Grant Hill is finally the oldest player in the NBA

USA TODAY Sports

It took 40 years and a Kurt Thomas foot injury, but as of today, Grant Hill is the oldest active player in the NBA. Well played, sir. Well played.

Since Shaquille O'Neal's retirement a couple of seasons ago, Grant Hill has been the second oldest player in the NBA. Kurt Thomas, born October 4 1972, is a day older than Hill, who was born October 5. And would you believe that both Hill and Thomas were born in Dallas? Hill is of course the son of Dallas Cowboys running back Calvin Hill; Thomas was born and bred in the metroplex, attending High School in Dallas and playing his college ball at TCU in Fort Worth (go Horned Frogs!).

Thomas had seemed to be on his last legs as an NBA player for years. The gut he was carrying around this season in New York certainly didn't say "professional athlete" to me at any rate. Meanwhile, until this season Hill was going strong, starting 46 games for the Suns last season. When Hill signed a two year contract with the Clippers, it seemed clear that he would soon achieve the (dubious?) honor of being the NBA's oldest player.

However, after being traded from Portland to New York as a throw in from the Raymond Felton deal, Thomas made the Knicks (where, it must be said, he was just a slightly older brother and not a grandfather around the likes of Jason Kidd and Rasheed Wallace). With Hill suffering through an injury-plagued season in L.A. and talking openly of retirement, suddenly it seemed as if he would not ever be the oldest player. Kurt Thomas and that one fall day in the Nixon administration would always be in the way.

Until today. Thomas needs surgery on his foot and will be out for the season. The Knicks, in need of a roster spot with most of their bigs currently banged up, waived him today to make room for former Clipper Solomon Jones. Which means that for the final six days of the NBA season and all of the playoffs, Grant Hill will be the oldest active player in the NBA.

So show some respect.

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