Go ahead and call the San Antonio Spurs old.
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.
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.
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.