Warriors coach Steve Kerr knows a thing or two about playing into his late 30s, as he concluded his playing career as a sharpshooter off the bench in the 2002-03 season, winning an NBA championship with the San Antonio Spurs as a 37-year-old.
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, at 36, is averaging 25.7 points, 8.2 rebounds and 7.9 assists per game. The latter two marks are higher than his career averages, and he's only averaging 1.3 fewer points per game than he has in his career. All in the 18th season of his career.
Ahead of the Warriors' second game against the Lakers this season, Kerr said Sunday he can no longer be surprised by James making the ridiculous look routine in his late 30s.
"He's a little like Tom Brady," Kerr said of James in his pregame video conference with reporters. "Like at some point, you gotta slow down. But he doesn't seem to slow down. Maybe it will surprise me when he does slow down."
As James continues to defy aging curves and Father Time, the Warriors hope two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry can do the same. Curry, two weeks away from his 33rd birthday, has shown no signs of slowing down.
The three-time NBA champion is averaging 29.9 points, 6.3 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game, shooting 50.4 percent from the field, 41.5 percent on 3-pointers and a career-best 94.1 percent from the free-throw line. Curry's numbers are on par with his unanimous MVP season in 2015-16, all with a lesser supporting cast than that season's 73-win Warriors.
Kerr said it's not easy to predict whether or not Curry can extend his prime like James, but he knows that Curry has the necessary work ethic.
"Everybody's different," Kerr explained. "The one thing I do know with Steph is that he will extend it for as long as his body is physically capable because he works like crazy all summer, and he loves the game. If you're constantly working at it and you're smart about the way you take care of yourself, then you're going to extend your career. Steph will definitely do a good job of that, but who knows what that means for his prime?"
Curry and James first faced off in the NBA Finals six years ago, with both players square in the middle of what we thought were their primes. After all these years, it doesn't look like either player is going to decline anytime soon.