On Jan. 28, 1948, Providence Steamrollers coach Nat Hickey decided to activate himself for one game. That was two days before his 46th birthday. Statistics from those ancient days are notoriously unreliable, but the NBA Guide says that Hickey missed all three of his shots, and got an entry into the stat book only by committing one personal foul.
Nevertheless, he remains the oldest player ever to appear in an NBA game, beating out more renowned stalwarts such as Robert Parish (43), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (42), Bob Cousy and John Stockton (both 41) and Karl Malone and Michael Jordan (both 40).
There are no players with Hickey-like ages entering this season, but there are a bunch of well-seasoned, and well-known, players who are getting long in the tooth, at least from a basketball perspective. Their physical challenge this season will be formidable, given the number of back-to-backs due to the condensed season.
Herewith, our top geezers, rated 1-10 based on their Hickey Score (insert own joke here), which is a combination of age (at opening day) and basketball prowess. Ties to the superior player.