Carmelo Anthony, later this month, will begin his 10th NBA season. Let that sink in, if you wouldn't mind.
The man who, with LeBron James, seemed to usher in a modern era of NBA basketball actually entered the National Basketball Association several eras ago. Jason Kidd, who was charged with leading the Dallas Mavericks to a championship alongside Jim Jackson and Jamal Mashburn (and eventually led them to one alongside Tyson Chandler and Dirk Nowitzki), will turn 40 just a month before the playoffs start. Marcus Camby, a groundbreaker in denying John Calipari Final Four credits over a decade and a half ago, will turn 39 around the same time. Chandler, who was once a "Baby Bull," turned 30 on Tuesday. Kurt Thomas, once rumored to retire from the Dallas Mavericks (due to debilitating foot ailments) a year before Mark Cuban even bought the club, is on the bench as an active reserve. Rasheed Wallace will soon follow.
The Knicks are old. How old? Legendarily old, according to a go-to statistical service, as reported by the newspaper designed for very old people, The Wall Street Journal:
Assuming Wallace signs, their top 13 players would be, on average, 32 years and 240 days old—the oldest team in NBA history, according to Stats LLC. No team has ever gotten so much older from one season to the next.
Coincidentally, the 1997-98 Knicks, who got to the conference semifinals, were the NBA's oldest group before this year's team. Jeff Van Gundy, who coached the 1997 club, said he didn't see the long-in-the-tooth 2012 Knicks as troubling.
"They're not counting on their oldest players to be their best ones," the ESPN analyst said. "Plus, Kidd and these other guys love the game. That love won't negate Father Time, because Father Time is undefeated. But it might stave off a year or two."
JVG is accurate in pointing out that New York won't be relying on Camby, Kidd, Wallace and Thomas for big minutes and a giant impact. And though this team might not strike out a championship course this season, it will serve as one of the more fascinating Basketball-Reference.com or DougStats.com pages some years down the line. The sheer number of famous NBA names, even if most of them are well past their prime, will make for some fascinating trivia.
And, hopefully, 50 wins.
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