Top 5 oldest NBA players heading into the 2019-2020 season
John Stockton, Bob Cousy, Dikembe Mutombo, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar--these are just some players who showed some crazy longevity in the NBA. These guys played in the league way past their prime, even playing through their early 40s!
For context, the average player in the league last season was 26 years old and have had four seasons under his belt. This season's average will most likely not be far off. It's, therefore, safe to say that playing and contributing well through your late 30s is one remarkable feat.
With players like Vince Carter reportedly returning to the Hawks to play his 22nd NBA season at 42 years old and Pau Gasol suiting up for the Blazers at 38 years old, it just makes you wonder, who else is up there with them trying to defeat Father time?
As the 2019-2020 NBA Season starts this October 23, we look at the Top 5 oldest players who will still be playing it out this season.
5. Nenê (37 years, 1 month, 10 days)
Nenê Hilario, who legally changed his name in 2003 to just "Nenê," was the 7th overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft. The Brazillian was drafted by the New York Knicks and was traded to the Denver Nuggets.
The forward/center wasted no time in proving his place in the league as he made an immediate impact on the team, averaging 10.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.6 steals as a starter of 80 games. He ranked sixth in the whole league in field goal percentage and consequently earned NBA All-Rookie First Team honors.
Nenê had a few more years with Denver as part of the core that made the playoffs and even pushed it to the Western Conference Finals in 2009. His best playoff year in terms of points was in 2007 where he averaged 15.2 points on 7.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, .6 blocks, and .6 steals. The following year, the Brazillian shot 100% from the free throw line in the 2008 playoffs.
Currenlty, Nenê is still a valuable piece to his current team, the Houston Rockets as he's signed through 2021. Despite a series of injuries and a cancer scare in his first few years in the league, Nenê remains a great defensive player and complementary piece to Harden and the Rockets as he comes off the bench at 37 years old.