clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Long Life of Point Guards

Jason Kidd will turn 33 next month and there is talk that he has lost a step or that he has suddenly gotten old. But even if he has--and his teammates are adamant that he hasn't--there is little historical data to suggest that even aged point guards are a liability.

In fact, a majority of championship contenders over the past decade have had a point guard over the age of 30. And Jason Kidd is not just any point guard. As Dave D'Alessandro suggested in his blog not long ago, Kidd is one of the six best point guards in NBA history, right up there with Hall of Famers like Magic Johnson, John Stockton and Bob Cousy. He is not likely to fade away. After all, Stockton started 442 consecutive games after the age of 34--and knee surgery--and went to the finals at both 35 and 36. Kidd has started 126 consecutive games after the age of 31--and knee surgery and went to the finals at both 29 and 30.

Here's the data:

--Fifteen NBA champions since 1960, one out of every three, had starting point guards over the age of 30, including several who have wound up with multiple rings.

Bob Cousy won four rings, at 32, 33, 34, and 35 all with the Celtics.

Ron Harper won four rings, at 32, 33, 34, and 36 with the Bulls and Lakers.

Avery Johnson won a ring at 34 with the Spurs.

Kenny Smith won a ring at 30 with the Rockets.

Dennis Johnson won a ring at 32 with the Celtics.

Nate Archibald won a ring at 32 with the Celtics.

Jerry West won a ring at 33 with the Lakers.

Oscar Robertson won a ring at 32 with the Bucks.

Hal Greer won a ring at 32 with the Sixers.

In fact, the three teams generally conceded to the best of all time: the 1966-67 Sixers, the 1971-72 Lakers, and the 1995-96 Bulls all started 30+ point guards...Greer, West and Harper respectively.

Moreover, starting point guards in the NBA Finals are often 30+. Nine of the 20 starting point guards in the NBA over the past decade have been 30+ and five have been older 34 or older.

It's a long haul, but often it ends with a ring as well as a retirement gift.