7 Signs Your Favorite NBA Player Is over the Hill
It's a young man's game, and that makes it all the more impressive when the old guys continue playing at such a high level.
It seems like we're seeing more and more of that too—guys in their late 30s who've made the most of their training staffs and stayed in tip-top shape. We shouldn't be all that surprised. It's not like anyone in the NBA is actually old.
They're just old in NBA years (kind of like "dog years"). And, some of them are deceptively old at that.
The signs of an aging star aren't always obvious. Before his game declines into irrelevance, there are a few tell-tale hints that the end is nigh. Picking up on those hints will help you prepare yourself for the inevitable and replace that denial with some acceptance.
Here are seven unmistakable signs your favorite player is about to start taking advantage of those early bird dinner specials.
He's Going Bald
Brett Deering/Getty Images
Shaved heads are one thing. What Manu Ginobili has going on is something entirely different.
Manu's bald spot would be the most entertaining thing about the man's game were it not for the fact his game is so thoroughly entertaining. And, like everything else about this guy, of course it's entirely endearing.
Should he shave it all off? A comb-over might work, but then again he'd need some industrial strength hairspray to keep it in place while euro-stepping his way to the hoop. And, unlike LeBron (who can disguise a receding hairline with his carefully placed headband), there's not much in the way of headgear that could help in this instance.
If you've ever wondered why guys have a longer shelf life in baseball, this might be the reason.
No, it's not the differing demands placed upon one's athletic ability—it's the hats.
Would hats prolong NBA careers? And if so, what hat fits Manu best? A beanie? A Texas favorite like the sombrero or cowboy hat? Maybe something classy like a top hat?
The possibilities are endless.
His Favorite Show Is Friends
Photo Credit: http://www.remotepatrolled.com/2010/08/friends-the-banned-underwear-commercial/
The 90s were great, weren't they?
That was a trick question.
If you have any opinion on the matter, it means you're either getting old or you've been there for a while. If names like "Chandler" and "Phoebe" mean something special to you, it's even worse: you miss the 90s.
But really, how can you not? Nostalgia for the greatest decade in human history is understandable.
Bill Clinton was raining prosperity upon the masses in our very own Pax Americana, and Michael Jordan was setting an impossibly high bar for NBA greatness. While many of the league's stars spent the decade watching MJ as children, a few were playing alongside him.
Grant Hill was one them, coming into the league in 1994, and he'll turn 40 before the season starts. That makes him officially over the hill.
He Doesn't Dress Like He's in an Indie Band
The kids these days!
Their fashion sense is questionable.
Besides, since when did the NBA become a showcase for bizarre fashion choices? Dennis Rodman was one thing—no one wanted to look like that. But, today's stars treat their clothing choices as a matter of trend.
They've gone too far!
It's time to appreciate the subdued NBA veterans of the world for just saying no. Go formal, go casual—whatever's clever. Just don't go crazy.
Photo Credit: http://2daysports.com/nba-box-score-says-tim-duncan-dnp-because-he-is-old-1265.html
Yes, leave it to San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich to tell it like it is.
He officially listed Tim Duncan as not playing on account of age with a "DNP-OLD" that even showed up in the final box score. Of course, Pop was having a bit of fun with his iconic superstar, but there's more than a little truth in the gesture.
Duncan's minutes have been closely watched over the last couple of years, and he rarely plays in each of back-to-back games.
That hardly means he's washed up. Duncan was as spry as he's looked in years last season, and his ageless talent should ensure San Antonio remains a title contender for at least another year or two.
But, there's no way around the fact that the 36-year-old is in the twilight of his career.
He's Playing for the Lakers
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Remember when everyone wrote off the Boston Celtics from day one last season, citing their age as an insurmountable obstacle?
No one is saying the same about the Los Angeles Lakers, but that could certainly change soon enough. Forget that Kobe Bryant turned 34 last month, and forget that Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace are both 32.
They're relatively young when compared with newly acquired Steve Nash (age 38) and Antawn Jamison (age 36).
Nash will be 39 by the time the playoffs start, and yet, he's kept himself in mighty good shape over the years. Except for some back problems that began to creep up on him last season, Nash really hasn't lost much over the last few years.
The Lakers are hoping that's a sign of things to come.
This roster might not yet qualify for any AARP discounts, but they certainly qualify as one of the most veteran teams we've seen in some time.
His November Vote Will Come Down to Medicare
Photo Credit: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/05/23/romney-obama-tied-among-hispanics-in-florida
In case you missed the memo, we'll be holding a presidential election in November, and one of the principal issues dividing Democrats and Republicans is how to control Medicare costs in the decades ahead.
Medicare, of course, is a government-run program that makes health insurance available to citizens age 65 and older.
You can rest assured no one on the Sacramento Kings is immediately concerned by the outcome, but 39-year-old Kurt Thomas probably should be.
He'll turn 40 on Oct. 4, when he'll no doubt find himself engaged in some heated Medicare debates with 38-year-old New York Knicks teammate Marcus Camby. Add fellow Knick Jason Kidd (age 39) to the fray, and you have yourself a veritable town hall meeting.
Whether the Knicks celebrate a title in the next couple of years, at least we know they'll be having some outstanding retirement parties.
He's Just Not Cool Anymore
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Remember when Ben Wallace had awesome hair?
Well, the 37-year-old apparently grew up, and now he has the same haircut everyone else has. He probably got really into TNT's Men of a Certain Age, ordered a subscription to Men's Health and now spends his afternoons roaming around Home Depot.
Enjoy them while you can. They grow up fast.