Kyle Korver was one of only six 38-year-olds to play in the NBA this season. Of those players, only Dwyane Wade played more minutes.
So therefore, it’s not an unfair question: Does Korver still have the competitive fire to sign up for another season?
“As you get older, there’s all of what you need to put into the game, but there’s also a family cost,” Korver said. “That’s probably where I’m at, weighing that cost.”
In particular, Korver referenced the long seasons he’s had over the last few years as a major factor. Those seasons were long on the court, of course — Korver went to two consecutive NBA Finals as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. But there’s also been other factors: being traded, first from the Atlanta Hawks to the Cavs, then this year’s deal from a broken Cavs team to the Jazz. Korver’s brother Kirk also died from a sudden illness 13 months ago.
“I think I still love playing basketball. I think, for me personally, it’s been a long few years,” Korver said. “Three little kids, trying to have a good marriage, trying to balance it all, it takes a lot.”
But as much work as the seasons have been, he’s intrigued by the possibility of a longer offseason, to get his body in something closer to peak physical condition. The knee injury — revealed to be a bone bruise on Thursday — that cost him the last couple of weeks of the regular season and his effectiveness during the playoffs should be able to heal.
The injury was unfortunate given Korver’s quality season, in which he took more shots on a per-minute basis than any year of his NBA career. Whether it was due to the volume of shots, age-related regression, or just plain shooting luck, his 3-point percentage decreased to an uncharacteristically-only-very-good 38.6%. But Korver averaged 9.1 points per game as part of a refreshed bench unit; when he was on the floor, the Jazz outscored opponents by 6.6 points per 100 possessions.
“This is an opportunity to really work, to get a little time away but to really work,” Korver said. “I haven’t really gotten to do that the last two offseasons.” He’s been renowned for his offseason workouts in the past: in 2014, for example, Outside Magazine wrote about Korver’s practice of misogi, in which, in part, he carries 85 pound rocks while running on the ocean floor.
“There’s part of me that wants to do that. There’s part of me that’s tired right now,” Korver said.
The equivocating Korver doesn’t want to make that decision right away. He’ll take some time to breathe, maybe recover from the season to some extent, and then do what he feels is right.
“I’ll talk to wife and my family and and there’s the juice left, I’d still love to do it. We’ll find out,” he said.