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Oldest NBA Player – Top Ten List

Vince Carter retired from the NBA this year, he was the first player to play in four decades and Carter played 22 seasons in his career. However, Carter is not the oldest player to play in the NBA, in fact he doesn’t even make the top three. Therefore, you may be wondering who is the oldest player to have played in the NBA?

Who are the oldest players to play the NBA? The following players are the ten oldest players to have played in the NBA.

NBA PlayerAge
Nat Hickey45 years old, 363 days
Kevin Willis44 years old, 224 days
Robert Parish43 years old, 254 days
Vince Carter43 years old, 45 days
Dikembe Mutombo42 years old, 300 days
Karem Abdul-Jabbar43 years old, 6 days
Bob Cousy41 years old, 150 days
Herb Williams41 years old, 129 days
John Stockton41 years, 35 days
Charles Jones41 years, 325 days

We have taken a look at the top ten list and looked at the careers of the ten oldest players to have played in the NBA.

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Nat Hickey

Nat Hickey is the oldest player to have played in the NBA (It was actually the . Hickey started playing in the NBA in 1921 and his playing career finished in 1948. Hickey won one Championship in 1926 with the Cleveland Rosenblums.

Kevin Willis

Kevin Willis was drafted in 1984 by the Atlanta Hawks an played with famous players such as Doc Rivers and Spud Webb. After 10 years with the Atlanta Hawks Kevin Willis became a journeyman of the NBA and he was traded to the Golden State Warriors in 96 where he played for two seasons. Willis went to the Houston Rockets briefly before going to the Toronto Raptors. By the time he left the Toronto Raptors it was 2001 and he’d already been in the League 17 years. WIllis was traded to the Denver Nuggets where he spent two seasons playing for them. In 2003, the Nuggets traded Willis to the San Antonio Spurs and Willis won an NBA championship with the San Antonio Spurs in his 19 year in the NBA he then returned back to the Atlanta Hawks the following season and then went on to the Dallas Mavericks for his last season in the NBA.

Robert Parish

Robert Parrish played in the NBA for 30 years having first been drafted in the 1976 NBA draft by the Golden State Warriors. Throughout his career Parish wore the 00 number. Parrish’s career at the beginning with the Golden State Warriors didn’t go as planned and when he was traded to the Boston Celtics, it was his time at the Celtics in the 1980s where his career took a different treachery. Parish joined the Boston Celtics and played 14 seasons with him and picked up three NBA Championships with the Boston Celtics. He was the second highest rebounder for the Boston Celtics in their history second to the great Bill Russell. After the Celtics let him go the Hornets obtained parish at the age of 41 and after two seasons they let him go. However, Parrish still had one more championship in him as he signed as a free agent with Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls at the age of 43. Parrish appeared in nine All Star games and is also in the NBA Hall of Fame . 

Vince Carter

Vince Carter name is synonymous with the NBA. He had eight All Star appearances, as well as winning a NBA slam dunk contest. Carter was also the NBA rookie of the year in 1999 however, Vince Carter never won a championship. Vince Carter was drafted in 1998 by the Toronto Raptors he was known for his athleticism and his amazing dunks. However in 2004 he was traded to the New Jersey Nets Before going to the Orlando magic for one season. He played one season with the Phoenix Suns And then he went on to the Dallas Mavericks.. Carter played for  three seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies and one season with the Sacramento Kings before he played his last season with the Atlanta Hawks.

Dikembe Mutombo

Diekmbe Mutombo was drafted in 1991 as the 4th pick by the Denver Nuggets. Mutombo played for the Nuggets for four years before he was traded to the Atlanta Hawks. Mutombo had four years at Atlanta until he was traded to the 76ers in 2001. Mutombo was then traded to the New Jersey Nets and then the New YorkKnicks in 2004. Mutombo finished up at the Houston Rockets where he spent for the last four years of his career.

Mutombo played in eight NBA All Star games and famously got into a discussion with Michael Jordan on how he had never been dunked on by MJ. Jordan got his own back the same season (see below) and used Mutombos famous wagging finger.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul-Jabber was drafted as the first pick on the 1969 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks. Kareem had five seasons at the Bucks until he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in where Kareem stayed until 1989. Kareem is a six time NBA Champion and has picked up two finals MVPs. He appeared in 19 all star games and was also the NBA rookie of the year in 1969. In 2016 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Bob Cousy

Cousy played for the Boston Celtics from 1951-1963 after having been drafted as the third pick in the 1950 NBA draft. Cousy played until 1963 and retired however, he came out of retirement to play for the Cincinnati Royals for one season.

Cousy was a six times NBA champion and appeared in 13 NBA all star games.

Herb Williams

Herb Williams was drafted as the 14th pick of the 1981 NBA draft by the Indiana Pacers. Williams played for the Indiana Pacers for seven years before being traded to the Dallas Mavericks from 1989 to 1992. In 1993 Williams was traded to the New York Knicks and played for the Knicks until 1999 where he finished up his career.

John Stockton

John Stockton was drafted 16th in the 1984 draft by the Utah Jazz. Stockton was a one man team and played for the Utah Jazz from 1984 until 2003. Stockton played in ten NBA All Star games. Stockton also won a Gold Medal with the United States at the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games.

Charles Jones

Charles Jones was drafted in the 8th round as the 18th pick in the 1979 NBA draft by the Phoenix Suns. However, Jones did not play in the NBA until he was traded to the 76ers in 1984. In 1985 he was traded to Chicago Bulls for one season before being traded to the Washington Bulls for eight seasons. Jones had one season at the Detroit Pistons before being traded to the Houston Rockets for the last two seasons of his career.