Ranking the NBA's Aging Stars at Quarter-Season Mark

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Ranking the NBA's Aging Stars at Quarter-Season Mark
USA TODAY Sports
Kobe Bryant is having an MVP season at age 34

The NBA may seem like a young man's game, but don't let the numbers fool you. The "old guys" can still play, and there's a handful who are playing instrumental roles in the success of their teams this season.

One-quarter of the way through the regular season, there are a number of older stars who continue to put up great numbers. Some are simply mind-blowing in scope, given the fact they are playing big minutes and shooting the ball as well or better than at any time in their career.

In a league where the average age is 27 and young teams like Oklahoma City are tearing it up with the likes of three-time scoring champ Kevin Durant and point guard Russell Westbrook, there are also early-season surprises like the New York Knicks.

The veteran Knicks are 9-0 at Madison Square Garden and 17-5 overall with a team featuring a mix of former champions, youth and geriatrics. The Knicks are proving that speed is not necessarily a factor in running an up-tempo offense—it's more about precision passing and hitting open shots.

Likewise, the San Antonio Spurs continue to be a contender despite the fact that Tim Duncan is 36, Manu Ginobili is 35 and Tony Parker is 30.

Just look at some of the teams that have started fast, and you'll find clubs that are not necessarily fast on the court—and players that are north of 30 who are still producing on a big stage.

A few NBA old-timers are off to sluggish starts, but most of them are as good as at any time in their long careers. 

Over the course of 82 games, some of these stars may fade in the midst of a grueling pace, while some will come on even stronger as the playoffs loom and their windows of opportunity shrink with each game.

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