Who Are The Oldest NBA Players Ever?

Oldest NBA Players

Key Takeaway: NBA players like Nat Hickey, Kevin Willis, Robert Parish, Vince Carter, Dikembe Mutombo, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have defied age limits and continued to excel in the league well beyond their 40s, showcasing that determination, skill, and passion transcend age barriers in basketball.

Unlike average basketball players, the NBA players have some supernatural power that separates them from the average. They are highly skilled players that always give their best to compete and win the ball game. However, all NBA player’s careers will come to an end because nobody is eternal. 

However, some noticeable NBA players play until their 40s. They compete with the younger players and show them who is the boss. They don’t even care about the internet, and people state that the average retirement of an NBA player ranges from 30-35. These players proved that there is no age limit for being great. 

So you are asking right now, who are the oldest NBA players ever? This article will cover the greatest NBA players who prove that age is just numbers. If you are ready, then let’s go!

Oldest Players In NBA History

We are going to list down different old NBA players, and their achievements. Some of you possibly caught up and watched how some of these old NBA players play. 

1. Nat Hickey

  • Age: 45 years, 363 days
  • Number Of Seasons: 27 (1921-1948)
  • Teams: 14 (Hoboken St. Josephs, Eddie Holly’s Majors, New York Crescents, Eddie Holly’s Majors, Cleveland Rosenblums, Chicago Bruins, Original Celtics, Boston Trojans, Original Celtics, Pittsburgh Raider, Indianapolis Kautskys, Buffalo Braves, Tri-Cities Blackhawks, Providence Steamrollers)

Nat Hickey was a retired NBA player who played for the NBA for so many years. Hickey doesn’t have many achievements, and his statistics ain’t good. However, Nat Hickey earned a notable achievement in the NBA. Nickey holds the record for the oldest player to have played in the NBA. He played basketball for 27 years and he also spent 15 years playing minor league basketball.

After he retired from the NBA, Hickey’s basketball career did not end. He became the coach of the Johnstown Clippers of the All-American Basketball league during the 1950-51 seasons. He was ejected to become the coach because an accident happened to his team because of him.

2. Kevin Willis

  • Age: 44 years, 224 days
  • Number Of Seasons: 23 (1984-2007)
  • Teams: 8 (Hawks, Heat, Warriors, Rockets, Raptors, Nuggets, Rockets, Spurs, Hawks, Mavericks)

Willis is a role-player for the Atlanta Hawks where he spent most of his career. He was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in the 1984 NBA draft. Willis had a good body shape and strength that helped him to outplay other players. Because of his workout routine and healthy diet, it is no surprise that he managed to stay in the league for long years. 

3. Robert Parish

  • Age: 43 years, 254 days
  • Number Of Seasons: 21 (1976-1997)
  • Teams: 4 (Warriors, Celtics, Hornets, Bulls)

Robert Parish is the ace player and center for the Boston Celtics. He helped the Celtics to grab three NBA championship titles. Parish was backed up by Larry Bird, Kevin Mchale, Bill Walton, and Dennis Johnson. The Celtics at that time were called a super team because of their lineup. 

Robert Parish is considered one of the best rebounders in NBA history. He was such a durable, smart, and hardworking player. He keeps his body healthy by maintaining a balanced diet and hitting the gym often. Because of that routine he made to his body, he managed to play many seasons in the NBA. Parish holds the record for most regular-season games played in the history of the NBA, and he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003. 

4. Vince Carter

  • Age: 42 years, 313 days
  • Number Of Seasons: 22 (1998-Present)
  • Teams: 8 (Raptors, Nets, Magic, Suns, Mavericks, Grizzlies, Kings, Hawks)

Vince Carter was drafted by the Golden State Warriors as their fifth overall in the 1998 NBA draft and was traded to Toronto Raptors afterward. Carter led the Raptors during his career with Toronto, and it was considered as his prime days. Vince Carter was known as a high flyer and scorer in the NBA. He was also known for his awesome and monstrous dunks. 

