With an average player age of 25.5 years old, the Milwaukee Bucks are the seventh-youngest team in the NBA and that is despite featuring guard Jason Terry, who at 39 years and 85 days old is the third-oldest active player in the league. Only Vince Carter (39 years, 318 days) and Manu Ginobli (39 years, 134 days) are older.
Terry made his professional debut in 1999, just one year after Wizards head coach Scott Brooks, 51, played his final NBA game as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Now 18 NBA seasons later, Terry is still logging 17.4 minutes a night for the 11-10 Bucks, who visit the Wizards on Saturday night (6:30 p.m. on CSN).
"For being a smaller guard, that's really incredible. That guy, his career should be celebrated," Brooks said.
"That's amazing. That's amazing to see a guy like that in this league still getting after it. He's an O.G.-vet," 23-year-old forward Otto Porter said.
"He's an OG, man. All the respect to him," 21-year-old forward Kelly Oubre, Jr. said. "J.R. [Smith] showed his respect when he was in the game and he went to go shake his hand. Everybody likes to show respect to the guys who have been doing it in this league longer than us. So, it's nothing but love over here."
Oubre was referring to Smith's infamous lapse in focus in a November game against the Cavaliers when he allowed an easy basket because he was out of bounds embracing Terry on the Bucks' bench. The Wizards won't go that far to show their respect for Terry, but they are impressed with the longevity he has created for himself in the NBA.
"It's a testament of his commitment to prepare every day," Brooks said. "It doesn't happen just because a player wants to stay in this league for a long time. You have to prepare every single day. Every day is a work day. Knowing players that played with him and coaches that coached him, he does his job every day. It's a full-time job to be an NBA player. You just don't practice for an hour-and-a-half. You have to get in early, you have to stay after. You have to upkeep your body and put good stuff in your body. You have to train all summer long."
John Wall, 26, says he has learned a lot about maintaing his body through his seven NBA seasons. The process has changed since he was a rookie back in 2010.
"Massages, sleep and eat healthy. It's all the little things," Wall explained. "You have to change your diet as you start to get older because the stuff you can eat when you're young you can't when you're older because it takes a longer time to lose weight and get it off of you."
Wall and his teammates would like to stick around as long as Terry has. But they know it's not easy to do.
"I'm pretty sure everybody would love to be in the league that long, but only a few have the opportunity," Porter said.
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