The age difference between the NBA’s oldest and youngest players is so vast that someone who grew up playing the Super Nintendo can find themselves on the court alongside someone who grew up playing Fortnite.
You don’t need me to tell you that, you can just look at Wikipedia lists of “oldest NBA players” if you the thought ever strikes you, but this post isn’t going to be about you sourcing your own trivia expeditions, it’s about some public quotes being made that put that age difference into stark relief.
Last week, veteran Mike Conley—who is 35 years old—was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Talking with the press after the move, Conley mentioned the much-vaunted youth of Minnesota’s roster (which is a bit of a myth among fans and the press, the Timberwolves are only the 12th-youngest team in the NBA), and how 21-year-old Anthony Edwards asked him “You play Call of Duty?”
Edwards, a child of the 21st century, plays Call of Duty a lot. Thing is, the series has been running so long that, yeah, Mike Conley has played Call of Duty. He has played a lot of Call of Duty, to the point where he’s done entire interviews about it, like this one with Kicks On Fire in 2016:
Man, my history with Call of Duty goes way back, seriously, since like 2007. Modern Warfare, World At War, I mean all those got me hooked. My rookie year and I was just getting into the league, I had a lot of free time and that was one of things that I got into was playing video games and Call of Duty was one of my favorites and each game that comes out I get it and play it as much as I can before the season gets started.
I think it’s because it’s competitive. It’s another way to keep your competitive juices flowing and that’s something I love to do. You get to team deathmatch and you can have a bad game, you can’t find a way to help your team, but you get to the next game, and it’s like you’re the man and that feeling can carry over (in CoD or in the NBA). It’s easy to pick up and you can learn your way through playing.
He even lists his all-time favourite (at the time, anyway) as being 2008’s Call Of Duty: World At War:
I’d have to go back, was it World At War that first had the dogs attack? The one where you can send out dogs because you had certain killstreak going and you can have dogs chasing people around, I thought that was pretty cool. I’m a dog person and I love German Shepherds so it was cool to see them in the game.
I just think it’s lovely that a 35-year-old man and a 21-year-old can bond over the same video game series. It must be great for team chemistry, and a lot easier than playing for the Lakers, where Lebron is so old he’ll try and get you playing GoldenEye with him: