Greatest teams of the decade
1. Los Angeles Lakers
Led by Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal in the early part of the decade, the Lakers won a total of four NBA titles. The Shaq and Kobe combo won in 2000, 2001 and 2002 and then Kobe finished things off on his own, winning another trophy for Hollywood in 2009.
2. New England Patriots
The Patriots were the dominant team in the NFL, winning three Super Bowls with head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady (2001, 2003, 2004). In 2007 New England had a perfect season going before losing in the final minutes to the Giants in the Super Bowl, which likely cost the Pats from becoming the top team of the decade.
3. UConn Huskies - Women's basketball
Starting in 2000, women's basketball has been ruled by the Connecticut Huskies. The UConn ladies won five of their six national championships during this time led by head coach Geno Auriemma (2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2009). Diana Taurasi was a key member of three of them, including the 39-0 team in 2001-2002 which many consider to be one of the greatest teams in sports history.
4. Boston Red Sox
In 2004 the Red Sox finally won their first World Series since 1918. They soon followed it up with another title in 2007. In all they made the playoffs six times in the decade, but 2004 was special. Rallying from a 3-0 deficit in the ALCS to defeat the hated Yankees, the first time it ever happened in MLB history, it couldn't have worked out any better for Boston.
5. New York Yankees
The Yankees started and ended the decade with World Series victories and made the postseason in every year except 2008, including eight division titles. A lot of changes happened in between titles though as George Steinbrenner and Joe Torre were at the forefront in 2000, while only a few key players remained were still around for the 2009 title.
6. Florida Gators - Football
The Gators didn't start out the decade great, but once Urban Meyer took over as coach in 2005, they've been virtually unstoppable. Florida won national titles in 2006 and 2008, led by QB Tim Tebow.
7. Detroit Red Wings
Really no question which NHL team reigned this decade. Detroit won two Stanley Cups (2001-02 and 2007-08), plus three conference championships and eight division championships.
8. San Antonio Spurs
Not flashy like the Lakers, but the Spurs won three titles of their own this decade (2003, 2005, 2007), led by soft-spoken Tim Duncan. San Antonio also won six division titles during this time.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers had been quiet since winning their fourth Super Bowl title in 1979, but that changed in 2005 and they followed it up with another one in 2008. In all, Pittsburgh finished the decade with two Super Bowls and five division titles.
10. North Carolina - Men's basketball
The Tar Heels cut down the nets in 2005 and 2009 after Roy Williams took control in 2003. They also made four Final Fours in the decade, tied for the most among men's schools.