The average NBA player has a career that lasts 4.6 years, but this doesn’t mean you can’t make it in the league if your age is younger or older than usual! The NBA is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, and several active players have made significant contributions to the league for multiple decades. So, who is the oldest basketball player?
There have been over 4,500 NBA players appearing in a game in the last 75 years. The average age of these players is 26.8 years old, but there have been plenty of outliers on both ends of the spectrum. The oldest player in NBA history is Nat Hickey, who played one game for the Providence Steamrollers in 1947 at 45. Hickey started his professional basketball career back in 1921, making him 44 years old when he finally made it to the NBA!
Who Is The Oldest Basketball Player?
At 45 years old, Nat Hickey is the oldest player in NBA history. Hickey started his professional basketball career back in 1921, making him 44 years old when he finally made it to the NBA. Hickey played one game for the Providence Steamrollers in 1947 and is currently the oldest player to have ever appeared in an NBA game.
Nicknamed “Nat,” Nicholas J. Hickey was a professional basketball player and coach who turned to management after retiring from the game in 1942. Still, he would sometimes activate himself as an additional participant when needed.
Hickey was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on February 15, 1902. Before playing for several professional teams, he played basketball at Northeastern University, including the Providence Steamrollers and the Boston Celtics. Hickey also coached the St. John’s Red Storm men’s basketball team from 1942 to 1943.
Hickey’s one game in the NBA came on January 6, 1947, when he was 45 years and 36 days old. Therefore, he is the oldest player ever to appear in an NBA game. Hickey scored two points in the game, which the Steamrollers lost to the Chicago Stags by 79–96. Hickey died on October 14, 1979, at the age of 77.
Who Is The Oldest Player In The NBA Right Now?
The competition is stiff, and it won’t be easy to spot middle-aged men in the NBA title as more young talent shines each year. However, some players have defied Father Time and are still going strong into their 30s and 40s. The answer to who is the oldest player in the NBA right now might surprise you. Here are some of the oldest players in the NBA now:
Udonis Haslem: Miami Heat (41 Years Old)
Haslem is the captain of the Miami Heat, and he has been with the team for all three of their NBA Finals wins. He played college basketball at the University of Florida before being undrafted in the 2002 NBA Draft. Haslem signed with the Heat in 2003 and has been with the team ever since. He is currently the oldest player in the NBA.
Haslem hasn’t played regularly in five years, having logged fewer than 250 minutes in each of the past five campaigns. He’s currently on a one-year, non-guaranteed deal with the Miami Heat and will turn 42 in June.
Dirk Nowitzki: Dallas Mavericks (40 Years Old)
Dirk Nowitzki is a German professional basketball player for the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. He is a 14-time All-Star and the only player from Europe to start in an All-Star Game. He is also a 12-time All-NBA Team member and the first European player to receive the NBA Most Valuable Player Award. The Dallas Mavericks snapped him up with the ninth overall selection in the 1998 NBA Draft, shortly before he was traded to Milwaukee. He has played his entire 21-year career with Dallas and is the franchise’s all-time leading scorer. Nowitzki is currently the oldest player in the NBA.
Vince Carter: Atlanta Hawks (42 Years Old)
Vince Carter is an American professional basketball player for the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA. He was selected as the fifth overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors after playing college basketball at North Carolina. In 1998, Carter was acquired by the Toronto Raptors, who promptly promoted him to one of the top players in the league.
He won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award and was named an All-Star in his first year with the Raptors. Carter played for Toronto until 2004, when he was traded to the Nets. He has also played for the Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, and Sacramento Kings. Carter is currently the oldest player in the NBA.
Andre Iguodala: Miami Heat (37 Years Old)
Andre Iguodala is an American professional basketball player for the Miami Heat of the NBA. He played college basketball at the University of Arizona and was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers with the ninth overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft. Iguodala won an NBA Finals with the Golden State Warriors in 2015 and was named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player. He was traded to the Denver Nuggets in 2012 and spent two seasons with the team before being traded to the Warriors in 2013. Iguodala has also played for the Houston Rockets and is currently the oldest player in the NBA. He’s amassed a net worth of $170 million throughout his career.
Carmelo Anthony: Portland Trail Blazers (35 Years Old)
Carmelo Anthony is an American professional basketball player for the Portland Trail Blazers of the NBA. He played college basketball at Syracuse University and was drafted by the Denver Nuggets with the third overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. Anthony won an NBA Finals with the Miami Heat in 2012 and has been named an All-Star ten times. He was traded to the New York Knicks in 2011 and spent six seasons with the team before being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2017. Anthony has also played for the Houston Rockets and is currently the oldest player in the NBA.
LeBron James: Los Angeles Lakers (37 Years Old)
LeBron James is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA. He played high school basketball at St. Vincent-St. Mary’s before being drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. James won his first NBA Finals with the Miami Heat in 2012 and has been named an All-Star 16 times. He was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018 and has since led the team to two NBA Finals appearances. James has also played for the Cleveland Cavaliers and is currently the oldest player in the NBA. He’s amassed a net worth of $450 million throughout his career.
These are some of the oldest players currently in the NBA. They have all had long and successful careers and are still going strong. Each of them has made a significant impact on basketball and will continue to do so for years to come. Thanks for reading!