Do you ever wonder who has the longest NBA career?
The NBA is the most difficult basketball league in the world, where players must be flawless to continue their NBA careers. Every year, many players are drafted and start their professional careers in the NBA. However, only a select few of them are capable of establishing records for the longest NBA tenures.
Obviously, being able to play in the NBA for a long time is difficult. Some people struggle to adapt to a new setting, while others are struck by severe injuries or health concerns. Many others find it difficult to adjust to the NBA’s requirements, forcing them to prematurely end their career.
However, if you go back through NBA history, you’ll find plenty of superstars who have shone in this competitive league for years. As a consequence of their consistency and tenacity, they were able to accomplish this feat. We’ll go through each lengthy player’s achievements so you can learn more about them.
Players with the Longest NBA Careers
Many excellent players have made it to the NBA and enjoyed lengthy careers there. The top ten players with the most seasons played in the NBA are among them.
6. Shaquille O’Neal (19 seasons)
Season Games: 1207
Playoff Games: 216
Given his achievements in the NBA, a player who has four NBA titles and three final MVPs does not require any introduction. Yes, we’re talking about Shaquille O’Neal, the greatest and perhaps largest NBA legend. He amassed 28,596 points in his 19 seasons in the league and was recognized as the eighth-highest point scorer in NBA history.
Shaq was a scandalous terror for the opposition with a 7 feet 1-inch frame. Despite the fact that he played for six different clubs, he will be remembered mostly for his key role in the resurgence of the Lakers in the 2000s. During his years with the Lakers, Shaquille O’Neal formed one of the most powerful NBA duos of all time. He created a dynasty during his eight seasons there, winning three in a row. Even if he was traded during the season, as a result of his switch to numerous organizations, he maintained his consistency throughout. As a result, it’s clear why he had such a long career.
5. Tim Duncan (19 seasons)
Regular Seasons: 19
Season Games: 1392
Playoff Games: 251
Tim Duncan, the former Sun Antonio Spurs legend who stayed with his team for almost 19 years, comes next. After being the first overall selection in 1997, Duncan accomplished nearly everything he could as a player during his time with the Spurs. Initially, he played as a power forward, but then he moved to the middle where he has maintained his excellence. Using his huge 6 feet 11inch frame, he continuously improved himself to be a member of the NBA’s greatest shot blockers.
Even when he was a center, Duncan never compromised his skill. After all, with 15 All-Star and 15 All-NBA honors under his belt over the previous decade, it’s easy to see how consistent he had been. He ranks fifth in the list with a career block of a total of 4225.
In a single season, he played in 18 playoff games out of 19 years, which is virtually unheard of. He holds the record for most career playoff minutes played in the NBA with 9370 minutes.
4. Karl Malone (19 seasons)
Regular Seasons: 19
Season Games: 1476
Playoff Games: 193
To qualify for playoffs on every occasion throughout his career, you must be a real-life iron man. That’s precisely what Karl Malone was in his 19 years in the NBA, a true life iron man. He played for Utah Jazz for 18 seasons, one of the league’s most steadfast and consistent players.
Malone was a terror for opponents because he could utilize his size and abilities when he was on the floor. He was 2nd in the NBA all-time point leaders with 36,928 points and an absolute nightmare for opposing teams to deal with. Nicknamed the Mailman, Karl was dubbed the greatest NBA player without a championship. He had an illustrious career. Malone’s free throw record of 9,787 is yet to be broken by any NBA player since his retirement.
3. Kobe Bryant (20 Seasons)
Regular Seasons: 20
Season Games: 1346
Playoff Games: 220
Kobe Bryant is unquestionably the recent reigning king of the NBA. Kobe pulled off a crazy feat by playing 20 years in this era, and he’s the undisputed monarch.
But what caused him to achieve such a successful NBA career? It’s only natural for him to excel given his hard work, competitive spirit, and dedication to the game. Unlike others, Kobe established a high level of performance both for himself and his team in order to pursue glory.
Kobe Bryant is a basketball legend, winning five championships and two Finals MVPs. He has an amazing collection of accomplishments, including fifth-most rings (five), two All-NBA Teams, one All-Defensive Team, third all-time NBA scorer, four-time scoring champion, and so on.
His dedication and hard work have earned him the distinction of one of the greatest defensive shooting guards in history. Kobe’s incredible accolades as a player are unquestionably source material for today’s NBA players. He is greatly missed.
2. Kareem Abdul Jabbar (20 Seasons)
Regular Seasons: 20
Season Games: 1560
Playoff Games: 237
Kareem, who was also known as “Jabbar the Great,” was responsible for much of the success of the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1980s. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar stands 7 feet 2-inches tall, revolutionized basketball during that period with his remarkable athleticism. Karim began his professional career with the Boston Celtics, where he played for four seasons before being traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in 1971. Since then, he has won five titles with the Lakers and was named Finals MVP twice. In reality, his 19 All-Star appearance and 11 All-Defensive nods tell the story of his standing among the NBA’s all-time greats.
It’s only a pipe dream to imagine that Wilt Chamberlain spent 20 seasons in the NBA and scored 38,387 points. Kareem made it happen with his distinct style of play. No player in history has been able to accomplish what Kareem accomplished with his “Skyhook” shot, which aided him to be a deadly scorer.
His excellent field goal percentage of .521 versus the league’s average of .493 is a testament to his effectiveness as one of the greatest NBA scorers in history.
He also appeared as a master fighter in Bruce Lee’s unfinished movie “Game of Death.” You can get an idea of his wingspan with the incredible reach by seeing that innovative and intriguing movie.
1. Vince Carter (22 seasons)
Regular Seasons: 22
Season Games: 1541
Playoff Games: 88
The Atlanta Hawks player with the longest career just recently retired from professional basketball. In 1999, Vince Carter won the rookie of the year award and returned swinging in his second season to lead the Toronto Raptors to their first-ever postseason appearance and a win in the 2000 slam dunk contest. As of 2016, Carter is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer with 25,714 career points.
We hope you like our post. You can also leave a comment about your favorite player, who has achieved the most seasons in his career.