Vince Carter had an amazing career. He won the NBA Rookie of the Year and won the slam dunk contest in the 2000 NBA All-Star games. Carter played for various teams until his 40s, and even though he rarely contributed scores to his team because of old age, he still gave value to his team by teaching younger players. 

5. Dikembe Mutombo

  • Age: 42 years, 300 days
  • Number Of Seasons: 19 (1991-2009)
  • Teams: 6 (Nuggets, Hawks, 76ers, Nets, Knicks, Rockets)

Dikembe Mutombo is well known because of his blocking ability. Players were scared of him especially if Mutombo was under the rim. The opposing players will think twice if they will take the three or go inside the basket. But if Mutombo was inside the basketball rim, then they would most likely take a three.

Dikembe Mutombo recorded a total of 3,289 blocked shots putting him at the fourth spot of all-time blocked shots in NBA history.

6. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 

  • Age: 42 years, 6 days
  • Number Of Seasons: 20 (1969-1989)
  • Teams: 2 (Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers) 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of the memorable players who changed the game of basketball. He was known for his skyhook shots, which is the deadliest shot in the NBA, and his impressive percentage inside the paint. Kareem was offered by the Globetrotters to play for them but he refused and chose to play in the NBA. He was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks and had an impressive rookie season.

Kareem gave the Bucks one ring and helped the Lakers to get five championship rings. He set the record for most points in the NBA, with 38,387 total career points. Kareem had an impressive career and finished with six championship rings.

Below are the other top 10 noticeable old NBA players:

  1. Bob Cousy (41 years, 150 days)
  2. Herb Williams (41 years, 129 days)
  3. John Stockton (41 years, 35 days)
  4. Charles Jones (41 years, 30 days)
  5. Karl Malone (40 years, 325 days)
  6. Dirk Nowitzki (40 years, 295 days)
  7. Manu Ginobli (40 years, 270 days)
  8. Rick Mahorn (40 years, 244 days)
  9. John Long (40 years, 235 days)
  10. Jason Terry (40 years, 225 days)

Oldest Active NBA Players

Here are the list of the oldest active NBA players:

1. Jamal Crawford

  • Age: 40 years, 244 days
  • Number Of Seasons: 20 (2000-Present)
  • Teams: 9 (Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Hawks, Portland Trail Blazers, Clippers, Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns, Brookly Nets)

Jamal Crawford is a streetball player who made it to the NBA. Crawford was known for his impressive crossovers that break the ankles of whoever guards him. He was also a good scorer and sharp free-throw shooter. Crawford plays for many teams and is still currently playing for the Brooklyn Nets. 

2. Udonis Haslem

  • Age: 39 years, 179 days
  • Number Of Seasons: 17 (2003-Present)
  • Teams: 1 (Miami Heat)

Udonis Haslem is a very loyal player and a sincere guy. He spent his past 17 seasons with the Miami Heat, and he is teaching some strategy to his younger teammates in Miami. According to coach Spoelstra, Haslem is the one he trusts the most because he loves how Haslem takes things seriously and how willing he is to win for the Heat. Haslem won three NBA championship rings. 

3. Kyle Korver

  • Age: 38 years, 263 days
  • Number Of Seasons: 17 (2003-Present)
  • Teams: 6 (76ers, Jazz, Bulls, Hawks, Cavaliers, Jazz, Bucks)

Kyle Korver is one of the best shooters in the NBA. He is a sharpshooter outside the arc, and he has a quick release type of shot to prevent defenders from blocking his shots. Korver holds the highest three-point field goal percentage ever for one season. He averaged .536% and has a percentage of 43% outside the arc for his entire career. Korver had a total of 2,450 three-point field goals made, and it will most likely increase because his career is not over yet. 

Final Words

Basketball is a game for everybody. It can be played by young ones and the elderly as long as their body is fit to play the game. There is no age restriction for loving the game. 

These NBA old NBA players listed above managed to play until their 40s because they took care of their bodies. They eat the right food, exercise often, get plenty of sleep, and meditate. These old NBA players taught us one lesson, and that lesson is, we must take care of our bodies. 

Who is your favorite old NBA player? Comment your answers below!

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