You know the feeling. You’ve been there before. It most likely occurred in a pickup game. The oldest man in the gym just schooled you with a move that required Hakeem Olajuwan-esque footwork. He hadn’t done a thing all game but when he saw you were on him he thought one thing: MISMATCH! He throws up the most stiff baby hook and the ball kisses the glass perfectly, drops through the cylinder and everyone in the gym yells “OOOHHHH!!!” You hang your head in shame as the geriatric patient hobbles back on defense. It doesn’t stop there though because now it has gotten personal. You angrily demand the rock on the next possession and when you get it you attack the rim with a full head of steam. Here is where one of two things will surely happen. First, the old man strips you clean and you quit. OR he hacks you, the slap across your arms echoes throughout the gymnasium, and proceeds to claim the ball went out off you. Now everyone in the gym thinks you’re a scrub and affords you zero touches for the rest of the game.
The aforementioned situation occurs in the NBA too, just a little differently. Watch the Lakers play and you’ll see Metta World Peace be anything but peaceful with his assignment. He has his hands on his opponent at all times and if there is a loose ball, RUN. RUN FAST and AWAY from the ball. I promise MWP will be diving recklessly at the ball, and it won’t matter if you already have possession or are standing over top of it. Some call it hustle but let’s be real, it’s dirty. Jason Kidd harasses young, inexperienced guards and forces a lot of turnovers. He has very quick hands and is noticeably stronger than the dude he is guarding. Sometimes NBA players (I’m talking to you Paul Pierce) will get burned badly on a drive and instead of trying to recover, they just grab or shove their assignment. Reggie Evans has had an old man’s game since he was born. He throws elbows constantly but if someone breathes on him he flops across the lane. Last but not least is Tim Duncan. For goodness sakes, his nickname is the “Big Fundamental.” You aren’t given that namesake unless you play old man ball, and he does. Nobody uses the glass anymore except for the old dude at the YMCA and TimmyD. Nothing about Duncan’s game screams “explosive.” He dunks like he doesn’t want to hurt the rim and blocks shots like he doesn’t want to hurt the shooter’s feelings. These guys are obvious old man ballers, but are they starters for the Over 30 All-NBA Squad?
My Over 30 All-NBA Team (Click the player’s name for their BasketballReference.com player page)
PG: Tony Parker (30)
It’s hard to believe Tony Parker is just 30 years old. It’s also hard to believe he blew it with Eva Longoria but back to basketball. There’s always been so much “Tony Parker is Underrated” talk that now he might be a little overrated. He is a very, very good guard but isn’t elite. I know he is an NBA champion and does everything the Spurs ask of him but he has never had that one season where you were just blown away like Derrick Rose in 2010-11, Deron Williams from 2007-11, CP3 every year. Parker started with the Spurs when he was 19 so he will have some nice career point and assist totals when all is said and done.
SG: Kobe Bryant (34)
The Black Mamba has recently decided it would be fun to get a lot of assists and it has been a joy to watch. His team is flourishing with him finally looking to get the all-star talent that surrounds him involved. Kobe can be a maddening player to watch, at times shooting til his arms fall off, but he still has the ability to do once-in-a-generation-talent type stuff. His defense isn’t what it used to be but the fact that he is still an elite scorer, and now passer, keeps him among the best players in the association. Wade was close to being the starter for this group but I respectfully chose the second best shooting guard in NBA history.
SF: Paul Pierce (35)
The Truth is aging worse than Tommy Lee Jones this season but he still can surprise you with some old-school moves. He has long relied on a killer hesitation move to get separation from defenders for jumpers or layups but the move is getting less lethal. The true test will come now that Rondo is done for the season with a torn ACL. This is because PP has made a living coming off screens and catching Rondo’s passes in the perfect spot for easy jumpers. Paul will have to revert to his old days when it wasn’t a problem for him to create his own shot. He, more than any starter for the old man team, needs a sip from the fountain of youth for Boston to have a shot at the playoffs.PF: Tim Duncan (36)
I think Tim Duncan is slow, boring, and I can’t stand how wide his eyes always have to be. That said, I’m not a fool. I firmly believe “the big fundamental” is the best power forward ever. He proves that athleticism, while helpful, isn’t everything. He has every big man move in the book and if hit shot hits the backboard it’s surely dropping through. Duncan and Bryant are STILL the best at their positions today and it is why this team could give the 25-29 All-NBA team a lot of trouble.
C: Tyson Chandler (30)
Chandler finally got the credit he deserved last season by winning Defensive Player of the Year Honors. Two years ago he won an NBA title, his first, with the Dallas Mavericks. Last Summer, he started at center for the Olympic Champions Team USA. Now, he is an NBA All-Star. It is fair to say Tyson was a late bloomer but it took two experienced PGs (Paul and Kidd) to help him progress enough offensively to get him starter minutes. Chandler and Duncan would be a scary mountain to climb for opposing guards coming their way.Second Team:PG: Steve Nash
SG: Dwyane Wade
SF: Andrei Kirilenko
PF: Zach Randolph
C: Anderson Varejao
PG: Jameer Nelson
SG: Joe Johnson
SF: Metta World Peace
PF: Tie between Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Garnett
C: Chris Kaman
In case you missed my other teams:
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