Back in 1997, Kevin Garnett became the second-youngest player to make the All-Star game; only Magic Johnson was younger for his first appearance. Kobe and LeBron would both break Magic’s record, so KG is currently the fourth-youngest All-Star ever. Funny enough, he didn’t make the First All-Rookie Team – he was pushed out by a rookie from Lithuania. Here are the six oldest rookies in NBA history.
ARVYDAS SABONIS – 30 years, 319 days
If there is a player the NBA should cry over, it’s Arvydas Sabonis. The closest we got to see him compete against NBA talent was in 1986 at the World Cup Finals – David Robinson met his match. Sadly, politics prevented Sabonis from coming in his prime, so he arrived at the end of his career, old and injured.
A doctor claimed he could “qualify for a handicapped parking spot,” but Sabonis managed to play for seven seasons and put up serious stats.
ANTOINE RIGAUDEAU – 31 years, 33 days
Rigaudeau was the MVP of the French League five times and won the EuroLeague twice. “Le Roi,” a.k.a. “The King” is a legend of European basketball, but he didn’t manage to leave the same mark across the Atlantic.
The Mavericks drafted him, but he only played 11 games.
PERO ANTIC- 31 years, 93 days
Antic played in EuroLeague for 14 years before coming to the NBA. He landed in Atlanta as Al Horford’s backup. Exactly what you need from a 31-year-old rookie. Experience, quality back-up minutes to hold the lead while Horford is taking a break.
Antić played for two seasons, averaging 17 minutes on the court in 113 games.
ANDRE INGRAM- 32 years, 142 days
One of the best stories in the last few years, Andre Ingram, is the embodiment of perseverance. After spending all four years in college, Ingram spent an entire decade in the G-League, becoming the league’s leader for all-time games played.
In 2018, at the age of 34, Andre Ingram got his debut in front of a sold-out Staples Center. He dropped a cool 19, and the rest is history.
MARCELO HUERTAS- 32 years, 156 days
Huertas is a true legend of international baskeball, starting his career in 2001 and still playing. While he left the biggest mark in the Spanish ACB league, Huertas got his chance with the Lakers in 2015.
The pass-first point guard didn’t manage to fit in with the Lakers and left back to Spain after being traded to the Rockets and waived in 2017.
PABLO PRIGIONI- 35 years, 169 days
The oldest rookie ever has three years on Huertas and probably won’t leave this position for a long time. Prigioni started his NBA career with the Knicks and contrary to some of his younger colleagues on this list, managed to play with the best of them.
In his four years in the NBA, Prigioni played tough defense, was a true international pass-first playmaker that can drain an open shot.