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.
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 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. In April of 2021, Aldridge had to retire from the game he loved after experiencing heart problems. He later returned to play with the Brooklyn Nets, but Aldridge is currently a free agent. It remains to be seen whether he’ll return for a 17th year.
9. Trevor Ariza prepares to play 19th NBA season
- Trevor Ariza date of birth – 6/30/1985
- Trevor Ariza age – 37 years old
Trevor Ariza played just 24 games for the Los Angeles Lakers this season after experiencing right ankle issues. One of the oldest players in basketball, we’ll see what type of contract Ariza can land this offseason, should he pursue another year in the league.
8. Taj Gibson stands the test of time
- 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. Recently let go from the New York Knicks, Gibson appears set to land with the Washington Wizards.
7. Chris Paul still elite, despite status among oldest NBA players
- 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 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, 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.
5. Paul Millsap still seeking first NBA Championship at age 37
- 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. Coming off his 16th season in the NBA, Millsap had been on the Philadelphia 76ers, but is now a free agent.
4. How old is LeBron James? (Old enough to be on this list)
- 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 date of birth – 5/29/1984
- Carmelo Anthony age – 38 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. He is also the eldest NBA player in the Association without an NBA Championship to his name, but now he’s a free agent, able to join any team.
2. Golden State’s Andre Iguodala is league’s second-oldest
- 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, 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 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 276 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 culture. After spending his entire 19-year NBA career with the team, he’s earned it. He’s a free agent again, and he won’t sign anywhere else than in South Beach. That’s both loyalty and job security all tied into one deal.
This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.