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NBA's 'Old Heads' Find Ways to Hold Court

AP Photo

If you've ever played the game past your prime, you know at some depressing point that the only way to stop an athletic young cat from driving past you is by physically grabbing him instead of actually guarding him. This is called pick-up survival, the only way an old head might be able to hold the court until sundown.

That's why I marvel at aging ballplayers getting it done at the highest level -- particularly guys with no lift, no lateral movement and multiple surgeries. They subsist mainly on muscle memory. They represent every 40-plus player at the park trying to repel the new-school kid.

Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce about fit the bill. Derek Fisher (36 this August), Grant Hill (37) and Steve Nash, still dribbling circles around everyone at 36,...

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