Professional basketball athletes can be a fulfilling and lucrative career option if you have a natural talent, ambition, and dedication for the game. The average age of retirement in the professional game is 33. Many athletes around the world continue to play even after the 40s. Not because only they love the game, but they do enjoy every moment of it. In this article, I am going to feature some of the oldest players throughout NBA history. So without any delay, let’s get started.
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1. Karl Malone
Karl had a memorable 18 years of NBA career (1985-2003) in power forward position. Karl’s nickname was “The Mailman.” Karl is the 10th oldest player in the history of the NBA. He is recognized as one of the best power forward along with his teammate John Stockton who was a point guard at that time. The combination of Karl and John formed a powerful duo. Karl had a record of having the second most career points (36928) in the history of the NBA. And also, he had the record of most free throws attempted and made. Karl has inaugurated the basketball hall of fame for two times, once in 1992, as a member of the US men’s Olympic basketball team and again in 2010 as for his career. Karl was 40 years and 325 days old while he was playing at his earliest age. In NBA the last time Karl played with Los Angeles Lakers.
2. Charles Jones
Charles Jones is the 9th oldest in NBA history. Back in 1979, Phoenix Suns drafted him to play for NBA. But Jones started playing in 1984 for Philadelphia 76ers. Before announcing the retirement from NBA in 1998, Jones played for four teams. He was 41 years and 30 days old while he played at his earliest age. The last time he played for Houston Rockets, he also won the NBA championship in 1995 with this team. Jones had an overall career average of 2.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game.
3. John Stockton
John had an entire 19 years of NBA career with The Utah Jazz as a point guard. He was 41 years and 25 days old while the last time he played with this American basketball team. He is one of the best point guards in NBA who have a record of most assists (15,806) and steals (3,265). John is a member of Hall of fame. He has 5 of the top 6 seasons in the history of NBA, and the rests are belonging to Isaiah Thomas. Additionally, John also has a record of playing most consecutive games with the same team.
4. Herb Williams
Herb is the 7th oldest player ever in NBA history, and he had an 18 years long career. He didn’t have such an extraordinary career. At present, Herb is serving as an assistant coach of The New York Liberty. From 2003 to 2014, he was the assistant coach and interim head coach of New York Knicks. However, while he played for the last time with the New York Knicks, he was 41 years and 150 days old.
5. Bob Cousy
Bob is the sixth eldest man to play for the NBA. While he played the last game, he was 41 years and 150 days old. In his overall NBA career as a player, he won the NBA most valuable player award in 1957, and besides that, he also was a 13 time all NBA star. After retirement as a professional player, Bob started his coaching career with Boston College and then with Cincinnati Royals. Back in 1970, Bob decided to return to play for the Royals as a player in the late-season. That game has arranged to boost the ticket sale, and during that game, tickets increased to 77%.
6. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem is one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He had 20 years of an amazing and colorful basketball career. And in this period, Karem gathered lots of achievements like – NBA all-star for 19 times, NBA most valuable player for six times, player for 6 NBA championships, voted twice for NBA final most valuable player. He is the all-time leading scorer with 38,387 points and the player who has the most career wins of 1074. ESPN announced that Kareem is the second-best basketball player in NBA history, whereas Michael Jordan is the first. Kareem not only had a great career as a coach or player, but he is also an actor and bestselling author. In 2016 Kareem got an award from former US president Barack Obama. Last time Kareem played for Los Angeles Lakers, and he was 42 years and six days old at that time.
7. Dikembe Mutombo
Mutombo is a retired basketball player, and he is mostly known for his outstanding shot-blocking skills. He is one of the best shot blockers and defensive basketball players of NBA history. He has won the best defensive player of the year award four times. Apart from all these, Mutombo is also one of the eldest fellows to play in the NBA. He announced his retirement after the injury in his last game. He was 42 years and 300 days old when he was playing his final game. That time he was playing for the Houston Rockets. In 2015 Mutombo inducted to the basketball hall of fame and after the retirement involved himself in humanitarian work.
8. Robert Parish
After graduating from college, Robert drafted for the first time in the NBA in 1976, and he had 21 years of long successive career. Throughout his career, he played the 1611 regular-season game, and he is the third eldest player in NBA history. He was 43 years and 254 days old when he played his last game for Chicago Bulls. Back in 1996, Robert got the vote for one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history.
9. Kevin Willis
Kevin is the second eldest player in NBA history. He first drafted in 1984, and since then, he played for many teams, including - Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Miami Heat, and the Atlanta Hawks. Kevin played for 21 succeeding years, and before playing his final season in 2007, he took a break for a year. During the late regular season, Kevin played five games only. Along with Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Garnett, and Robert Parish, he holds the second position for most seasoned players in the NBA. Since Kevin had 22 years of a long career as a player, he is one of the 15 players to have over 16000 career points and 11000 rebounds. While Kevin played his last match for Dallas Mavericks, he was 44 years and 224 days old.
10. Nat Hickey
In NBA history, Nat Hickey is the oldest basketball as when he played his last game; it was just a few days before his 46th birthday. During the 1947 – 48 seasons, he served as a coach of Providence Steamrollers. While serving as a team coach, Nat decided to play two games for the Providence Steamrollers so that the team gets back in winning track but ended up scoring 2 points and five personal fouls. Apart from playing basketball, Nat also used to play baseball, and he played in 15 minor league season.