Oldest Players in Sports: NBA

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In the NBA – as with most professional sports – time isn’t necessarily on the player’s side as he tears off a page on the calendar every year. While basketball, even at the professional level, doesn’t involve a ton of contact between players, the human body naturally starts to wear out as it ages.

This doesn’t mean, however, that NBA players don’t play into their late 30s and even into their 40s. Here, we checked the rosters of all 30 teams to see who made the list of the oldest players in the NBA.

Ageless Success

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The oldest person currently in the league is Kings player Vince Carter. At 40 years old, he’s lived four decades, nearly two of which have been spent playing in the NBA. Carter was drafted by the Golden State Warriors fifth overall in 1998 and has spent time with six teams. He is an eight-time All-Star and was the Rookie of the Year for the 1998-99 season.

Coming in second is none other than San Antonio’s shooting guard Manu Ginóbili. Gino was selected in the second round of the 1999 draft by the Spurs and has remained a prominent player on the roster since.

Dirk Nowitzki is the third oldest NBA player at age 39. He was drafted ninth overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1998 and immediately traded to Dallas, where he’s remained for his entire 19-year career. Nowitzki is a 13-time All-Star, the 2006-07 MVP, and led the Mavericks to their sole NBA Finals in 2011.  

Fourth on the list is Richard Jefferson of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He’s 37 years old and was also a high draft pick – going 13th overall to the Houston Rockets in 2001 – and similar to Nowitzki, was immediately traded to a new team right after the draft. His new team was the New Jersey Nets, where he spent seven seasons. He eventually made his way to the Cavaliers, where he helped the team grab its sole NBA Finals win in 2016.

The fifth oldest NBA player is Damien Wilkins, age 37. Wilkins was undrafted but was signed by the Seattle SuperSonics in 2004. The veteran player has actually been out of the league for four years (last playing for the Philadelphia 76ers) but was recently signed by the Indiana Pacers.  

No. 6 on our list is Udonis Haslem – suiting up for the Miami Heat at age 37. Haslem has three NBA Finals under his belt with the Heat but had to overcome a few obstacles in his career to get to that point, considering he went undrafted and spent a year playing for Élan Chalon in France.

Jamal Crawford, also age 37, is the seventh oldest NBA player. Crawford was drafted eighth overall in 2000 by the Cleveland Cavaliers and was immediately traded to the Chicago Bulls. Crawford was awarded the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award three times and has played for six NBA teams.

The rest of the top 10 include David West (age 37, Golden State Warriors), Nick Collison (age 36, Oklahoma City Thunder), and Joe Johnson (age 36, Utah Jazz).

Aged All-Stars

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While the oldest players in the last NBA All-Star Game weren’t that old, they also were not considered to be very young by professional sports standards. Carmelo Anthony, representing the Eastern Conference, was 32 (now age 33), and Marc Gasol, representing the Western Conference, was 32.

Carmelo Anthony, or Melo, has quite a few accolades. Including last year, he’s been selected to 10 All-Star Games over his 14-year career. He was also the NBA scoring champ during the 2012-13 season and was selected to the 2003-04 All-Rookie team. Drafted third overall in 2003 by the Denver Nuggets, Anthony spent the first chunk of his career in The Mile High City and is currently playing for the Knicks, where he’s been for the last seven seasons.

Marc Gasol is a Spanish-born player who has spent his entire career with the Memphis Grizzlies (after a post-draft trade). In total, Gasol has appeared in three All-Star Games and was selected as the 2012-13 Defensive Player of the Year. He was also selected to the 2008-09 All-Rookie team and continues to make an impact in Memphis.

Professionals at Any Age

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While some of the oldest players in the NBA aren’t really up there in years at all (yes, the list even includes a player in his 20s), we did look through each team’s roster to highlight the oldest player for each team.

Aside from the top 10 oldest players in the league, one name that stands out almost immediately is Dwyane Wade, the oldest baller on the Chicago Bulls at age 35. Wade played his first 13 seasons with the Miami Heat, where he was a part of three championship teams and was a nearly annual All-Star select with 12 appearances in a row. Wade now plays in Chicago for the Bulls.

Tyson Chandler, age 35, currently suits up for the Phoenix Suns. He was drafted No. 2 overall in 2001 by the Los Angeles Clippers, who subsequently traded him to the Chicago Bulls where he played for five seasons. Over his 16-season career, he’s played for several NBA teams, been an All-Star select in 2013, and an NBA Finals champion in 2011 with the Dallas Mavericks.

The youngest “oldest” guy on an NBA team is Evan Turner of the Portland Trail Blazers. At 28, his age indicates that the Trail Blazers are a pretty young team overall. Turner was drafted second overall in 2010 by the 76ers and over his 7-year career has played for four teams.

Grab Some Gear

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Top 10 Oldest Players in the NBA

  1. Vince Carter (40) Sacramento Kings
  2. Dirk Nowitzki (39) Dallas Mavericks
  3. Richard Jefferson (37) Cleveland Cavaliers
  4. Damien Wilkins (37) Indiana Pacers
  5. Udonis Haslem (37) Miami Heat
  6. Jamal Crawford (37) Minnesota Timberwolves
  7. Pau Gasol (37) San Antonio Spurs
  8. David West (36) Golden State Warriors
  9. Nick Collison (36) Oklahoma City Thunder
  10. Joe Johnson (36) Utah Jazz

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Frugal NBA Athletes

Frugal NBA Athletes

Signing an NBA contract is a huge milestone in an athlete’s life – one that often comes with a large paycheck. While the increase in income might not sound like an issue to most, athletes can often find the shift challenging to manage. It becomes far too easy to spend frugally on luxury items while leaving little available for post-career living expenses.

