On July 6, 1946, the National Basketball Association was established. More than 4,500 NBA players have played in a game in the 76 years since. Nat Hickey, who set the record for the oldest NBA player ever in 1948, has never been surpassed as an athlete. Hickey had been alive for 453 days.
He was the team’s coach, but the fascinating part of the tale is that he chose to play the game instead.
It seems doubtful that Hickey’s record will be beaten after he’s held it for 74 years and counting. After all, it won’t be long before the last coach dons a uniform for their team.
Who are the oldest players in the NBA?
Oldest players entering the 2021-22 NBA season
1. 42-year-old Udonis Haslem
Haslem, who is best known for his time as an enforcer on the Big 3 Miami Heat in the early 2010s, is still a part of the team. He has been with Miami since 2003, when he signed as an undrafted free agent, making him the player with the longest tenure in the team’s history.
2. 38-year-old Andre Iguodala
Before formally retiring, Iguodala will play for the Golden State Warriors for a final time in 2022–23, his 19th season. The NBA Finals MVP from 2015 started his career in 2004 with the Philadelphia 76ers, spending eight seasons there before spending a year with the Denver Nuggets and the following seven seasons with the Warriors.
Iggy, a three-time champion, two-time All-Defense selection, and one-time All-Star, has played in 1,223 regular season games and averaged 11.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 4.2 assists.
3. Carmelo Anthony (age 38),
Anthony’s inclusion on this list looked impossible a few years ago. Anthony, the third overall choice in the highly competitive 2003 draught, played his first 14 seasons for the Denver Nuggets and the New York Knicks.
Anthony joined the Houston Rockets in 2018 after a dismal year with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2017–18. He only played 10 games with the team before they begged him not to come back, and it seemed as though he had been banished from the league.
4. 37-year-old LeBron James
James keeps moving up the list of oldest active NBA players while adding to his reputation as one of the best players of all time. James has received numerous honors throughout 19 NBA seasons, including 18 All-Star appearances, 18 All-NBA selections, six All-Defensive teams, four MVP awards, four championships, and four MVP awards in the Finals. He is also close to overtaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time top scorer, trailing him by 1,325 points.
5. 37-year-old Paul Millsap
Millsap, a 2006 second-round pick, has surpassed all expectations throughout his 16-year career. He improved into a starting-caliber forward over his first seven seasons with the Utah Jazz, but everything changed when he signed with the Atlanta Hawks in 2013. Throughout his four seasons with the Hawks, he averaged 17.4 points and 8.3 rebounds, making him an All-Star each year.
6. 43-year-old Dikembe Mutombo
Dikembe Mutombo played for the NBA’s Hall of Fame before appearing in an iconic ad. The Nuggets selected him with the fourth overall pick in 1991, and he spent five seasons there before joining the Hawks in 1996.
Mutombo averaged 12.7 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 3.6 blocks per game while playing for the Nuggets and Hawks for nine full seasons, winning Defensive Player of the Year four times.
frequently asked questions
1. Who is the oldest NBA player in 2022
Udonis Haslem, 42, is an athlete. Haslem, who is best known for his time as an enforcer on the Big 3 Miami Heat in the early 2010s, is still a part of the team. He has been with Miami since 2003, when he signed as an undrafted free agent, making him the player with the longest tenure in the team’s history.
2. Who is the oldest player in the NBA 2021
Usain Bolt, Udonis Haslem, who is 42 years old, is the oldest player still competing. Haslem began his career in the NBA’s 2003–04 season and has since played for 19 seasons.
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