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Spurs aren’t old

Jun 1, 2013, 9:30 PM EDT

San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker celebrates after the Spurs eliminated the Memphis Grizzlies to win the NBA Western Conference final playoff basketball series in Memphis

Go ahead and call the San Antonio Spurs old.

-Associated Press

You’ll hear that their pre-game meal has an early-bird special, that their biggest problem in the Finals is that the games are scheduled after their bedtime.

-Phil Taylor of Sports Illustrated

The core of this team appears not to have changed since the Nixon administration. You half expect if you opened Tim Duncan’s passport, you’d find his age listed as 00.

-Lynn Zinser of The New York Times

Don’t believe the narrative. The NBA’s oldest playoff team is not sitting home and waiting for the Finals to begin.

It’s playing the Pacers tonight.

Tim Duncan (37), Manu Ginobili (35) and Tony Parker (31) are old.

The Spurs are not.

They start Kawhi Leonard (21) and Danny Green (25), and Leonard is the third-youngest player to start in these playoffs (behind Evan Fournier and Harrison Barnes). Weighted by minutes played (using Basketball-Reference.com’s ages), the Clippers, Lakers, Knicks, Celtics and Heat have all been older during the postseason than the Spurs.

The Heat are the only team with an average age in the playoffs older than 30.

Playoff teams, especially those that advance deep, tend to be older. The reasons are two-fold. One, it’s rare young players are good enough to win deep into the postseason. Two, veterans near the end their career often sign with contenders and make good teams even older.

But, by those standards, the Spurs’ age is unremarkable. In fact, if their minute distribution holds in the Finals and the win the title, they would be the youngest champion in the last four years.

Save the jokes for Juwan Howard.

  1. brotherlove2012 - Jun 1, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    Talk about debunking a myth.

    • yumafreak - Jun 2, 2013 at 4:31 PM

      This is the reason that the drafting of Tim Duncan looks more and more significant. He was the last college superstar senior to go #1 in 1997 after that it was all early entries, High schoolers or foreigners and it shows now. The NBA did ok with raising the age limit but your still getting a senior in high school technically (anything below a sophomore). It should have been sophomore and higher for the limit. Here is why. Jermaine O’neal, Amare Stoudemire, and countless others since ’95. Lebron has been in the league since 2003 but it feels longer and despite his numbers he will wear down with one swift blow culminating just like Kobe did this year. Slice the numbers any way you like but NBA minutes and seasons are still NBA minutes and seasons. and when you go from HS to the NBA you feel this difference and you either sink or swim. look at Rashard Lewis, he’s not that old (34) but he looks old. This why aside from Parker the Spurs draft age and mentally ready NBA players, and why they play for so long. and in the meantime they can prep for the future with Green, Leonard, Joseph, and Splitter.

  2. savvybynature - Jun 1, 2013 at 9:55 PM

    Even Parker isn’t really old. He’s in his prime. He just seems older because he came to the NBA when he was 19.

    • biasedhomer - Jun 1, 2013 at 11:35 PM

      Well, people call Wade old, he is also 31 years old.

      I’d say 31 is not old, but it means you only have 1 or 2 more years until the age shows on the court.

      • mazblast - Jun 1, 2013 at 11:46 PM

        Dyane Wade isn’t old, but she is worn out. All the energy she’s expended dishing out cheap shots has come back to hurt her.

  3. ProBasketballPundit - Jun 1, 2013 at 10:02 PM

    Let’s go ahead and weigh players age by how many minutes they play. That makes the Spurs much older than the Heat. Boom.

    • fatcamper - Jun 1, 2013 at 10:32 PM

      “Weighted by minutes played (using Basketball-Reference.com’s ages), the Clippers, Lakers, Knicks, Celtics and Heat have all been older during the postseason than the Spurs.”

      What am I missing?

    • savvybynature - Jun 1, 2013 at 10:48 PM

      Second. Worst. Pundit. Ever.

      (Earvin “Magic” Johnson)

    • boomerelite82 - Jun 1, 2013 at 11:53 PM

      Lol Spurs old? Let’s see the Heat has 9 players in there 30’s 5 players in there 20’s and one 40 years old while the Spurs have 4 players in there 30’s 9 players in there 20’s and u call the Spurs old? IDIOT!

  4. johnelwayismydad - Jun 1, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    The Spurs would make the Heat look old of they could ever finish off the Pacers.

  5. jbeagles23 - Jun 1, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    They’re simply considered old cause their 3 oldest players Are old by pro sports definition

  6. ncm42 - Jun 2, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    *their three most important players are…*. Fixed it for you.

  7. funktron2x - Jun 2, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    Duncan and Ginobili are definitely old. But Parker at 31 is clearly in his prime. 31 is old for running backs, but usually still prime years for most other positions in most major sports.

  8. brucster - Jun 2, 2013 at 7:38 AM

    The Spur’s center, Tiago Splitter, is 28….

  9. jacksonkane - Jun 2, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    I love that the Spurs have no significant trade or free agent signing on their roster. Their ability to maintain their core and develop talent around them is truly a model for the NBA.

    With the new CBA heavily penalizing teams who spend like NY and LA have, I think the Spurs will be viewed as even more of a model team.

    Also kudos to Duncan and Ginobili agreeing to less than they could have gotten in FA.

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