Oldest active NBA player entering 2022-23 and in league history appeared first on NBC Sports Bayarea
They say age is just a number, but that number is very important if you’re an NBA player.
Few players can stay in their 40s. There is no Tom Brady the Zdeno Hara in the NBA, as legends rarely play into their 40s. The current crop of NBA veterans are actually relatively new, but there are still a few out there still making an impact on NBA rosters.
Here are some of the oldest players in the NBA entering the 2022-23 season and in league history:
Who is the oldest active NBA player?
1. Udonis Haslem, 42 years old
Udonis Haslem, best remembered for his Big 3 Miami Heat days in the early 2010s, is still playing for the Heat. He has been with Miami since he was signed as a free agent in 2003, making him the longest-tenured player in franchise history.
Haslem recently signed a one-year, $2.9 million contract to return to Miami for his 20th season. He joins Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks as the only NBA players to play 20 or more seasons for a single franchise.
2. Andre Iguodala, 38 years old
Andre Iguodala’s status for the 2022-23 season is still uncertain, but the Golden State Warriors have made it clear that there is a roster spot available for him if he chooses to return for the upcoming season.
The 2015 NBA Finals MVP began his career in 2004 with the Sixers, playing eight seasons in Philly before a year with the Denver Nuggets and seven with the Warriors.
A three-time champion, two-time All-Defense and one-time All-Star, Iggy is averaging 11.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 1,223 career regular season games.
3. Carmelo Anthony, 38 years old
Just a few years ago, it seemed unlikely that Carmelo Anthony would ever make this list. The No. 3 pick in the loaded 2003 draft, Anthony spent his first 14 seasons with the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks. After a disappointing 2017-18 season with the Oklahoma City Thunder and a brief 2018 stint with James Harden’s Houston Rockets, Anthony joined LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers and is looking for his first title after averaging 23.0 points per game in his first 18 seasons.
4. LeBron James, 37
As LeBron James continues to add to his resume among the greatest players of all time, he continues to climb the list of the NBA’s oldest active players. James’ accolades in 18 NBA seasons are remarkable — 17 All-Star appearances, 17 All-NBA bids, six All-Defensive teams, four MVPs, four titles and four Finals MVPs. He’s also on track to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, just 3,020 points behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
The only thing King James is playing for these days is more championships. In 19 years with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers, James averaged 27.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.4 assists in 1,366 regular season games. James, who turns 38 in December, may have to start tapering off in the regular season to save his body for the playoffs after suffering major injuries in two of the last three seasons.
5. Paul Millsap, 37
A second-round pick in 2006, Paul Millsap has exceeded all expectations throughout his 15-year career. His first seven seasons with the Utah Jazz were solid as he developed into a starter-caliber power forward. That all changed when he signed with the Atlanta Hawks in 2013. He was an All-Star every year he played for the Hawks, averaging 17.4 points and 8.3 rebounds over four seasons.
Millsap’s run with the Hawks paid off when he signed a three-year, $90 million contract with the Denver Nuggets in 2017. He never found the same success in four seasons with Denver, transitioning into a supporting role. Millsap joined the Brooklyn Nets on a one-year deal last year, but was part of a deal that sent him and Harden from the Nets to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Who is the oldest NBA player?
1. Nat Hickey, 45
The NBA’s oldest player of all time dates back to 1948. Nat Hickey coached the Providence Steamrollers in the 1947-48 season, but was moved to the active roster after the team went 4-25. He played just two games just shy of his 46th birthday, totaling two points, picking up five foul shots and going a combined 0-for-6 from the field in two losses.
The numbers are bad, but by stepping on the floor Hickey set a record that still stands over 73 years later.
2. Kevin Willis, 44 years old
Unlike Hickey, Kevin Willis played a long NBA career before retiring at age 44 in 2007. Willis’ career began in 1984 when the Atlanta Hawks drafted him No. 11 overall. He stayed in Atlanta until 1994, averaging 14.1 points and 9.7 rebounds over 11 seasons. In 1992, Willis was named to his only All-Star game after averaging 18.3 points and 15.5 rebounds that season.
After being traded to the Heat in 1994, Willis spent the second half of his career bouncing around as a consistent player. He later played for the Warriors, Houston Rockets (twice), Toronto Raptors, Nuggets, San Antonio Spurs, Hawks (again) and Dallas Mavericks. Willis won a title with the Spurs in 2003, averaging 2.6 points off the bench in 18 playoff games when he was 40 years old.
3. Robert Parish, 43 years old
Robert Parish played older than any NBA player who became a basketball Hall of Famer, retiring in 1997 just shy of his 44th birthday. The Chief began his career with the Warriors, playing four seasons in The Bay before being traded to The Bay boston celtics, Parish spent the next 14 seasons in Boston, winning three titles and being named an All-Star 14 times. Along with Larry Bird and Kevin McHale, Parish helped form one of the first Big 3s in NBA history.
Parise’s final three NBA seasons were spent as a backup. He played with the Charlotte Hornets behind Alonzo Mourning for two years and then finished his career in 1996-97 playing with Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and the Chicago Bulls. He appeared in just two playoff games at age 43, but the Bulls won the NBA Finals and Parise won his fourth ring before officially retiring that summer. Parish is the oldest player to win a championship.
4. Vince Carter, 43
Vinsanity. Half Man, Half Amazing. Air Canada.
During his 22-year career, Vince Carter went through many transformations. Carter shined with the Raptors in his early years, with iconic moments in the Slam Dunk Contest and the 2000 Sydney Olympics. After a messy exit from Toronto and subsequent trade to the then-New Jersey Nets, he slowly evolved from a super star in a role player.
Carter spent time with the Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings and the Atlanta Hawks before finally retiring in 2020. With the COVID-19 pandemic looming, Carter entered what would be his final game in March 2020 and buried a 3-pointer on the Hawks’ final possession of the loss. He is likely to join Parish in the Basketball Hall of Fame once he is eligible.
5. Dikebe Mutombo, 43 years old
Before he starred in a memorable commercial, Dikembe Mutombo was an NBA Hall of Famer. He was drafted No. 4 overall by the Nuggets in 1991, playing five seasons in Denver before signing with the Hawks in 1996. In nine full seasons with the Nuggets and Hawks, Mutombo averaged 12.7 points, 12.3 rebounds and 3.6 blocks per game while winning Defensive Player of the Year four times.
Mutombo was traded to the Sixers in 2001, joining the team just in time for their run to the 2001 NBA Finals. His play declined drastically over the next few years due to injuries and age. The final years of Mutombo’s career were spent with the Nets, Knicks and Rockets before he retired in 2009 at the age of 43. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.