The Best N.B.A. Season of the Decade? Too Hard to Choose.

The New York Times is reflecting on the past decade in the N.B.A., which has evolved perhaps more than any other major sports league.

The last decade in the N.B.A. had something for everyone. New superstars emerged — Stephen Curry, Kawhi Leonard — and veterans like Ray Allen and Kobe Bryant reminded us all why they were so great. There were heartbreaks (the Spurs) and comebacks (the Cavaliers) and moments fans and players will never forget (“The Block”).

Our writers and editors explained which seasons from the past 10 years were their favorites.

Victor Mather

Senior staff editor and reporter

For incident and excitement, 2011-12. The season started grimly, with a lockout, eventually costing 16 games of the regular season. But the revised 66-game schedule felt fresh and fast, and every game had a little more import. Chris Paul seemed to be headed for the Lakers, only to have the deal vetoed by then-Commissioner David Stern, and he wound up going to the Clippers instead. In February, Jeremy Lin turned into Oscar Robertson for the magical run of Linsanity. In the playoffs, the eighth-seeded 76ers beat the top-seeded Bulls after Chicago’s Derrick Rose injured a knee, and the LeBron James-Dwyane Wade-Chris Bosh Heat won their first title.

Kevin Draper

Sports business reporter

The N.B.A. is at its best when there is a clear top dog but also a number of fun, interesting and credible challengers, and that was never more apparent than in 2012-13.

The Heat had just won a championship with James and were demolishing everything in their path. But the Spurs almost took them down in the finals — and would have, if not for an incredible shot by Allen.

There were so many other fun teams. A plodding, defensive style was still viable, so the Roy Hibbert-led Pacers were designed specifically to stop James, and Tony Allen led the Grit n’ Grind Grizzlies to the Western Conference finals. The post-James Harden Thunder looked unstoppable, until Russell Westbrook needed knee surgery.

It was also a preview of the rest of the decade. The fun-running Warriors upset the Nuggets in the playoffs, and Harden’s Rockets and Carmelo Anthony’s Knicks found success in bombing 3-pointers for fun.

Harvey Araton

Hall of Fame sportswriter

A draw: 2013-14 and 2018-19 with Leonard winding up as the most valuable player of both finals. How Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs recovered from the excruciating 2012-13 seven-game finals defeat at the hands of James and the Heat — by crushing Miami in a rematch — was a historically epic bounce-back. And the one-season rental conditions under which Leonard and the 2018-19 Toronto Raptors brought the Larry O’Brien trophy across a United States border for the first time, Golden State’s injuries notwithstanding, were nothing short of remarkable.

Benjamin Hoffman

Senior staff editor

No season in the decade started as wide open as 2014-15. The Spurs were a force to be reckoned with, but the rest of the league was in question. How would James’s return work in Cleveland? Could the Clippers or Warriors take the leap from fun team to contender? Just how good were the Grizzlies or the Bulls?

The story for much of the year was the shocking improvement of the Atlanta Hawks, who jumped from 38 wins to 60 under Coach Mike Budenholzer and sent four players to the All-Star Game. But Golden State’s reinvention under Coach Steve Kerr proved to have more staying power.

Those Warriors teams are thought of as an unforgiving juggernaut, but that feeling didn’t develop until the second season under Kerr. In 2015, it was still a bunch of people wondering if the whole thing would work. It did.

Marc Stein

Hall of Fame sports reporter

Nothing tops the 2015-16 season from start to finish. I had a front-row seat for a good chunk of Golden State’s insane 24-0 launch to the regular season — all, remember, without the ailing Kerr — and I remain convinced that no team will ever match it. The Cavaliers’ comeback from 3-1 down in the finals, against a Warriors team that had won a record 73 games, was equally historic given the five decades that the city of Cleveland had waited for a major championship. Throw in the 60 points that Kobe Bryant scored in his final N.B.A. game and there is no debate in this category.

Shauntel Lowe

N.B.A. editor

It would have been more difficult for a ’90s kid like me to accept the death of the Bulls’ wins record had it not been so much fun to see the Warriors take it down. Their dominance in the 2015-16 regular season was boring to some, and I get it. Each night you wondered whether they’d win by 30 points or 40, or if Curry would even need to play the second half. But I love that kind of excellence; it’s why it’s so much fun to watch the Lakers combo of James and Anthony Davis now.

Scott Cacciola

Sports reporter

The 2015-16 season had everything: intrigue, entertainment, surprises. Who can forget how the Warriors turned the regular season into performance art? They won their first 24 games by dismantling their opponents and went on to finish 73-9, a record-setting run that most figured would extend into the playoffs.

Golden State even had a 3-1 lead against the Cavaliers in the N.B.A. finals. But Draymond Green got suspended for Game 5, James engineered his usual heroics and Kyrie Irving drained a 3-pointer for the ages in Game 7 to clinch the Cavaliers’ first championship.

“The game always gives back to people that are true to the game,” James said afterward. “I’ve watched it. I know the history of the game, and I was just calm. I was calm.”