That’s what makes the following six NBA players special: Instead of spending their newfound wealth on yachts and huge entourages, they’re taking advantage of smart money management and investing or storing funds for the future.

Frugal NBA Role Models

4 NBA ballers that save money

Matt Bonner, San Antonio Spurs

The 35-year-old NBA center makes millions of dollars each season, but Bonner still likes to use public transportation and less expensive automobiles (like his Chevy Impala). Bonner once chose to wear New Balance sneakers simply because they were less expensive than Nike or Adidas. He eventually signed a contract with Adidas, which means he receives free shoes. What’s more frugal than that?

Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks

New York’s prized player has an estimated net worth of $85 million as a fixture on one of the country’s most prominent teams. Anthony still cuts coupons from the Sunday newspaper despite his large salary, which he attributes to his humble roots. And while his ride is a customized Jeep Wrangler, it’s relatively less lavish than what a multimillionaire might ordinarily choose.

Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs

Matt Bonner’s Spurs teammate, Kawhi Leonard, seems to relish his thrifty lifestyle choices. Leonard was named the NBA Finals MVP in 2014 and captured the Defensive Player of the Year title in 2015. But despite his clear path to stardom, he doesn’t live as glamorously as most would expect. Leonard spends summers in a two-bedroom apartment, where he hangs a mini basketball hoop from the door for fun. He often drives a refurbished 1997 Chevy Malibu with a Blue Book value of about $1,500.  And even though he reportedly has a fancier vehicle, he says the Malibu gets better gas mileage.

Trey Burke, Utah Jazz

Trey Burke might power a Porsche down the streets (a car he bought with his $2.5 million salary), but he regularly sticks to a monthly budget of $5,000. Burke’s family initially hired a management firm to help walk him through the challenges of being newly wealthy. So far, his plans have paid off. He hopes to save most of his salary while living on endorsement deals during his athletic career.

Honorable Mentions

Jeff Foster, (Formerly) Indiana Pacers

In addition to playing basketball, Foster concentrated on academics in high school – which may have served him well in relation to his net worth of $22 million. The former Indiana Pacers athlete worked hard to invest and save nearly three-quarters of his take-home pay. He even sold his Porsche during the NBA lockout.

DeShawn Stevenson, (Formerly) Washington Wizards and Utah Jazz, among others

Boasting a net worth of $10 million, Stevenson set up a pretty unique money-making enterprise right in his home: He installed an ATM machine that allows his friends to withdraw cash at their convenience but charges a $4.50 fee on each transaction.

A Lesson to Learn

New and current NBA players should look up to these six players for inspiration as they manage their wealth. Though it sounds like a fun problem to have, overspending can easily become an issue when experience in money management is lacking.

Channel your favorite frugal NBA star this postseason by shopping sale items via the Fanatics online retail store.

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Who are the teammates of Carmelo Anthony & Dwyane Wade

Teammates of Carmelo Anthony & Dwyane Wade

Since the Basketball Association of America (BAA) and National Basketball League (NBL) merged to form the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1949, thousands of men have suited up to hit the court for one of the 30 modern-day teams (or any number of teams past). This means that any given NBA player has an extensive “social network” of teammates, present and prior.

With this in mind, we examined two of this year’s All-Star selects and found over 100 connections for each player. Check out our interactive graphs that visualize the player-to-player connections for Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade over their careers. Each dot represents a single player, and the lines that go from dot to dot show baller associations.

Thirteen Seasons of Connections With Carmelo “Melo” Anthony


Carmelo Anthony was drafted third overall in 2003 by the Denver Nuggets, and the nine-time All-Star player has spent his professional career on two different teams – the Nuggets and the New York Knicks. During the 2012-13 season, he led the NBA in scoring; he averaged 28.7 points per game, and he currently ranks 39th in overall scoring with 20,924 points.

He’s developed connections to 122 different players over the course of his 13-season career. Although he excelled in the Olympic Games (he received a bronze medal in 2004 and a gold in both 2008 and 2012), our node graph only accounts for official NBA connections. Of note, he shared playing time with Jason Kidd (now the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks), who finished up his playing career with the Knicks during the 2012-13 season, and Allen Iverson, who shared the court with him in Denver.

Associating With Dwyane “Call Me Three” Wade


Dwyane Wade has clocked 12 years – and counting – with the Miami Heat, where he was picked fifth overall in the 2003 draft after a stellar year playing at Marquette University (which has since retired his jersey number). He’s helped the Heat capture three NBA titles (in 2006, 2012, and 2013) and is gearing up to play in his 12th NBA All-Star Game.

Along the way, he’s shared connections with 110 other NBA players (notably, King James and Shaq, both of whom played with the Heat during Wade’s tenure); he’s racked up a ton of honors as well, including All-Rookie First Team (2003-04), scoring leader and All-NBA First Team (2008-09), and three selections to the All-Defensive Third Team (2004-05, 2008-09, and 2009-10).

Wrapping Up

It’s easy to see how a long playing career (and All-Star status) can result in tons of connections along the timeline of the NBA. While these two ballers don’t share any mutual connections (probably because they’ve kept their team counts low), these stats convey how extensive the NBA family network really is.

Good news for NBA fans: No matter who your favorite All-Star select is, you can get your All-Star gear from Fanatics.com.

Methodology

Using NBA roster data from Basketball-Reference.com, we created a data set containing each player’s name as well as the associated teams and years. If he played for multiple years or multiple teams, each pairing counted separately. With 4,336 players on 104 teams, we were left with 23,919 player and team pairs over 70 seasons.

The second data set matched players who played together. This yielded 181,886 player-to-player pairs over 70 seasons. In this blog post, we looked at the connections for Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade specifically.

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See this:  Kobe Bryant played with these NBA stars over his 20 year career