The average NBA player is getting older.
Okay, that sounds stupid. Of course the average NBA player is getting older. Everyone is getting older, simply by virtue of the natural passage of time.
What I meant to say is, as of the 2007-08 "Mr. Average" survey, the average age of NBA players was on the rise again, following a relatively steep drop during the height of the preps-to-pros era.
That rebound in player age makes sense. High school kids are no longer allowed to jump straight into the NBA draft. Instead, the league's "one-and-done" rule has forced even the very best prospects to wait a year after the graduation of their high school class before they can throw their hats into the proverbial ring.
But this change in the rules doesn't account for the attendant uptick in average player experience in the NBA. Guys are playing longer and longer now, and not just because they are still starting their pro careers at young ages.
Across-the-board advances in science and technology have appeared in the field of sports medicine, allowing the world's best athletes, many of whom play basketball, to have access to cutting-edge diets, training techniques and medical treatments. These not only prolong their careers but maintain the quality of the ball played therein.
It's no wonder, then, that we've been witness to such remarkable play from stars in their mid-to-late 30s in recent years. The 2013-14 season has been no exception, even with Kevin Garnett looking like a shell of his former self and Kobe Bryant having played in just six games due to Achilles and knee injuries. Even with those declines in mind, you could field a pretty darn good team comprised only of veterans aged 35 or older.
And, well, we did. Click through to see who we picked!