guard could quickly be appointed their replacement on the network's No. 1 broadcasting team. Not a bad showing, especially not if the voters do what's expected in a few years and put him into the Hall of Fame. Who is this?
10A Chinese basketball legend who starred in the NBA
This one really, really should be obvious. You need not have watched a full NBA season in five years and you've still already probably have answered this one, so I won't waste your time here. "I only want to play basketball, and play it well and be happy about it. But I realize that with being famous, comes a lot of demands," this legendary, Hall of Fame big man once said - and we only want you to finally answer the question.
11Keep this former King away from Basketball Wives
I would also suggest keeping him away from the former teammate he got into an altercation with over his former basketball wife, but we can only say so much over the internet. Older fans will remember him being a valuable video game player in addition to his real life efforts, and younger fans will probably just know him for Lil Wayne shouting him out and for the aforementioned fight over a basketball wife. Who is this swagger, tattooed fighter/basketball player?
12A Hall of Famer without a Finals win
Yes, said question played for the San Antonio Spurs at the end of his career. No, that's not a well done photoshop by some Sports Twitter kid or Bleacher Report. That's a genuine shot of this Hall of Famer proudly rocking a Spurs jersey in an attempt to win the NBA Finals. Well, that didn't quite happen, but at least he's in the Hall of Fame and we all have the memories of what he did in his prime. Who was this?
13Another easy one, even if you hated these Timberwolves uniforms
Seriously, if you're not able to get this one, we really have to ask why you're taking this quiz. I know this is a fairly easy one for NBA fans because the amount of stars who have really retired after doing something noteworthy this decade isn't as high as you'd have thought it'd be a few years ago, but even the most basic of NBA fans shouldn't have any problems here. And if you do...well, just try to get it right.
14You really shouldn't have an issue getting this one right
Again, this is such an easy one for even the most basic NBA fan that the legitimate fans on here are probably asking why we're giving such easy answers. Given that this former New York Knicks veteran was a star who made it into the 2010s and is officially retired, he's eligible for this list and we're definitely including him on here. So stop complaining and go answer the question. Yes, even you NBA fans who think Stephen Curry is already the G.O.A.T.
15A key piece of the Warriors dynasty...the build up, at least
If you think the Golden State Warriors dynasty began with them drafting Stephen Curry in 2009...well, you're somewhat right. However, this big man they landed in free agency the following year was a major piece who helped bring a veteran presence to a Warriors roster which was getting younger and younger. It's just too bad that his former All-Star really never gets the love he deserves, although the argument that he never lived up to his contract also has merit. Who was this?
16If not for injuries, this former T-Wolves star would be a Hall of Famer
Pardon my best Bill Walton impression because I'm genuinely not trying to be hyperbolic, but let's not act like this former All-Star's Hall of Fame case wasn't building each season. Seriously, if not for major, lingering knee injuries - not unlike a current Timberwolve in Derrick Rose - I really think we'd be nearing the Hall talks. Unfortunately, that's best saved for a what-if, parallel universe because in March 018, we're instead talking about his career ending prematurely. Who was this?
17This veteran was around forever and is now upsetting people...with soda
If you're confused, we'll try to explain the latter part. This player is currently in broadcasting and did a commercial with Mountain Dew, the popular soda company, but is under fire because the brand is not partnered with the affiliates broadcasting the NCAA Tournament. That, and the commercial took shots at the NCAA for restricting terms like "March Madness" for those who don't have an agreement with the organization. Welcome to 2018, everyone. Who was this former Los Angeles Clippers veteran?
18All he did was make it splash!
Once again, another easy one, especially if you've played NBA 2K in recent years. Even 15 years ago, nearly every three-pointer you took with this future Hall of Famer was headed into the basket without issue. It's only fitting then that this sniper's most memorable shot in a certain postseason game for the Miami Heat was a three-pointer to tie the game and eventually get LeBron and friends a title. You've figured out who we're talking about here by now, right?
19Yes, this longtime point guard finally retired
It felt like this veteran point guard was in his late 30s a decade ago, but nope. After playing for a plethora of teams in recent years, he finally somewhat retired and it's likely the next place we'll see him is in Ice Cube's BIG3 league. Am I the only one who thinks it's weird that Vince Carter and Jason Terry are still going, but the most successful player in modern NBA history to never make an All-Star Game isn't? Hmmmm.
