NBA: Steve Nash And The Rest Of The Top 10 Over 35
In the NBA, there are some elder statesman who manage to hold onto their skill and athleticism longer than others.
By 36, most NBA players will start to decline significantly, if they have not already done so. But every now and then, there are those guys who keep what many lose.
These are the top 10 (active) NBA players that are 36 or older.
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At 36 years of age, Antonio McDyess hasn't been an offensive force since his time in Denver, but he remains a decent rebounder. This year, McDyess is averaging five points and five rebounds in 18 minutes, which all adds up to make McDyess a 10 and 10 player per 36 minutes.
If nothing else, McDyess is still helpful to the Spurs.
Some might disagree with this pick. But although Howard may not be putting up numbers like he did in his hay-day, he is still a good defender, a crafty vet and he knows how to get under his opponent's skin.
The 37-year-old signed with the Heat this past offseason and is only playing just over 10 minutes a game for them. Howard is a sneaky defender and can get into the heads of the league's younger players.
In my opinion, 38-year-old Kurt Thomas was never more than a solid big man. Thomas is averaging five, six and one with one block in little more than 20 minutes this year filling in for Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer. But as a big man, he has remained in the league late into his 30's, which is not a feat to be scoffed at.
Ben Wallace, 36, was never a scorer, never much of an offensive threat. But he was once renowned as the premier post defender in the league.
At the height of his career, in his first stint with the Detroit Pistons, Wallace was averaging just seven points, with a staggering 15 boards and three blocks a game.
Wallace is certainly declining, but still gets seven rebounds, one steal and one block in 23 minutes per for the Pistons.
The 36-year-old Derek Fisher has never been a statistics-based player, never averaging more than 13.3 points and 4.4 assists. Fisher's stats do not reflect him much as a player.
Although never leading the league in any stat (besides a multi-way tie for games played, 82), Derek Fisher, having won five NBA championships, is a winner.
Yes, I know, he won them all at Kobe's side (and some at Shaq's side as well). But no matter who your teammates are, winning five NBA titles is no easy task.
Fisher is still a successful player for the Lakers and I'm not going to give his stats because I don't think they paint a good picture of the player Derek Fisher really is.
Marcus Camby, 37 years of age, has always been known as one of the best defenders in the game. He's lead the league in shots blocked four times.
For the Trail Blazers this year, Camby is averaging 6 and 11 with two blocks in 29 minutes. He is craftier than ever, a great defender and a very good rebounder, still doing well for the Portland Trail Blazers.
Less than 30 days from his 39th birthday, "the Diesel," who has lead the league in scoring twice, is now somewhat of a role player for the Celtics. He has started 36 games this year, but is a fourth or fifth option for Boston.
This year, Shaq is averaging nine and five with one block in 20 minutes for Boston.
O'Neal is the oldest active player in the NBA and at 7'1" and 325 lbs, very few people expected Shaq to still be in the league, not to mention still be mostly healthy and playing rotation minutes for a very good team.
Grant Hill, 38, was averaging 26 ppg for the Detroit Pistons in the 1999-2000 season. Over his next three seasons combined, Hill played just 47 games.
What could have been a stellar career, derailed by injuries.
But Hill has found the fountain of youth in Phoenix, as he is averaging 14 points and five rebounds per game for the Suns. Hill is also staying healthy for Phoenix.
Hill is known as one of the most professional guys in the league and it's nice to see him making up for the lost time he spent sidelined by injuries.
One of the best point guards in NBA history, Jason Kidd will be 38 this year. Kidd has always been known as a good teammate and a great passer. Kidd has come very close to averaging a triple-double in many of his 16 seasons in the league. Not to mention he is third all-time for three-point field goals.
Although Kidd has never won an NBA title, he is almost certain to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
He is currently playing for the Dallas Mavericks, where his career began. He is averaging eight points and eight assists with five rebounds this year.
Jason Kidd is still a productive player and a very good point guard.
Finally, we have Steve Nash. Nash will turn 37 on Monday, yet his current numbers are on par with the best years of his career.
Nash is known as one of (if not the) best passers in the league. He has always been difficult to defend because he is one of the most willing passers in the history of league, and he will still hit a three right in his defender's face.
Having lost Amar'e Stoudemire to free agency, the Suns are not doing very well this year. But Nash continues to rack up assists and shoot the lights out. This year Nash is averaging 17 points and 11 assists while shooting 52.5 percent from the field, 91.7 percent from the free throw line and 41 percent from three.
Steve Nash has not slowed down one bit and still continues to be one of the best passers of all time, as well as one of the best shooters in the history of the league.