Coaching and entrepreneurial endeavors aren't on the agenda for Kurt Thomas and Grant Hill. Maybe in another 40 years.
Thomas is too busy starting for the New York Knicks amid a rash of injuries to younger teammates.
Hill isn't slowing down, though the veteran Clippers forward did stop Knicks star Carmelo Anthony last month in a signature defensive performance.
While it may seem like a blast from the past when the NBA's two oldest players converge Sunday at Staples Center, it will actually be a study in current events.
Thomas, who is one day older than Hill, has become very relevant to the Knicks' playoff hopes with Anthony and Tyson Chandler hobbled and fellow big men Amare Stoudemire and Rasheed Wallace sidelined indefinitely.
Hill is part of one of the best benches in the NBA, capable of locking down a top scorer while knocking down a couple of shots. His twentysomething teammates call him "young fella." He fires back by calling them "the vets."
"We have a good time with it," Hill said. "This team, this locker room is all about having fun with one another and certainly they get on me from time to time about my age."
A seven-time All-Star and former co-rookie of the year who has persevered though one injury after another, Hill remains widely recognized wherever he goes.
Thomas seemed shrouded in relative anonymity Saturday afternoon on the walk from practice at the old UCLA men's gym to the team bus. The power forward pulled the hood of a black jacket over his head and kept going while eager bystanders asked teammates J.R. Smith, Raymond Felton and Marcus Camby to stop for pictures and autographs.
Merely remaining active gives Thomas one distinction Hill can't match, if only by 24 hours.
Said Thomas: "He's definitely glad I'm still in the league so he's not the oldest man in the NBA."
Said Hill: "I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing."
Being 40 in a league that includes players less than half that age can be a maddening thing. Hill has to make a conscious effort to get adequate rest during the season because he has more difficulty napping than he did only a few years ago. Thomas has found bouncing back from games and practices more of a challenge than it was earlier in his career.
At least Thomas can look around the locker room and exchange knowing glances with teammates who feel his pain. The Knicks are the oldest team in league history, with Jason Kidd (39), Wallace (38) and Camby (38) also closer to AARP status than their NCAA days.
Thomas and Hill trudge on despite being written off more frequently than charitable donations.
A columnist for the Orlando Sentinel wrote last month that Hill was probably in the midst of his final season.
"That particular writer has been writing that since 2004," Hill said.
It's never smart to bet against anyone who has stuck around so long that everything old is becoming new again. If Hill plays out the final season of his Clippers contract in 2013-14, he could be joined in the NBA by Michigan forward Glenn Robinson III, the son of the player by the same name taken ahead of Hill in the 1994 draft.