NBA Players with Most Seasons Played in History

Kevin Willis and Robert Parish Each Played 21 Seasons in the NBA

Kevin Willis and Robert Parish Each Played 21 Seasons in the NBA

These are the basketball players who have played the most seasons in the NBA. Kevin Willis and Robert Parish lead the pack at 21 years of on-the-court service.

Willis’ career, though, spanned 23 years – the longest span in NBA history. He was under contract with the Atlanta Hawks in 1988-89 but didn’t play due to injury. He retired after the 2004-05 season, but returned for one more in 2006-07, missing 2005-06.

Willis played for eight different teams. Parish is known mostly as a Boston Celtic. He played 14 seasons for the Celtics, but began his career on the Golden State Warriors (4 seasons) and finished it on the Charlotte Hornets (2) and Chicago Bulls (1).

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the third, and final, player with at least 20 years in the NBA. Abdul-Jabbar is an all-time Los Angeles Laker (14 seasons), but started out in Milwaukee for the Bucks (6).

Apparently, longevity is a thing of the relative present. Not one player below played a single game in the 1960s or prior. Most (19 of the 24) began their careers post-1980. Nine of those players hit the pros post-1990.

A bunch of these guys played in 2012-13. All but one, Kevin Garnett, have retired or will. So Garnett will bump up to 19 years with the 2013-14 season. Jason Kidd, Juwan Howard, Grant Hill, Kurt Thomas and Jerry Stackhouse will be hanging it up.

UPDATED LIST: Through the 2013-14 season. Kevin Garnett is up to 19 years of service. Kobe Bryant, Ray Allen, Derek Fisher, Steve Nash and Jermaine O’Neal are newcomers to the list with 18 years in the NBA. At least four of those six will be back in 2014-15 for an and-1.

  PLAYER SEASONS PLAYED SEASON SPAN FIRST YEAR LAST YEAR
1. Kevin Willis 21 23 1985 2007
1. Robert Parish 21 21 1977 1997
3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 20 20 1970 1989
4. Kevin Garnett 19 19 1996 2014
4. Jason Kidd 19 19 1995 2013
4. Juwan Howard 19 19 1995 2013
4. Shaquille O’Neal 19 19 1993 2011
4. Karl Malone 19 19 1986 2004
4. Charles Oakley 19 19 1986 2004
4. John Stockton 19 19 1985 2003
4. James Edwards 19 19 1978 1996
4. Moses Malone 19 19 1977 1995
13. Kobe Bryant
18 18 1997 2014
13. Ray Allen
18 18 1997 2014
13. Derek Fisher
18 18 1997 2014
13. Steve Nash
18 18 1997 2014
13. Jermaine O’Neal
18 18 1997 2014
13. Grant Hill 18 19 1995 2013
13. Rick Mahorn 18 19 1981 1999
13. Kurt Thomas 18 18 1996 2013
13. Jerry Stackhouse
18 18 1996 2013
13. Dikembe Mutombo 18 18 1992 2009
13. Clifford Robinson 18 18 1990 2007
13. Reggie Miller 18 18 1988 2005
13. Hakeem Olajuwon 18 18 1985 2002
13. Terry Cummings 18 18 1983 2000
13. Danny Schayes 18 18 1982 1999
13. Herb Williams 18 18 1982 1999
13. Tree Rollins 18 18 1978 1995

Photos: nba.com / allaboutsportnew.blogspot.com

Posted on June 10, 2013, in NBA Basketball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

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