Average Retirement Age For An NBA Player (There Is Always A Time For Hanging Those Sneakers!)

Last Updated on October 26, 2020 by

The Mid-thirties (36-39 years) is the average retirement age for an NBA player. An only a small number of professional players have managed to play past the age of forty. As a matter of fact, out of four thousand players who have ever participated in the NBA, only twenty-seven continue playing when they were forty. 

Regardless of your profession or career, there will come a time where everybody must retire, and also, it is no different for the NBA. Regardless of exactly how gifted the professional, there comes the point just where it is time to pass on the torch to the upcoming generation of players.

But at what age does an NBA player decide to retire, and also what kind of things do they’ve to think about before they take the leap?

This Table Below Consists Of The Average Retirement Ages Of Top NBA Players.

Top Retired NBA PlayersAge Of Retirement
Kobe Bryant36
Michael Jordan 40
Shaquille O’Neal39

Average Age For Retirement

Effectively, there is no individual era every time a player chooses to leave the game even though some players remain for many years; others decide to leave early. Often players are pressured to leave the game because of injury or maybe a failure to bargain a brand new agreement. 

But in the NBA, so long as you are healthy and fit, you are able to play effectively; therefore, many NBA stars play for a long time before bowing out. If a player is fortunate enough to choose whenever they leave, you will find numerous different factors to think about, so they can pick the perfect time to leave.

This specific write-up will look at several of the points NBA players think about before choosing when you should retire and check out the expected retirement age of players.

So Why Do Many Players Retire In Their Mid 30’s?

Many NBA players hit their prime when they are about twenty-seven, but this’s in no way a fast and hard rule; a number of players (though extremely few) have continued playing till they are forty. But so why do players begin to consider retirement whenever they hit the early thirties of theirs?

You will find plenty of elements to think about, but commonly, when a player hits the mid-thirties of theirs, they are no longer within their physical prime, and also, the very best thing for the team is for them to bow out. As a player gets more mature and older, their risk of injury gets higher, and they are not as likely to have the ability to recover rapidly as the body changes of theirs. 

If a player has a medical history of injury, then they are more apt to retire early. Retiring is usually the ideal method for a player to guard their legacy and the team they have dedicated their professional career. 


As a player gets more mature and older, they possibly will not keep the power they did whenever they were younger, and also the right thing for them to play is usually to allow youthful players have the photo of theirs in the big leagues. Things such as a player’s height also help when a player retires. 

Power forwards and centers are typically likely to retire earlier than some other players, but that is not necessarily the truth.


Like Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan, several players have extended their careers by modifying the style of theirs of work and gameplay the way of theirs into spending much less time on the court. Forwards and physical guards though the bodies of theirs through a great deal for the game that is why they are usually expected to retire earlier compared to some other players.

The bigger the player is, and the heavier the entire body of theirs would be, the faster the game’s actual physical nature usually takes its toll. However, smaller guards likewise may retire early, just since they cannot keep up with the more prominent players.

Dwayne Wade is an excellent example of a professional that shows the quantity of NBA players’ physicality. Wade’s career was created on his power to physically play and push the body of his to discover different and new ways to reach the rim.

Wade injured the writs of his as well as knees many times with collisions mid-air with much larger players, though it was the form of play that made him an excellent player. Suppose you see that an NBA player has training as hard as he plays, can match the other players, and continuously maintain their health in the very best condition.  You actually recognize just how much a player throws his entire body through because of the opportunity to play professional basketball; he’s precisely why by the time a player retires at about thirty-five, it is partially since their human body physically exhausted.

An NBA career typically lasts between 4.5 years to 6.5, but forty years of age is usually regarded as the last cut off for a professional. Lots of players do not really need to retire, of course, but there will come a place just where they have just pushed the systems of theirs on the bodily limit.

A player can increase the time to their careers with their knowledge and experience of the game, but there will come a place where there is only no chance they will continue competing with youthful, fitter players. 

Top NBA Players and Their Retirement Age

Finally, let’s look at some of the greatest players of all-time and what age they considered retirement and hung up their sneaks for the best.

1. Kobe Bryant

The tremendous but late Kobe Bryant departed the NBA for good at age thirty-six, after spending a twenty-season lengthy career at the famous Los Angeles Lakers and is widely considered one of the greatest basketball players all-time. Bryant is a paradox of a player because his career well lengthened past the average 4.5 years.  But eventually, even the mighty Kobe had to consider retirement simply because his physical body could no longer maintain basketball’s athleticism. After long years of battling to the rim and fighting through contact, the game reached its end, and he retired.

