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Who are the oldest players in NBA history?
The oldest player ever to play in the NBA was Nat Hickey, who played one game for the Providence Steamrollers at the age of 45 years and 363 days back in the 1947-48 season.
The Steamrollers were a part of the Basketball Association of America (BAA), which merged with the National Basketball League (NBL) to form the NBA in 1949.
Although it was technically a different league, the NBA recognises the three BAA seasons between 1946 and 1949 as part of NBA history.
Hickey was a Croatian-American guard who served as the Steamrollers’ head coach for part of the 1947-48 season. He activated himself to play in one game, making him the oldest player in league history.
The second-oldest player to play in the NBA is Kevin Willis, who played five games for the Dallas Mavericks in 2007. In what was his 21st NBA season, Willis’ last appearance came at the age of 44 years and 224 days.
Next on the list is Robert Parish, the legendary centre who won four titles as part of the Boston Celtics and, later, the Chicago Bulls.
Parish won his fourth title in his final season with the Bulls, and his last appearance came at the age of 43 years and 254 days on 11 May 1997.
The fourth-oldest player in NBA history is Vince Carter, who retired in March 2020 while playing for the Atlanta Hawks.
An eight-time All-Star who is considered one of the best dunkers of all time, Carter played in the league for 22 years and made his last appearance at the age 43 years and 45 days. Carter made a three-pointer with his final shot in a game against the New York Knicks.
Rounding out the top five oldest players in NBA history is Dikembe Mutombo, the second-most prolific shot blocker of all time.
Mutombo played in the NBA from 1991 until 2009, when he retired at the age of 42 years and 300 days while playing for the Houston Rockets.
Who are the oldest active NBA players?
Udonis Haslem is the oldest player currently active in the NBA. Haslem has played in Miami for his entire career, having signed for the Heat as an undrafted free agent in 2003.
Haslem is 40 years and 230 days old at the time of writing, although he is yet to make an appearance for the Heat in the 2020-21 season.
The second-oldest player currently on an NBA roster is Andre Iguodala, also of the Miami Heat, who is 36 years and 363 days old.
Iguodala is a three-time NBA champion and played a key part in the Heat’s run to the 2020 NBA Finals.
Next on the list is 10-time All-Star and former scoring champion Carmelo Anthony.
Anthony is currently a key player for the Portland Trail Blazers at the age of 36 years and 241 days.
The fourth-oldest active player in the NBA is three-point shooting specialist JJ Redick. Redick plays for the New Orleans Pelicans and is 36 years and 215 days old.
Finally, the fifth-oldest player in the league, remarkably, is LeBron James.
Widely considered one of the greatest players in the history of the NBA, James remains an MVP contender even at the age of 36 years and 26 days.
James has been named league MVP four times, has made 16 All-Star appearances in 17 seasons and led the Lakers to the NBA title – his fourth – in 2020.
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