A mixed history of 37-year-old big men

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Kelly at Brooklyn Fans takes a different look at the question, what does Kevin Garnett have left? He looks at how Hall of Fame bigs have performed at 37, from Robert Parrish to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Moses (and Karl) Malone.

Kelly notes that no active player has logged as many minutes as KG. Ray Allen is next, 3,393 minutes behind. He is also 11th all-time in games played and could vault to sixth this season, catching up with his coach, who did win a championship at age 38.

Of the five 37-year-olds Kelly looks at, Kareem had the best year.

"At age 37 he finished 4th in MVP voting, was voted to the ALL NBA 2nd team, won a championship and was named the Finals MVP. In his 19th season he made the All-Star team and won another championship."

Not far behind was Karl Malone.

At age 37 Karl Malone was showing no signs of slowing down. The numbers are amazing (81 games, 35.7 minutes, 23.2 points, 8.3 rebounds). Malone’s 19th and final season ended with a knee injury on this play.

The other superstar Malone, Moses, is a cautionary tale, however.

In his 18th season, at age 36, Moses played in all 82 games averaging 30.6 minutes, 15.6 points and 9.1 rebounds. His 19th season didn’t begin until late March on account of back surgery. Back surgery! He was never the same.

His assessment: "while dudes are perfectly capable of performing well at age 37, the 19th NBA season can be a vulnerable year." How relevant? We are about to find out.

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