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

Andrew Buller-Russ

The National Basketball Association was founded on July 6, 1946. In the 75 years since there have been over 4,500 NBA players to play in a game. And 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.

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For Hickey to have held the record for 73 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?

The oldest active NBA players changes from season to season and even month to month. Counting down in reverse order, here are the oldest NBA players in 2021-22.

10. LaMarcus Aldridge’s return to basketball earns him spot among oldest players in NBA

lamarcus aldridge
Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
  • LaMarcus Aldrige date of birth – 6/19/1985
  • LaMarcus Aldridge age – 36 years old

Some players may not be thrilled to be on a list such as the oldest active NBA players, but for LaMarcus Aldridge, it’s an amazing accomplishment. Just a year ago, Aldridge had to retire from the game he loved after experiencing heart problems. Now, he’s back, playing for the Brooklyn Nets.

9. Trevor Ariza prepares to play 19th NBA season

trevor ariza
Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
  • Trevor Ariza date of birth – 6/30/1985
  • Trevor Ariza age – 36 years old

Trevor Ariza played just 11 games for the Los Angeles Lakers this season. One of the oldest players in basketball, we’ll see what type of contract Ariza can land this offseason.

8. Taj Gibson and Tom Thibodeau stand the test of time

taj gibson
Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
  • Taj Gibson date of birth – 6/24/1985
  • Taj Gibson age – 36 years old

It doesn’t seem long ago that Taj Gibson was playing for the USC Trojans, or even alongside Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler with the Miami Heat. Known as a tough defender, nothing gets in Gibson’s path. Not even the time he lost his shoe. Gibson still managed to play defense, even attempting to get a block, while holding his shoe in his other hand. That type of effort is a classic example of why, even at 36 years old, Gibson is still on an NBA roster. But Tom Thibodeau could have something to do with it as well, as he’s known for being notoriously loyal, or stubborn.

7. Chris Paul still elite, despite status among oldest NBA players

chris paul
Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
  • Chris Paul date of birth – 5/6/1985
  • Chris Paul age – 37 years old

They say you gain wisdom as you age. Well 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.

6. At age 37, P.J. Tucker’s long-traveled career continues

p.j. tucker
Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
  • P.J. Tucker date of birth – 5/5/1985
  • P.J. Tucker age – 37 years old

An 11-year NBA vet, P.J. Tucker 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, Millsap 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, now, Tucker is on the Miami Heat looking to repeat.

5. Paul Millsap still seeking first NBA Championship at age 37

paul millsap
Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
  • Paul Millsap date of birth – 2/10/1985
  • Paul Millsap age – 37 years old

It took Paul Millsap five seasons before he became a full-time starter, so it’s understandable that he’d want to savor the twilight of his NBA career. In his 16th year in the Association, Millsap is now on the Brooklyn Nets, but is set to be a free agent this offseason.

4. How old is LeBron James? (Old enough to be on this list)

lebron james
Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
  • LeBron James date of birth – 12/30/1984
  • LeBron James age – 37 years old

LeBron James is not quite the oldest NBA player, but experienced enough to be the fourth oldest active NBA player. King James is no longer the unstoppable force he once was, but the 17-time NBA All-Star still averaged north of 30 points per game in his 19th 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.

3. Carmelo Anthony is oldest player from 2003 NBA Draft class

carmelo anthony
Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
  • Carmelo Anthony date of birth – 5/29/1984
  • Carmelo Anthony age – 37 years old

Few current players in the NBA are as accomplished as Carmelo Anthony. Entering the league in the same draft class as LeBron James, Melo has taken several trips around the sun and is among the oldest active NBA players. While his contributions are clear, Melo also helps compose the oldest NBA team with an average age of 31.3 years per player during the 2021-22 year. He is also the eldest NBA player in the Association without an NBA Championship to his name.

2. Golden State’s Andre Iguodala is league’s second-oldest

andre iguodala
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
  • Andre Iguodala date of birth – 1/28/1984
  • Andre Iguodala age – 38 years old

This may be painful because many of us still remember when Andre Iguodala was a rookie with the Philadelphia 76ers back in 2004 when he was playing with the original A.I., Allen Iverson. Nostalgia aside, Iggy is the second-oldest active NBA player at 38 years old.

1. Miami Heat’s Udonis Haslem is the oldest current NBA player

udonis haslem
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
  • Udonis Haslem date of birth – 6/9/1980
  • Udonis Haslem age – 41 years old

Sitting far ahead of his NBA peers, Udonis Haslem is the oldest NBA player in the league, and it’s not even close. The glorified player/coach at this stage in his career doesn’t even compare to other NBA players’ ages. Haslem is almost a full four years older than the next player on this list.

Haslem doesn’t really play anymore, having seen fewer than a total of 250 minutes over the past five seasons. We’re not sure why he doesn’t simply become a coach at this point, but the Miami Heat will let him do what he wants as a valued member of their franchise. After spending his entire 19-year NBA career with the team, he’s earned it.