I think everyone outside of the five boroughs has had a good laugh at the Knicks roster being the oldest team in the history of the NBA, with five guys on the bench over age 35. Actually, make that four boroughs, because Brooklyn thought it was pretty funny, too.
Problem is, it’s not really true.
Oh, the Knicks aren’t really young, but the fine folks at Harvard Sports Analysis — those are really smart people from Harvard slumming doing sports number crunching — decided to weight the age of players by minutes played and that made things look better.
The core of the Knicks’ rotation is actually fairly young. Amare Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, Ray Felton, Ronnie Brewer, and Tyson Chandler are all between 27 and 30. Thus, the Knicks’ minutes-weighted age is far below their average age. Even if you assign Jason Kidd starter minutes at the expense of Felton’s playing time, and give Sheed more minutes from Amare, the minutes-weighted age does not come close to the Jazz’s mark of 32.
The oldest team by weighted age is the 2001 Utah Jazz, which had a 37-year-old Karl Malone and a 38-year-old John Stockton, plus 35-year-old John Starks getting a lot of minutes. Their weighted age average was 32. They got bounced in the first round of the playoffs.
This years Knicks are expected to be 30.9 by Harvard’s estimation (which comes with some estimations of minutes played we don’t know yet).
Still, the Knicks are not historically old. That, however, doesn’t make them young and spry. Or answer questions about how much the bench can really give.