Old? Yes, the Spurs definitely are that. Too old? They don’t think so.
As Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili drag their mid-30s bodies into an NBA Finals matchup with LeBron James and the Heat, much of the story has revolved around the Spurs players’ ages. Duncan is 37. Ginobili is 35. Tony Parker just turned 31 less than a month ago, although he feels older because he came into the league at 11. (Actually, he was 19.)
The Heat actually have the older average “effective” age, though, and that is not just because veterans like Ray Allen, 37, and Juwan Howard, 39, pull Miami’s mean upward. Effective age is weighted by minutes played, which means 34-year-old Shane Battier gets counted against the Heat more than 30-year-old Joel Anthony. Once again, Anthony fails to come through for the Heat.
But the image of the Spurs as graybeards sticks, and at least one Spur has no problem with that.
“We’ve been old for probably eight years now,” Ginobili said, according to Reuters. “I remember, in 2007, our last championship, they were saying that we were old, and it’s all right. I guess we are. But we play well, we play together and every year we are out there contending. That’s a great thing.”
For what it’s worth, the Heat would be the sixth-oldest NBA champion of all time if they oust the Spurs, according to The Painted Area. It’s not clear how the Heat feel about being so old.