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Who is the oldest NBA player? (All-time and active)

Oldest NBA player

The National Basketball Association was founded on July 6, 1946. In the 77 years since, over 4,700 NBA players have participated in a game.

There has never been an older player than Nat Hickey, who still holds the record for oldest NBA player ever, set back in 1948. Hickey was 45 years and 363 days old. The great story there is he was actually the team’s coach but chose to activate himself and play the sport instead.

For Hickey to have held the record for 74 years and counting, it seems like an unlikely record to be broken. After all, there won’t be any more coaches suiting up for their organizations any time soon. So, who is the oldest player in the NBA right now?

Related: Get the latest NBA news on Sportsnaut

The oldest active NBA players change from season to season and even month to month. Counting down in reverse order, here are the oldest NBA players in 2023.

10. Joe Ingles suits up for 16th NBA season

joe ingles
Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports
  • Joe Ingles date of birth – 10/2/1987
  • Joe Ingles age – 36 years old

While he may be among the oldest NBA players today, Ingles, who’s in his tenth season, hasn’t been in the NBA as long as many of his peers on this list. But the Australian native enjoyed several years overseas before getting his chance with the Utah Jazz in 2014. Amazingly, he’s been part of a playoff team each of the past seven seasons and seems on track to make it eight years with the Orlando Magic this season.

9. James Johnson continues to fight off Father Time

james johnson
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
  • James Johnson date of birth – 2/20/1987
  • James Johnson age – 36 years old

Despite playing just 18 games for the Indiana Pacers last season, James Johnson returned for another stint in the Hoosier State. He’s now one of the oldest players in the NBA, but Johnson’s time could be limited, as he’s only on a 10-day contract.

8. Atlanta’s Wesley Matthews joins list of NBA’s oldest players

NBA: Atlanta Hawks-Media Day
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
  • Wesley Matthews date of birth – 10/14/1986
  • Wesley Matthews age – 37 years old

We have a first-timer here with the inclusion of Matthews, as he enters his 15th NBA season, where he’s set to play for the eighth different team in his career. Yet, Matthews is still chasing a chance to win his first NBA championship.

7. Jeff Green still playing the game he loves at age 37

NBA: Houston Rockets-Media Day
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
  • Jeff Green date of birth – 8/28/1986
  • Jeff Green age – 37 years old

Now in his 16th NBA season, if there’s anyone who understands what it’s like to have the game taken away before he’s ready to retire, it’s Jeff Green. The former Seattle SuperSonic had to sit out the entire 2011-12 season due to a heart condition, but he returned and played 81 out of 82 games the following season and hasn’t had an issue since. Now Green’s one of the oldest and longest-tenured NBA players today.

6. Al Horford’s return earns him spot among oldest players in NBA

NBA: Boston Celtics-Media Day
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
  • Al Horford date of birth – 6/3/1986
  • Al Horford age – 37 years old

What does playing 16 years in the NBA get you? Like Horford’s realizing, it earns him a place on the list of the oldest players in the NBA today. Heading into year 17, the five-time All-Star is still chasing his first NBA championship ring after becoming a two-time NCAA champion in college. The Celtics have as good of a chance as any team to help in his pursuit.

Related: NBA MVP race 2023-24: Defending champion Nikola Jokic crowds list of MVP candidates

5. Garrett Temple’s well-traveled career makes him one of NBA’s oldest players

NBA: Preseason-Sacramento Kings at Toronto Raptors
Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
  • Garrett Temple date of birth – 5/8/1986
  • Garrett Temple age – 37 years old

Some players may not be thrilled to be on a list of the oldest active NBA players, but then again, Garrett Temple is likely just happy to still get to play the game he loves. He’s played for 11 different NBA teams and even went overseas to play in Italy for a bit, but now the versatile guard is closing out his career with the Toronto Raptors, which is his 12th team.

Related: NBA Power Rankings: Where do Lakers, Celtics, and Warriors land?

4. Kyle Lowry among NBA’s eldest

NBA: Miami Heat at Boston Celtics
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
  • Kyle Lowry date of birth – 3/25/1986
  • Kyle Lowry age – 37 years old

A six-time All-Star who has played with four different franchises, Lowry is among the oldest active NBA players. Yet, unlike many others on this list, he’s no longer chasing a ring, as Lowry won the NBA Finals back in 2019 with Toronto. Yet, preparing for his 18th NBA season, Lowry is still a fixture in the starting lineup for the Miami Heat.

3. Chris Paul still ticking, despite status among oldest NBA players

NBA: Golden State Warriors-Media Day
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
  • Chris Paul date of birth – 5/6/1985
  • Chris Paul age – 38 years old

They say you gain wisdom as you age. Chris Paul is doing his best to prove these theories true. Despite his advanced age, CP3 led the NBA in assists per game during the 2021-22 season. As one of the oldest NBA players, Paul also remains one of the best distributors in basketball, but now he’s joined the Warriors’ championship effort in pursuit of his first ring.

Related: NBA Rookie of the Year 2023-24: Top NBA ROY odds and candidates to win, including Chet Holmgren

2. At age 38, P.J. Tucker’s long-traveled career continues

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Denver Nuggets
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
  • P.J. Tucker date of birth – 5/5/1985
  • P.J. Tucker age – 38 years old

Going on his 13th season, PTucker has an incredible tale of what it’s like to not be able to play basketball in the pros. After being selected with the fifth pick in the second round of the 2006 NBA Draft, Tucker spent the next five years playing in Israel, Ukraine, Germany, and Italy before making his way back onto an NBA team, where he’s stayed ever since. After winning an NBA Championship with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2021, Tucker is now on the Los Angeles Clippers as the second-oldest active NBA player.

1. How old is LeBron James? Lakers star becomes oldest current NBA player

lebron james
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
  • LeBron James date of birth – 12/30/1984
  • LeBron James age – 39 years old

LeBron James is the oldest NBA player. King James is no longer the unstoppable force he once was, but the 19-time NBA All-Star is still averaging north of 25 points per game in his 21st season. Many believe LBJ wants to play until his son, Bronny James, reaches the NBA. It doesn’t seem like a ridiculous thought at this point.

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