Another year goes by, and the oldest players in the NBA keep changing, with the previous geezers retiring. In the latest “top” 10 of old guys playing in the league in 2016-2017, there are 7 remaining players who were born in the 1970’s, a disappearing breed. This includes former teammates Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry, while the Los Angeles Clippers are the only team with two reps here: Paul Pierce and Jamal Crawford.
Jamal Crawford, Los Angeles Clippers: 36
Born on March 20, 1980, Crawford is entering his 17th NBA season, and 5th with the Clippers. A 3-time sixth man of the year award winner, Crawford averaged 14.2 points per game coming off the bench for the Clippers last season, re-signing with them for 3 more years this summer, making $42 million during that time. He has also played for the Bulls, Knicks, Warriors, Hawks and Blazers.
Matt Barnes, Sacramento Kings: 36
Barnes, born on March 9, 1980, has made more headlines recently for his feud with Derek Fisher than his basketball accomplishments. He’s in his first season with the Kings, signing a two-year, $12.5 million (second season player option) with them this summer. He averaged 10 points per game last season for the Grizzlies, stopping there for one season. He previously played on the Clippers, Lakers, Magic, Suns, Warriors, 76ers and Knicks. He spent one season with the Kings back in the 2004-2005 season.
Mike Miller, Denver Nuggets: 36
The 2001 rookie of the year and 2006 sixth man of the year, Miller was born on February 19, 1980, in the busy metropolis of MItchell, South Dakota. He’s a two-time NBA champion with the Miami Heat (2012,2013), starting his second season with the Nuggets, who he scored 1.3 points per game for last season. Miller has been in the NBA since 2000, playing for the Magic, Grizzlies, Timberwolves, Wizards, Heat and Cavaliers along the way.
Metta World Peace, Los Angeles Lakers: 36
Born on November 13, 1979, Metta World Peace starts his 18th NBA season and sixth with the Los Angeles Lakers, who he has been playing for since 2009, with a one-year break to spend a season on the New York Knicks. He won the NBA title with the Lakers in 2010 and is a one-time All-Star (2004), and one-time Defensive player of the year (2004). He has played for six different franchises in his career, starting out on the Bulls, moving through Indiana, Sacramento, Houston, Los Angeles and New York.
Chris Andersen, Cleveland Cavaliers: 38
Born on July 7, 1978, it took Andersen two years before someone in the NBA noticed him after going undrafted in 1999. Since then, he has played for the Denver Nuggets, Pelicans (when they were the Hornets), Heat and Grizzlies before re-teaming with LeBron James in Cleveland this season. He won the NBA championship with the Heat in 2013, and averaged 3.9 points per game for Miami & Memphis last season. Andersen was suspended by the league for violating its anti-drug policy from 2006 until 2008.
Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks: 38
Born on June 19, 1978, it’s fair to say Nowitzki is the best player on this list. Not just currently, but also in terms of body of work, establishing himself as one of the best forwards in the history of the league, and it’s greatest European player. Nowitzki, a one-time MVP, one-time NBA champion and finals MVP, 13-time All-Star and 4-time All-NBA first team selection, is pretty much everything to the Mavs, owning almost every possible franchise record. He’s been on the team since 1998, signing a two-year, $50 million deal in July, with a team option on the second season. He averaged 18.3 points per game last season.
Paul Pierce, Los Angeles Clippers: 39
Many expected Pierce to retire after last season, but he’s sticking around for at least one more year, announcing this is his last season (he has time to change his mind, and he has a guaranteed contract year for 2017-2018). Pierce played for the Boston Celtics from 1998 till 2013, before going ring chasing in Brooklyn and Washington, ending up on the Clippers, reuniting with Doc Rivers. He won the NBA title and Finals MVP in 2008 with the Celtics, and has made the All-Star team 10 times in his career. Pierce was born on October 13, 1977
Jason Terry, Milwaukee Bucks: 39
Terry, a former teammate of Pierce, has started his 18th NBA season on his sixth NBA franchise. He has previously played for the Hawks, Mavs, Celtics, Nets and Rockets, winning the NBA championship in 2011 with Dallas, and won the Sixth Man of the Year award in 2009, also while playing on the Mavs. He signed a 1-year deal with the Bucks to play what might be his final NBA season. He averaged 5.9 points per game for the Rockets last season. Terry was born on September 15, 1977.
Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs: 39
A second round pick in 1999, Ginobili has went on to have an incredible NBA career after doing extremely well in Europe. A four-time NBA champion, two-time NBA All-Star and one-time Sixth Man of the Year, Ginobili probably could have put up much better numbers on a different team, but settled for the role he had on the Spurs, which worked out pretty well for everyone. He’s in his 15th NBA season, and it seems every season over the last five years is his last. He signed a one-year deal worth $14 million in the summer, and the same retirement speculation will follow him when we’re closer to April.
Vince Carter, Memphis Grizzlies: 39
The oldest player in the NBA all of a sudden, Vince Carter is entering his 19th NBA season, beginning his career way back in 1998 with the Toronto Raptors. Carter was born on January 26, 1977. He has played for the Raptors, Nets, Magic, Suns and Mavericks before joining Memphis. He’s an 8-time All-Star, who averaged 20 points per game or more for 10 consecutive seasons in what seems like an eternity ago. He averaged 6.6 points a night last season in Memphis.