NBA Veterans We Never Thought Would Be Around in 2012

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NBA Veterans We Never Thought Would Be Around in 2012
Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Rasheed Wallace is back, baby! Ball don't lie.

The NBA is a pretty good league in which to enjoy a long career. Just ask Blake Griffin, who advises his younger self in this television commercial.

With constant improvements in modern medicine, players are sticking around for longer than presumed these days. But with developments in training and sports science, the youngsters are in even better shape than in years past, forcing the senior citizens to stay fit to keep their roster spots.

Back in the day, any old man could shuffle onto the court as long as he could knock down a jump shot. Nat Hickey of the Providence Steamrollers played a game in 1948 when he was just two days shy of his 46th birthday. 

More recently, 44-year-old Kevin Willis suited up for the Dallas Mavericks in 2007, snatching a few old-man accolades from Robert Parish in the process. Parish was 43 years old when he played in the 1996-97 season, helping him establish the record for most games played (1,611) in NBA history.

Today's oldest hoop stars have a few years yet to catch up with Willis and Parish, but there are several players that come to mind when one thinks of ageless wonders in the Association. 

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