It’s crazy to think that the oldest player in the NBA isn’t even in the Hall of Fame. I mean, playing through your 40s should make you love it, but it isn’t. It tells you just enough how good you have to be to be inducted.
Unlike in other sports, the oldest NBA players of all time were actually quite productive until their last days in the league. This is impressive, because speed, fast first step and athleticism seem to be the first things to go away.
Oldest NBA player
As for the oldest players in the NBA right now, well, we have LeBron James among the roster, which is pretty self-explanatory. James has just completed an All-Star season and continues to be one of the best players in the league, so it’s clear that some players are aging like a fine wine.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the list of the oldest NBA players right now, as well as the oldest NBA players of all time.
Older NBA players
The oldest NBA players of all time
5. Dikembe Mutombo (C) – 42 years, 300 days
Dikembe Mutombo was one of the most dominant defensive forces of all time. He ended his career as the second-best shot blocker in NBA history with 3,289, averaging 2.89 shots per game. Mutombo is also tied with Ben Wallace for the award for most defensive player of the year.
The tall Congolese man and his signature finger-wag were the opposing team’s biggest nightmares. He anchored the paint like few others in league history, leading the NBA in rebounds in straight seasons and three straight years in blocks.
4. Vince Carter (G / F) – 43 years, 45 days
Half man half incredible. Vince Carter put the Toronto Raptors on the card and should get a lot of credit for Canada’s growing love of basketball. While he’s never been able to win an NBA championship, and the second half of his career hasn’t been exactly impressive, some say he has a Hall of Fame record.
Considered one of the greatest dunkers of all time, Vince Carter holds the record for most seasons played at 22. He is also the only player to make an appearance in 4 decades (1990, 2000, 2010, 2020) and is part of the All-Star squad. 8 times.
3. Robert Parish (C) – 43 years, 254 days
If we are talking about sustainability, we certainly have to talk about Robert Parish. The Boston Celtics legend holds the record for most regular season games played (1,611) and he was a huge factor in their playoff success, winning 4 NBA championships, including 3 in Boston.
Although he was never a superstar, Parish was synonymous with efficiency and balance on both ends of the court. He has scored over 23,000 career points and averaged 14.5 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game, making him 9 All-Star selections.
2. Kevin Willis (F / C) – 44 years, 224 days
Kevin Willis isn’t exactly the most famous player of all time. In fact, most fans don’t know who he is, and he’s best known for being a successful business owner at Willis & Walker, a company specializing in clothing for very, very tall and tall people.
But Willis actually holds the record for most games played by all non-Hall of Fame players (1,424). Willis had a landmark year in 1992 when he averaged 15.5 rebounds per game and became an All-Star. He also won the NBA Championship in 2003 with the Spurs.
1. Nat Hickey (G / F) – 45 years, 363 days
Nicholas J. “Nat” Hickey is the oldest NBA player of all time. He was a player-coach and played a few games for the Providence Steamrollers of the Basketball Association of America (BAA). He was two days away from turning 46 the last time he played.
The Croatian-American forward / guard has played for the Hoboken St. Joseph’s, Eddie Holly’s Majors, New York Crescents, Cleveland Rosenblums, Chicago Bruins, Original Celtics, Boston Trojans, Pittsburgh Raiders, Indianapolis Kautskys , the Buffalo Braves / Tri-Cities Blackhawks and Rollers of Providence. He was also a baseball player.