2. Shaquille O’Neal

Another all-time great and Bryant’s teammate Shaq retired at thirty-nine, after nearly nineteen years in the league. Yet another of the all-time greats, he managed to keep playing because of the level of his helping him to win games, even after the athleticism of his started to decline with age.

At only over 7 feet tall, his play’s physical style, coupled with his height, granted him a significant power advantage over opponents. He was actually recognized to kick the steel backboard supports with the powerful dunks of his, firmly cementing him in the history books.

He retired mainly because the game was already telling on his body so that as he weighs more than 300 pounds, that is a great deal of pressure to continually put on your feet and knees, particularly in these kinds of physical games like basketball. With absolutely nothing to confirm and also an illustrious and long career behind him, Shaq retired in 2011. 

3. Michael Jordan

No list will be complete without the best of all the time. Jordan retired aged forty in 2003. Technically this was the final retirement of his as he would currently be retired two times, having made the ultimate comeback of his aged thirty-eight, an unthinkable feat for anybody besides MJ.

Out of the fifteen months he played in the NBA, Jordan secured six championships for the Chicago Bulls, and it is regarded as the best basketball player of all time. 

Two Aging NBA Players That Are Close To Retirement And Two Still Going Strong In The Game 

If we are talking about the most challenging professional sports leagues to remain successful when players get older, basketball remains the top choice. And to top it off, it is a sport best suited for the fast and athletic. The athleticism, coupled with speed and pace that many players lose as a result of old age, can only be overturned by the years of experience they have. Most basketball veterans are still capable of re-tooling their games numerous times in order to continue to deliver, despite their ages. However, twenty-six years old is the average age of most NBA players, so you need to credit everyone on our list no matter which side, because participating in the league is a set of skills of its own. 

In this blog post, we are going to be talking about six aging NBA players, two of whom need to retire at this point and two who are still going strong in the game. Even being veterans, some of these experienced players can’t keep up with the same play rate and speed they had when they were way younger. However, some of these veterans seem to age and only get better. We have seen some players travel overseas to finish their careers, and some hang around in the NBA a lot longer than we expected and than they should. However, some are still capable of playing well even into their late 30s. Today, we’ll be taking a shot at players who should retire and the ones who are doing just great.

As we always say, you should not hesitate to drop any comments that you have on this article in the comment section down below, as we would be happy to hear your thoughts on this. Here are two NBA veterans going strong in the game and two who should consider retirement. Enjoy!!

1. Dirk Nowitzki – Retiring!

If you’re talking about the greatest NBA players of all-time, you should never omit Dirk Nowitzki’s name. He is also regarded as the best foreign player to ever star in the hardwood. He is a German who has been in the NBA for a sum of 20 years. In 2011, he did the miraculous, winning an NBA championship against the talented Miami Heat and LeBron James.

 At the age of forty years, Dirk has been outshined by the younger generation of the Dallas Stars, such as Luka Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr. . However, this is exceptionally agreeable and understandable considering the fact that these young fellas are 20 years younger than him. Nowitzki Dirk is barely doing well with his basketball career right now, as he appeared on his final runs this year. This should ultimately be Dirk’s last year of a celebrated career, having just 20 percent shots from the deep and 30 percent shots from the field. 

2. Udonis Haslem – Retiring! 

Udonis Haslem, who plays for the Miami Heat, has spent a lot of years in the red and white for the team, but he’s now thirty-eight years of age, and he’s not performing at a high level the way he used to when he was younger. Although he might bring a lot of skills and experience to the team, he had fallen out of the rotation totally. He should be considering retirement at this point in time because we don’t think he will be given any playing time in the upcoming season for the team. Udonis is a Heat king, and he should end his legendary career after this season.  

3. Kyle Korver – Going strong in the game!

Kyle Korver is a great guy, and he has an excellent game suite for staying pertinent in the NBA because he has a lot of skills and athleticism to knock it down from deep and field, and that probably won’t be forgotten for a long time. After leaving the Cavaliers to the Utah Jazz, he’s back to his best and looked really great for his new team so far. Kyle is currently 37 years old, but I bet you won’t even notice that with his outstanding stats. Korver is definitely on fire from mostly deep in this season. Kyle is still going better and healthy, and a lot of NBA teams would love to have him around. 

4. LeBron James- Going strong in the game! 

At the age of thirty-four, LeBron is not only going strong in the game, but he is also getting even better than ever, as he keeps showing it to people why he should be considered as one of the greatest basketball players of all-time. LeBron is a staple of consistent and excellent play, and we don’t think he has any plan of slowing down at the moment as he continues to accomplish prestige and excellence. 

Final Thoughts

We’ve come to the end of this lengthy article. We hope you found resources in your quest to know the average retirement age of NBA players. 

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