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

The National Basketball Association was founded on July 6, 1946. In the 76 years since, over 4,500 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. Garrett Temple’s return earns him spot among oldest players in NBA

garrett temple
Daniel Dunn-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 New Orleans Pelicans.

9. Goran Dragic suiting up for 15th NBA season

NBA: Chicago Bulls at New Orleans Pelicans
Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports
  • Goran Dragic date of birth – 5/6/1986
  • Goran Dragic age – 37 years old

Dragic, one of the oldest players in basketball, is in the midst of his 15th NBA season. He’s seemingly done it all at the highest stage, making it to an All-Star team, being recognized as the NBA’s Most Improved Player in 2013-14, and making an All-NBA squad. Yet, he still doesn’t have an NBA Championship to his name. We’ll see if he comes back for another season after playing in 2023 with the Chicago Bulls.

Related: Top 2023 NBA free agents: Best 100 available with positional breakdowns

8. George Hill still seeking first NBA Championship at age 37

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Milwaukee Bucks
Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports
  • George Hill date of birth – 5/4/1986
  • George Hill age – 37 years old

In his 15th NBA season, Hill is still searching for his first NBA Championship ring. It’s not for a lack of trying, as he’s spent 13 seasons on playoff teams, including beginning his career with the San Antonio Spurs, who holds the NBA’s best win-percentage of all time as a franchise. Now in his second stint with Milwaukee, Hill could have a chance to add to his trophy case this season.

7. 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, in his 17th NBA season, Lowry is still a fixture in the starting lineup for the Miami Heat.

Related: Ranking the best performances from the 2023 NBA Playoffs after Nikola Jokic’s triple-double

6. Taj Gibson stands the test of time

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Washington Wizards
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
  • Taj Gibson date of birth – 6/24/1985
  • Taj Gibson age – 37 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 37 years old, Gibson is still on an NBA roster. After being let go from Tom Thibodeau’s grasp on the New York Knicks, Gibson landed with the Washington Wizards.

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

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Philadelphia 76ers
Kyle Ross-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.

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

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Philadelphia 76ers
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
  • P.J. Tucker date of birth – 5/5/1985
  • P.J. Tucker age – 38 years old

Going on his 12th season, 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, 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, now, Tucker is on the Philadelphia 76ers.

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

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Los Angeles Lakers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
  • LeBron James date of birth – 12/30/1984
  • LeBron James age – 38 years old

LeBron James is not quite the oldest NBA player but experienced enough to be the third oldest active NBA player. King James is no longer the unstoppable force he once was, but the 18-time NBA All-Star still averages north of 30 points per game in his 20th 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.

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

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Golden State Warriors
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
  • Andre Iguodala date of birth – 1/28/1984
  • Andre Iguodala age – 39 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, playing with the original A.I., Allen Iverson. Nostalgia aside, Iggy is the second-oldest active NBA player at 39 years old.

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

NBA: Miami Heat at Sacramento Kings
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
  • Udonis Haslem date of birth – 6/9/1980
  • Udonis Haslem age – 42 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 played just 347 minutes over the past six 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 culture. After spending his entire 20-year NBA career with the team, he’s earned it.

He’s back for another year riding pine, intimidating the younger players on not only his team but also his opponents in 2022-23. You can’t talk about Heat culture without mentioning Haslem, but he finally appears ready to hang up his shoes after the 2023 season, wrapping up a legendary career.

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This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.

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