20An easy Hall of Famer and an easy question
We're nearing the end of the "if you get these wrong, you need to really rethink being an NBA fan" options, so you hardcore NBA fans who want a challenge will get that chance. And yes, as hard as it may be to remember, this future Hall of Famer did spend time with the Los Angeles Lakers as he hoped to be the point guard of their dream team. So much for that. Now go answer the question already and stop waiting.
21An important Nets role player and an important NBA citizen
If we said WHY this player is an important NBA citizen, that might spoil a bit too much, but we will say he's been an important voice for minorities of all different groups: ethnic minorities, members of the LGBT+ community, etc. There's a reason so many people are happy that the NBA allows players to have voices and if that wasn't the case, you wouldn't have had people getting to care about the association through this former Nets role player.
22No, don't take a swing at the ref!
Ha, he didn't take a swing at the ref, so you don't have to worry. Although I do hear "Here Comes The Boom" in my head right now because if the player in question did this, Nelly would have definitely included it in a music video. This veteran was on the New York Knicks back when they were adding veterans on cheap contracts to shore up the bench and add another layer to the team. Can you figure out who this was?
23One of the easier questions on here, if not the easiest
Yet another of the ones that even the simplest NBA fan who thinks Stephen Curry is the G.O.A.T and better than LeBron James will get, this longtime San Antonio Spurs star won several NBA titles in Texas. Oh, and he had great quotes like this. "I'm surrounded by nothing but great people. I've been blessed with that, so really, I've got no choice but to be an all-around good person." Who was this awesome big man who's headed to the Hall of Fame?
24A veteran point guard always good for leadership. Coaching? Not so much.
That's not to say we think this former point guard will ever coach again, it's just that his first job turned out pretty bad. You can't go out and fight other active players when you're a coach, even if it's over something as simple as a Basketball Wife. I mean, come on. When you're a coach, you know that you bear at least some responsibility for setting a good example, right? Who was this Oklahoma City Thunder point guard-turned coach?
25A talented Timberwolves big man who couldn't stay healthy
I know what you're thinking: when was this guy ever a star? Don't forget that when Kevin Love was still in Minnesota, there were high expectation for the team and what they could do in large part because of the potential surrounding this foreign big man. Of course, Love was dealt to the Cleveland Cavaliers and this center battled injuries with an ever-changing NBA that left no room for the big men of old. Who was this former T-Wolves center?
26A former All-Star and Spurs fan favorite
While this former All-Star played for many different teams among his many stops (remember when he was with the Milwaukee Bucks?), he was absolutely beloved in San Antonio and welcomed back with heavy applause when he returned near the end of his career. He may have been older at this point, but there was still something left in the tank and fans were happy to see it. By this point, have you figured out which former Popovich protege we're talking about?
27Don't let his final years make you think this ex-Laker was never good
I've said this before and I'll say it again: just because this big man didn't remain on his Hall of Fame path when he signed a big contract does not mean in the slightest he wasn't a good player. In fact, this All-Star remained on that path through the first couple years of said contract before showing signs of age on a Chicago Bulls team led by Tom Thibodeau, who is notoriously known for destroying players' careers early. Who was this former Laker?
28More of a Russian threat than any Call of Duty villian
Don't tell me you don't see a potential Call of Duty villain when you look into those eyes. Is that racist? We don't mean for it to be racist, Russians. You know how Call of Duty could be and NBA fans knew who dangerous (in a good way) this Russian veteran could be on the court. In fact, we may even see him in the Hall of Fame in a few years because of his accolades back in Russia. Who was this?
29Not a star in his final years, but a reliable veteran
See, this former Memphis Grizzlies is the type of player who is a perfect fit for this list: he was a big name player, even a star, in his prime and remained in the league as a veteran player who could still somewhat contribute until he felt he finally reached his final days. It's just too bad that the Grizzlies couldn't win a ring in his time there and give him another one to put on his mantle. Who was this?
30We need more players rocking dreads like his
You can't really see the dreads in this picture, but this former Celtic had some of the best hair in the entire NBA. Yes, I'm a suburban white boy from New York who thinks dreads are cool when done right. Sue me for cultural appropriation or whatever the current trend is. Back to business! This forward played for several teams, including a brief stint on the rebuilding Celtics, and was fairly underappreciated in hindsight. Have you figured out who this is?