A ranked list of the 10 best and oldest NBA players in the league right now
It is no secret that the NBA is home to some of the best athletes in the world. While raw talent may be all it takes to break in, those who continue to play well past the typical retirement age deserve appreciation for their wisdom and expertise. The list of oldest NBA players fluctuates from season to season and sometimes from month to month.
These days, few athletes can maintain a playing career into their forties. Legends rarely play until their mid-40s in basketball, thus there is no equivalent to Tom Brady or Zdeno Chara. Although the current group of veterans is on the younger side, there are still some veterans who contribute to their teams. Here is a list of the oldest NBA players with their ages (as of 2023) and a short bio.
10. Paul Millsap: age 37
Paul Millsap, born in the United States on February 10, 1985, is a professional basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Millsap, a power forward out of Louisiana Tech University, was selected by the Utah Jazz in the second round of the 2006 NBA draft (47th overall).
He was with the Jazz until 2013 when he signed with the Hawks. He has been selected for the NBA All-Star Game on four separate occasions. He is ranked no 10 among the top 10 oldest NBA players.
9. Goran Dragić: age 36
Goran Dragic (born May 6, 1986) plays basketball professionally for the Chicago Bulls. He is a versatile player, able to operate in either the point or shooting guard roles. He started his professional career in Slovenia and then moved to Spain before joining the NBA in 2008. For his career, Dragic has suited up for the Heat, the Phoenix Suns, and the Houston Rockets.
In 2014, he led the Suns to the finals and was named the league's most-improved player and to the All-NBA Third Team. In 2018, while playing with the Heat, he was selected as an All-Star for the first time.
8. P. J. Tucker: age 37
Anthony Leon "P. J." Tucker Jr. was born on May 5, 1985, and he now plays for the Philadelphia 76ers. In 2021, he and his team, the Milwaukee Bucks, won the title.
7. Rajon Rondo: age 36
A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Rajon Pierre Rondo (born February 22, 1986) plays professional basketball for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. Before being selected 21st overall by the Phoenix Suns in the 2006 draft, Rondo spent two years playing collegiate basketball for the Kentucky Wildcats.
After that, he was dealt to the Celtics, where he spent his first year in a bench role. Four times in his career, Rondo topped the league in assists per game. He has been honoured with four selections to the NBA's All-Defensive Team, including twice as a First Team selection.
6. Dwight Howard: age 37
American professional basketball player Dwight David Howard was born on December 8, 1985, and currently plays for the Los Angeles Lakers. His list of accolades includes eight appearances in the All-Star Game, eight selections to the NBA's All Teams, five nods to the league's All-Defensive Team, and three wins as the league's Defensive Player of the Year. In high school, Howard played centre for Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy.
Instead of attending university, he forewent his academic career and entered the 2004 draft, where he was ultimately taken first overall by the Orlando Magic. Throughout his stint with the Magic, Howard broke a number of records for both the team and the league.
5. Al Horford: age 36
Alfred Joel Horford Reynoso was born in the Dominican Republic on June 3, 1986. He now plays for the Boston Celtics. As a college basketball player, he starred for the University of Florida Gators, helping them win consecutive NCAA titles in 2006 and 2007.
He was selected third overall by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2007 NBA draft and spent nine seasons with them before signing with the Boston Celtics in 2016. He has made the All-Star team five times. In addition, he plays for the Dominican Republic's national team. Horford is among the oldest NBA players currently playing.
4. Kyle Lowry: age 36
Professional basketball player Kyle Terrell Lowry was born on March 25th, 1986, and he currently plays for the Miami Heat. He has made it to the All-Star Game five times while with the Raptors and was voted to the league's third team in 2016. As a member of the Toronto Raptors, Lowry won the 2019 title.
He competed in the 2016 Summer Olympics and earned a gold medal with the United States national team. Before being drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies with the 24th overall choice in the 2006 NBA draft, Lowry played collegiate basketball for the Villanova Wildcats. He started off in the NBA with the Memphis Grizzlies and Houston Rockets before being traded to the Toronto Raptors.
3. Andre Iguodala: age 39
Andre Tyler Iguodala born January 28, 1984, is a basketball player for the Golden State Warriors. The swingman was selected to the NBA All-Star team in 2012 and has been honoured with two All-Defensive Team nods since then.
With the Golden State Warriors, he won three titles and was awarded the league's most valuable player in 2015. He also competed for the United States national team, where he helped them win gold at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and the 2012 Summer Olympics. For his college basketball career, Iguodala suited up for the Arizona Wildcats.
2. Chris Paul: age 37
Chris Emmanuel Paul, Jr., was born on May 6, 1985, and he currently plays basketball in the NBA for the Phoenix Suns. After leading the team in assists four times and stealing a record six times, he has earned the NBA Rookie of the Year Award, the NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award, and two Olympic gold medals.
On top of that, he has been named to 10 NBA All-Star teams, nine All-NBA squads, and nine All-Defensive squads. Chris Paul is among the oldest NBA players.
1. LeBron James: age 38
American professional basketball player LeBron Raymone James Sr. (born December 30, 1984) currently plays for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). His resume includes three NBA titles, four MVP awards, three Finals MVP awards, and two Olympic gold medals. James has been selected to play in fifteen All-Star Games and has three times been awarded the game's most valuable player.
He finished fourth in all-time scoring, won the scoring title in 2008, and is the all-time leader in postseason scoring. Thirteen times he was selected to the All-NBA First Team, and five times he was selected to the All-Defensive First Team. He is considered to be the best oldest NBA player.
Who is the oldest NBA player ever?
Nat Hickey, who last played in the NBA holds the record for the oldest player in league history. That is a terrific story since he could have been the team's coach but he chose to play the game instead.
1. Nat Hickey, 77 years of age
The NBA's oldest player was born in 1948. After a slow start (4-25) in 1947–48, Providence Steamrollers head coach Nat Hickey joined the squad as a player. He finished with a combined two points, five fouls, and a 0 for 6 shooting performance.
2. Kevin Willis, 60 years of age
Unlike Hickey, Kevin Willis lasted much longer in the NBA before calling it quits in 2007. He did so at the age of 44. In 1984, the Atlanta Hawks picked Willis 11th overall, and his professional career began.
3. Robert Parish, 69 years of age
Robert Parish, who retired from the NBA a few months before his 44th birthday in 1997, was the oldest player to ever be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame from that league. After four seasons with the Warriors, the Chief was traded to the Boston Celtics, where he would spend the next 14 years.
4. Vince Carter, 46 years of age
Vince Carter underwent numerous changes throughout his 22-year career. At a young age, Carter became a star for the Raptors, and his performances in the Slam Dunk Contest and the 2000 Summer Olympics became instant classics.
5. Dikembe Mutombo, 56 years of age
Dikembe Mutombo was an NBA legend before he starred in a memorable commercial. He played for Denver for five seasons after being drafted fourth overall in 1991, before joining Atlanta as a free agent in 1996. Mutombo played for the Nuggets and Hawks for nine seasons, winning four Defensive Player of the Year awards and averaging 12.7 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 3.6 blocks per game.
Who is the oldest player in the NBA in 2023?
Udonis Haslem, a power forward with the Heat, is 42 years of age and the oldest active NBA player. Conversely, San Antonio Spurs guard Joshua Primo is the youngest active NBA player at the age of 20 in 2023.
Professional athletes' careers are affected by their age. Many of the oldest NBA players on the list are still going strong and should continue to rack up additional accolades.
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