While many players retire in their mid 30’s, there are several who were blessed to have played in their late 30’s and even in their 40’s.
The oldest person to ever play in the NBA was Nat Hickey who played an NBA game two days before his 46th birthday. Hickey was a coach for the Providence Steamrollers but activated himself and played in one game for the Steamrollers. He scored just two points on two free throws and shot 0-6 from the field. He played for one more game before retiring as a player at age 45 years and 363 days.
The second-oldest player in the league was Kevin Willis who played 20 seasons in the NBA. Willis played until he was 44 years old. Robert Parish was the third oldest player in NBA history. The Chief played for the Chicago Bulls at the age of 43.
There are a total of 27 players who played in the NBA after they turned 40. The current oldest player in the NBA is Vince Carter who is currently 42 years old. Carter played his first NBA game in 1999 and he is playing in his third decade. Carter is the only player born in 1977 and still active in the NBA and under contract with an NBA team.
Let’s take a look at the oldest players in the NBA in 2019:
Vince Carter 42 years, 178 days
As we stated earlier, Vince Carter is the oldest NBA player right now and is such by a wide margin of three years. Carter is the only 40-year old in the NBA and he played for the Atlanta Hawks last season. Carter started his career as one of the best dunkers we’ve ever seen in NBA history. Vinsanity won the Slam Dunk title during the 2000 All-Star break. The 5th pick overall in the 1998 draft by the Golden State Warriors but was traded to the Toronto Raptors on draft night. He is one of five players to have played an NBA record 21 seasons.
Jamal Crawford 39 years,125 days
When you talk about coming off the bench, no one has done it better than Jamal Crawford. Crawford has won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year a record three times. Drafted with the 8th overall pick in the 2000 NBA draft, Crawford is one of the NBA’s premier shooters. He is the league’s record holder in four points plays with a total of 55 in his career. Crawford is also the oldest player to score 50 points during an NBA game and he holds the record for most points off the bench with 51 points.
Udonis Haslem 39 years, 44 days
Udonis Haslem wasn’t part of the Miami Big Three that won two NBA titles. But he was just an important to the Heat not just during their title runs but for the better part of their existence. Haslem was undrafted in 2002 and played one year in France before the Miami Heat signed him in 2002. He started as a defensive force but later in his career, UD developed a consistent jump shot. Haslem
Pau Gasol 39 years, 17 days
Pau Gasol won back to back NBA titles with Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. The seven-foot Spaniard was the key to Spain’s rise in the world basketball scene. With Gasol leading way, Spain won two Olympic silver medals, three European titles and a gold medal at the 2006 World Cup. Gasol is a six-time NBA All-Star and a four-time member of the All-NBA team.
Kyle Korver 38 years, 128 days
Kyle Korver is the sweet-shooting guard who is known for his sharp-shooting days with the Utah Jazz. Korver led the NBA in three-point shooting with his 53.6% accuracy during the 2010 season which he played in Utah. In 2015, while playing for the Atlanta Hawks, Korver was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team, his first and only All-Star game appearance. In 2017 and 2018, he played for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ team which played in the NBA Finals twice.
Zach Randolph 38 years, 7 days
Zach Randolph was one of the foundations of “Grit and Grind” era in Memphis. Z-Bo was the 19th overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers. Randolph was the NBA’s Most Improved Player in 2004 and a member of the All-NBA third team in 2011. Randolph was two-time NBA All-Star in 2010 and 2013. In 2013, Randolph led the Grizzlies to the Western Conference Finals where they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs.
Jose Calderon 37 years, 298 days
So, Jose Calderon looks old but actually, he is just the 7th oldest player in the league. He was undrafted in 2003 and played for the Toronto Raptors from 2005 to 2013. Calderon was part of the Spanish team which won the 2006 World Championships. He was also a member of the Spanish team which won the silver medals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic games.
Nene Hilario 36 years, 313 days
Nene Hilario or Nene was the 7th overall pick in the 2002 draft by the New York Knicks. He was the first-ever Brazilian born player to be selected in the first round of an NBA Draft but it was during his 10-year stint with the Denver Nuggets where he made his mark. He earned All-Rookie first-team honors in 2003 and had a cancer scare in 2008 when he had a testicle removed.
Tyson Chandler 36 years, 294 days
Tyson Chandler was the 2nd overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft but was traded to the Chicago Bulls. He was the defensive anchor of the Dallas Mavericks championship team of 2011. While with the Knicks, Chandler was named as the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year winner in 2012 when he was with the New York Knicks. Chandler was named to the All-NBA third team in 2012 and an was an NBA All-Star in 2013.
Devin Harris 36 years, 146 days
Devin Harris was the 5th overall pick of the 2004 NBA Draft by the Washington Wizards. He was traded on draft day to the Dallas Mavericks where he played four seasons. He became an All-Star in 2009 when he played for the New Jersey Nets. Later, Harris would play two more tours of duties with the Dallas Mavericks including last season, 2018-19, where he played a total of 68 games with two starts.