The NBA’s youth resurgence has been well-documented and is a prime reason why David Stern’s baby is the entity that it is. But the league didn’t begin in 2003; this list is dedicated to the more tenured members of the association. Players who look and play like you’d expect a group of 35+-year-olds to look and play.
Ed. Note: For clarification, all the players listed are at least 35 years of age and have at least 10 years of NBA experience.
Steve Nash, Los Angeles Lakers
Nash still gets it done at an incredibly high level – even though he’s missed a large chunk of the season due to injury, his elite play-making ability remains intact. His 8.3 assists per game are the sixth-best mark in the NBA and he’s shooting the ball at an incredible rate of .548/.421/1.000. You read that correctly: he’s yet to miss a free throw this season.
Ray Allen, Miami Heat
The Baby Face Assassin became Old Man 3 Ball: going down as one of the game’s best shooters. Some prefer calling him Judas Shuttlesworth what with him skipping Boston for a title chase on Souf Beach.
The wily small forward with a funny nose has been a thorn in the side of defenders ever since he touched down in the league. It didn’t take long for the Argentinean international to shed his unknown status and his patented Euro step is as fresh as it’s ever been.
Andre Miller, Denver Nuggets
A young Andre Miller would never have been mistaken for Derrick Rose or John Wall; he was a step slower than most NBA guards even as a rookie. But great court vision (his career assists per game: 7.1) and smart shot selection have allowed him to stay in the league for 15 seasons: thriving in starting and backup roles.
Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics
From his doughy physique to his obnoxiously effective jump shot he loves to pull with defenders draped over him) Paul Pierce is ‘that dude’ who doesn’t look like he should get buckets, but does anyways.
Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
The Big Fundamental looked and played the part of a 40-year-old since he entered the league. There’s nothing sexy about his style of play but that won’t stop Father Time Duncan from going down as the greatest power forward ever.
Kevin Garnett couldn’t care less if you or any player hated him. The future hall of famer is quick to show youngin’s a thing or two about playing ball and get under their skin. Then again he’s also quick to bark when it’s convenient…or literally bark, which is pretty weird.
Jerry Stackouse, Brooklyn Nets
Jerry’s FILAdelphia hops are long gone but he’s still going strong as a reserve in Brooklyn. Greg Anthony referred to Uncle Jerry as a 33-year NBA veteran as an analyst on the YES Network. Anthony’s not far off the mark.
Grant Hill, Los Angeles Clippers
For a minute, it looked like Grant Hill wouldn’t play past 30. But the former Blue Devil’s career took a turn for the better, allowing him to play well into his 30’s with Orlando and Phoenix. Now a member of the Clippers, he hasn’t played this season. Considering how he looked last time we saw him as a Sun, he should hit the ground running on his return.
The New York Knicks (Marcus Camby, Jason Kidd, Kurt Thomas, Rasheed Wallace)
Seasons: Way too many combined
The Knickerbockers give substantial playing time to the quartet of Kidd, Thomas, Marcus Camby and Rasheed Wallace – and against all odds, the formula appears to be working. The Knicks are the second-best team in the East and Kidd in particular is thriving as the team’s veteran leader.
- Geek & Sci-Fi