Date
22 September 2017
Leonard Kawhi (center), the youngest Spur at 22, was crowned MVP after San Antonio’s 4-1 demolition of the Heat in this year’s finals. Photo: Reuters
Leonard Kawhi (center), the youngest Spur at 22, was crowned MVP after San Antonio’s 4-1 demolition of the Heat in this year’s finals. Photo: Reuters

NBA carbon dating: Old is as old does

They’re the best NBA teams the past couple of seasons and each has won the championship in those two years.

But you couldn’t tell that from their rosters. The San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat have creaking player infrastructure. They’re two of the oldest teams in the league.

When Canadian schoolteacher James Naismith invented basketball at the turn of the last century, he meant it to be played by young men to give them something to do during the long winter lull and keep them out of trouble.

On that score, the NBA is borderline young. The average age of an NBA player is 26 years and 11 months.

But the Spurs are aged and the Heat ancient (okay, maybe a little older) at 29.5 and 30.3 years old, respectively.

Who would have thought that the Heat’s Le Bron James (29) is getting on and Chris Bosh (30) is more than a little worse for wear?

Or that San Antonio’s Tim Duncan is an elder statesman at 38 and Manu Ginobili is a just shade his junior at 36?

So when Leonard Kawhi, the youngest Spur at 22, starred in San Antonio’s 4-1 demolition of the Heat in this year’s finals, he blew in like a fresh wind.

He was eight years old growing up in a small southern California town when the Spurs won their first NBA championship.

When the Spurs were anointed a fifth time on Sunday, Kawhi came to his own coronation as MVP of the finals.

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CG

EJ Insight contributor

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