If the 2013 NBA Finals are any indication, the league's old-timers aren't quite ready to cede their throne to the next generation of superstars just yet.
The San Antonio Spurs' 30-something trio of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker put the scare of a lifetime into the Miami Heat's Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in the 2013 Finals. The Spurs literally had the Heat on the ropes until Ray Allen rescued them in Game 6 with one of the most unbelievably clutch shots in NBA history.
The Spurs weren't the only team in the Finals to heavily rely upon players above the age of 30. Wade (31) and Allen (37) made the most notable contributions, but Mike Miller (33), Shane Battier (34) and Chris "Birdman" Andersen (34) all stepped up when it mattered most, too.
While there's no shortage of superstar power among the 25-and-under group—take Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, for example—the old dogs still have a few more lessons to impart upon the youngsters before heading out to greener pastures.
Here, I've ranked the league's best players above the age of 30 based on four key factors: PER, win shares, offensive rating and defensive rating. Each statistic captures a different aspect of a player's performance, so it ensures that defensive specialists, for instance, don't get short shrift.
I took the three-year average of all four statistics (from 2010-11 through 2012-13), ranked each player 1-30 based on each factor, then averaged all four ranks together to generate the final rankings. Keep that formula in mind as you wonder why your favorite player isn't the No. 1-ranked player here.
Note: The values for PER and win shares come from Basketball-Reference. The values for offensive rating and defensive rating come from NBA.com/stats. All statistics are current through the 2012-13 season.