When LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Udonis Haslem played their first NBA game in late October 2003, Spurs’ Joshua Primo was only ten months old and Draft No. 1 Cade Cunningham had just turned two. …
And in a few weeks, these two rookies, like other very young players, will find themselves facing these three old ones on the NBA floors.
The two Lakers and the Heat veteran will begin their 19th season in the NBA. A rare figure since, in terms of longevity, only 20 players have reached such heights before this trio.
Vince Carter, the absolute record holder
The record is still the property of Vince Carter, and for a few more years. The former Raptors All-Star, retired only a few months ago, played 22 seasons, between 1998 and 2020.
“Air Canada” is ahead of Robert Parish, Kevin Willis, Kevin Garnett and Dirk Nowitzki, each 21 seasons in the NBA. The latter also has the absolute record for seasons spent in the same franchise since the German has spent his entire career in Dallas.
Then follow Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant and Jamal Crawford, at 20 seasons, then finally a slew of players including Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Duncan or Karl Malone, at 19 seasons. And next October, it will be necessary to add to this list LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Udonis Haslem.
22 seasons: Vince Carter
21 seasons : Robert Parish / Kevin Willis / Kevin Garnett / Dirk Nowitzki
20 seasons : Kareem Abdul-Jabbar / Kobe Bryant / Jamal Crawford
19 seasons : Moses Malone / James Edwards / Karl Malone / John Stockton / Charles Oakley / Shaquille O’Neal / Juwan Howard / Jason Kidd / Tim Duncan / Paul Pierce / Jason Terry / Tyson Chandler