fishercob wrote:I know Kev has cited multiple studies about players starting to decline in their early 30's. I wonder if that decline applies evenly to offensive and defensive production. Could Okafor and Nene start to decline on O but remain elite on D for a few years? It's probably academic because you need to be good on both sides of the ball to win. Just curious.
If anything, my guess is that it's the other way around. Defense declines before offense. Most 36-year-old geezers remain in the game because they can still get it done offensively (Steve Nash, John Stockton, Karl Malone, Kareem, Reggie Miller). Nobody is hanging onto these guys to be the teams' defensive stopper.
Hmmm. The more I think about it, the more I think that it just varies based on the style of the player. Guys that play defense through length, strength and guile (think Kurt Thomas, Tim Duncan or Dikembe Mutombo) can play good D well into their advanced years. Guys that depend on athleticism to defend (Josh Smith, Michael Finley) are unlikely to have careers that extend past the mid-30's. Likewise, on offense, guys who depend on athleticism to score (Iverson, Arenas, Stoudemire) don't play well in their 30's. Guys that score with skill (Malone, Nowitzki, Jordan) age just fine.