Come marvel at the inspiring feats of the five oldest players in NBA history, each pushing boundaries with their incredible longevity! Relive their remarkable stories of how they defied age to remain a part of basketball’s elite.
Basketball is a sport that requires speed, agility, and endurance. It is a game dominated by young, athletic players. However, there have been some exceptional athletes who have defied age, with the five oldest players in NBA history each playing well into their 40s.
These inspiring athletes represent what can be achieved when we put our minds to it. Through their incredible stories of success, they show us just how far determination and hard work will take you – no matter the odds!
5. Udonis Haslem (42 years, 317 days – Active)
Udonis Haslem is the most recent addition to the list of oldest players in NBA history. The American has been a member of the Miami Heat for his entire career, which has spanned over 18 seasons. He is the longest-tenured Miami player in franchise history.
Despite going undrafted in 2002, Haslem has overseen a magnificent career. He started out in France, but hasn’t looked back since signing for the Miami Heat. He has won three NBA championships with his hometown team.
4. Vince Carter (43 years, 45 days)
Vince Carter was one of the most exciting talents in NBA history. He played for 22 seasons, retiring at the age of 43 in 2020. The former guard and forward was famed for his high-flying dunks and aerial ability, leading to nicknames such as ‘Vinsanity’ and ‘Air Canada’ during his 1,541-game career.
Carter played for several teams during his career, including the Toronto Raptors, New Jersey Nets, and Dallas Mavericks. He was named to eight All-Star teams and won the Slam Dunk Contest in 2000.
3. Robert Parish (43 years, 254 days)
Robert Parish is the oldest player in NBA history that also made the Basketball Hall of Fame. The 7’1” center was a key member of the legendary Boston Celtics teams of the 1980s. He played for 21 years, retiring at the age of 43.
Parish was known for his strong defense and longevity, playing in a career record of 1,611 games. ‘The Chief’ won four NBA championships, three with the Celtics and one with the Chicago Bulls. His fourth and final ring in 1997 made him the oldest Championship winner. He was also named to nine All-Star teams.
2. Kevin Willis (44 years, 224 days)
Kevin Willis had a long and successful career that spanned over two decades. During his career, he played for eight teams, including the Atlanta Hawks, Miami Heat, and San Antonio Spurs. The big man was renowned for his rebounding ability, which was a key factor in his success. He finished his career with 11,901 rebounds, ranking him 24th all-time in NBA history.
At the age of 40, Willis won his one and only NBA title in a bit-part role with San Antonio, averaging 2.6 points and 1.7 rebounds in 18 games.
1. Nat Hickey (45 years, 363 days)
Nat Hickey was a player-coach for the Providence Steamrollers in 1947-48. He was 45 years old at the time, making him the oldest player in NBA history. Hickey played in two games that season, scoring one point on average, and retired shortly after.
Although Hickey’s NBA career was short-lived, he memorably got two points, five fouls and 0-6 shooting from the field. His entire season may have only been a flash in the pan – but it certainly left an unforgettable imprint on basketball history!