The concept of age has been a nightmare to many athletes especially the ones who lead the sports industry. The NBA has not seen many players continue past the age of 37 or 38 depending on their physical health. Such players, good or bad tend to lose their athleticism and strength after years of physical grind which wears their bodies off. Although, few athletes have been able to match their primes when they are older.
For instance, the Los Angeles Lakers are the oldest team in the NBA at the moment with an average reaching 30. They also have LeBron James who very recently turned 37-years old listing him as one of the oldest active players in the league. And paired up with him are Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Deandre Jordon, and Dwight Howard, who are all either 33 or above. Many have blamed their aging roster for the underwhelming season as well.
The LA Lakers make no moves during the trade deadline
To begin with, the franchise made blockbuster signings with Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony during the off-season. But so far, both players have not been of much use for the rotation. Westbrook has been averaging much less than his usual triple-double or career 22 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists. This season is the first time he is averaging less than 20 points since 2009. The player was acquired in a three-way trade as he has one more year left on his contract. The Lakers owe him roughly $41 million (US) for the current and upcoming season. Recently, the franchise and Brodie have shown interest in finding a new team for him.
Carmelo Anthony signed a one-year contract with the Lakers under a veteran’s minimum of two and a half million dollars. Fans were amazed over the fact that Melo finalized a deal at such a low rate. Although his or Lakers’ intentions on him are unclear, this season he has been coming off the bench with decent scoring productivity. They also signed Dwight Howard at the same rate during free agency. He spent a year playing for the Philadelphia 76ers and won a ring with the Lakers previously. The same goes with Deandre Jordan as well who was waived out of rotation from his $2.6 million (US) one-year deal.
Charles Barkley calls the entire LA Lakers roster “cooked”
It is fair to say that the Lakers roster is very predictable when it comes to playing on the court. Setting LeBron James aside since he has one of the best IQs in the game, the rest of their veteran players seemed to have slowed down. We can all agree on Russell Westbrook being awful this season, but Charles Barkley says it’s more than just Mr. Triple-Double who is washed.
In an episode on Inside the NBA, Charles Barkley said, “As a guy who was a great player, when I got old it sucked. They got all them old guys. When all those old guys they’re cooked well done, its over. Dwight’s cooked, Deandre Jordan cooked, Carmelo is cooked.”
Carmelo Anthony has not had a big role in the Lakers, unlike his previous teams. Melo has been a prolific scorer throughout his career but ever since his departure from the New York Knicks, he has never been able to be third to other players. This season he is averaging 13.6 points with 4.1 rebounds and 1 assist per game shooting 44.3% from the field coming off the bench. So for Chuck to call Melo cooked might be a step too far in terms of his role on the squad.