A random look at NBA champions’ rosters, counting up players age 30 or older

Celtics Hall of Fame guard Bob Cousy, circa 1950s, was Boston's second-oldest player on its 1958-59 championship team. PUBLIC DOMAIN

It’s interesting to compare the makeup of NBA team rosters from different eras.

But going through entire seasons or decades of rosters can take a lot of time, so a quicker exercise was conducted on Monday.

The decision was made to glance at the rosters of NBA championship teams from each of the seasons ending in a “9.” Yes, it’s random, but it encompasses a broad mix of teams and eras.

In short, the goal was to quickly see what teams looked like 10 years apart — and since the league’s earliest years.

The key question: Were they relying more on guys from the Over-30 Club? Or were title-winning squads using more younger players? (The eventual switch to a 15-man roster, of course, gave teams added depth.)

Roster ages are listed entering each season, according to basketball-reference.com.

For this dispatch, playoff rosters were examined. This invaluable website provides information on everybody who has ever played in the NBA Finals. Very cool.

Let’s start with the 2008-09 champions and worked our way back to the 1948-49 winners.

2008-09 Los Angeles Lakers (2)

Derek Fisher – 34
Kobe Bryant – 30

1998-99 San Antonio Spurs (8; lockout-shortened season)

Jerome Kersey – 36
Mario Elie – 35
Will Perdue – 33
Steve Kerr – 33
David Robinson – 33
Avery Johnson – 33
Jeron Johnson – 31
Sean Elliot – 30

Watch the conclusion of the Spurs’ first title: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cqQtAN51vM

1988-89 Detroit Pistons (5)

James Edwards – 33
Vinnie “The Microwave” Johnson – 32
John Long – 32
Bill Laimbeer – 31
Rick Mahorn – 30

1978-79 Seattle SuperSonics (5)

Paul Silas – 35
Dick Snyder – 34
John Johnson – 31
Fred Brown – 30
Dennis Awtrey – 30

1968-69 Boston Celtics (5)

Sam Jones – 35
Bill Russell – 34
Bailey Howell – 32
Tom “Satch” Sanders – 30
Em Bryant – 30

1958-59 Boston Celtics (2)

Bill Sharman – 32
Bob Cousy – 30

1948-49 Minneapolis Lakers (1)

Herm Schaefer – 30
Note: All-time great George Mikan, 24 years old at the outset of the season, averaged 30.3 points per game in the playoffs.

This year’s championship series

The two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors, who are making their first NBA Finals appearance starting Thursday, both receive valuable contributions from several players in their 30s.

Kawhi Leonard, Toronto’s key player, turns 28 on June 29.

Warriors (6)

Andre Iguodala – 35
Andrew Bogut – 34
Shaun Livingston – 33
Jonas Jerebko – 31
Stephen Curry – 30
Kevin Durant – 30

Raptors (5)

Marc Gasol – 34
Kyle Lowry – 32
Danny Green – 31
Jodie Meeks – 31
Jeremy Lin – 30
Note: center Serge Ibaka, who turns 30 in September, was the team’s third-leading scorer (15.0 ppg) and top rebounder (8.1) in the regular season.