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Oldest active players in the NBA today
These are the oldest active players in the NBA today. Every player on this list is at least 37 years old. One of the things I've always loved about basketball is the the sheer athleticism of the sport. To play basketball well you really have to be in shape.
That is especially true of older players if they hope to keep up with the younger players. Most of these players have declining skills at this point but almost all of them will be in the playoffs trying to help their teams win a championship.
One of the players on this list played for my favorite NBA team the New Jersey Nets and led us into two consecutive NBA Finals. The only two NBA Finals we New Jersey Nets fans have ever experienced.
Oldest Active Players in the NBA Today
Shaq has been playing in the NBA since 1992 and is in his 19th season. He just turned 39 years old this month which makes him the only 39 or older active player in the NBA today and the oldest active player in the league. For better than half his career Shaq averaged at least 26 points and 10.5 rebounds per game but he is averaging just 9.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game this season with the Boston Celtics.
Shaq has been sidelined since February 1st this season with a right foot injury but is hopeful of returning by early April so he can try and help the Celtics in the playoffs as they try to win their 18th NBA Championship. Shaq looks like he hasn't been in shape for a number of years now but his huge size could still make him useful in the playoffs.
Kurt Thomas has been in the NBA since 1995 and is in his 16th season playing for his 8th NBA team this season. Thomas was never one of the great players in the game but he has earned well over $60 million dollars in his career while starting just 62% of the games he played in. He was signed in the off-season by the Chicago Bulls and he will try to help Derrick Rose(notes), Luol Deng(notes) and company win a championship this post-season.
Grant Hill started playing in the NBA in 1994 and is in his 16th season this year. He missed the entire 2003-04 season due to injury and injuries have played havoc with his career. When he came out of Duke University many projected him to be the next NBA superstar but Hill never quite reached that status. He is currently in his 4th year with the Phoenix Suns and has started every game this season and is averaging 13.2 points per game. Kurt Thomas was born just one day before Grant Hill in 1972.
Seems like just yesterday that Juwan Howard was playing at Michigan as one of the Fab Five. He is now over 38 years old and in his 17th NBA season playing for the Miami Heat along with LeBron James(notes) and Dwyane Wade(notes). Howard plays just minimally for the Heat and has career averages of 13.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. If the Miami Heat win the NBA Championship this year it will be the first championship for Howard as well as LeBron James.
Jason Kidd just turned 38 years old on March 23, 2011. Kidd is in his 17th year in the NBA and thankfully he spent the better part of 7 season playing for my New Jersey Nets. He took the Nets to two consecutive NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003 which is farther than any other point guard has taken the Nets since they moved to New Jersey in 1977.
Kidd is a sure-fire hall of fame inductee and should not have to wait too long for the honor once he is eligible as he is very high on many all-time career stats lists like assists, steals and 3-point shots.
Theo Ratliff has been in the NBA since 1995. He signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in the off-season but has missed most of this season after undergoing knee surgery on November 17, 2010. He has just started working out and hopes to be back for the playoffs as the Lakers try to 3-peat but his prognosis for the playoffs
is iffy at best. He will turn 38 during the playoffs and highlights the risks of signing older players.
Steve Nash is in his 15th season in the NBA and is currently leading the league in assists and assists per game having just pulled ahead of Rajon Rondo(notes) of the Boston Celtics in the category. Nash has already led the league 4 times in assists and assists per game in his career. Only real knock on his career is he has yet to win a championship.
Marcus Camby just turned 37 years old on March 22, 2011. Seems like a long time ago that he was carrying the University of Massachusetts and head coach John Calapari into the NCAA Tournament and Final Four in 1996. In his 15 year NBA career he's never been a great scorer but he's always been a great presence in the paint having led the league in blocked shots 3 times and blocks per game 4 times as well as averaging 10.0 rebounds per game. He was NBA Defensive player of the Year in 2007.
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