The millennial generation of basketball players has officially taken over the NBA. You have players like Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson that consistently push themselves to give every game their all. Although, there are still some basketball legends still playing in the league that are still trying to hold their own and solidify their name.
Despite being one of the best in the league at one point or winning a championship. The NBA stars that millennials grew up watching have lost their touch. They can’t seem to put up the points that they once used to and can’t match their stats from their previous years. There are still NBA veteran’s that are passionate about the game, but lost the talent that paved the way for them to enter the professional basketball world.
Steve Nash, a legendary point-guard for the Phoenix Suns recently retired after realizing he is too old for the physically demanding sport. Even Kobe Bryant, the all-star Los Angeles Laker player, came to the conclusion that all good things must come to an end at some point. Kobe helped build the Laker's franchise up and won five NBA championships with the Lakers. It is essential to know when to walk away and leave behind a memorable legacy.
A lot of players don't want to retire, because they fear the day they walk away from the court forever and don't have a job anymore. Other players, may just want to stay in the league as long as possible until they give up their dreams of getting a championship ring. Whatever their reason, there are plenty of NBA players still in the league that are around the retiring age from the sport and are putting up discouraging stats.
Here is a top 15 list of the NBA players that are past their prime and that need to retire.
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15 Dirk Nowitzki - 38
This German athlete has made a huge impact on the sport, raising the bar for European athletes that join the NBA. In 2007, he won the Most Valuable Player award, among other high honors throughout his extensive career. He didn’t attend college and was a basketball star in Europe before he joined the Dallas Mavericks for their 1998-1999 season. He has been loyal to the Mavericks ever since and is one of their top players.
Although he has been on the All-Star team numerous times, he is not putting up the numbers he used to. He is still a good player, but it may be time for him to assess how many more seasons he has in him. At the height of his career, he was contributing 26.6 points per game, 2.8 assists per game and 9.0 rebounds per game. This 2015-2016 season he has noticeably lost his touch, he now gets 18.3 point per game, 1.8 assists per game and 6.5 rebounds per game.
14 Caron Butler - 36
Butler, a small-forward, started off his career in 2002-2003 when he was drafted to the Miami Heat. He stayed with the Heat for two years, before joining the Los Angeles Lakers for a one year deal. Butler spent the bulk of his time in the NBA playing for the Washington Wizards. He played on the Wizards for five years and put up his best numbers playing for them.
Although, it wasn’t with the Wizards that he gained a championship ring. It was when he was playing for the Dallas Mavericks’ 2011-2012 season, where he was blessed with the high honor. Butler was in rehab for a knee injury during the finals, but still got a ring. He hasn’t been playing the same every since his injury. During his prime he was averaging 20.8 points per game on the Wizards. Currently, he is on the Sacramento Kings scoring 3.7 points per game
13 Shawn Marion - 38
Unlike some of the other players on this list, Marion obtained a NBA championship ring in 2011 when he was playing for the Dallas Mavericks. This elite shooting-guard was drafted by the Phoenix Suns in 1999 and played on their team until 2008. Marion went to the Dallas Mavericks in 2009 and left in 2014, after playing for them for five seasons.
He is still playing in the NBA, he is now on the Cleveland Cavaliers with basketball superstar, Lebron James. Marion is most likely trying to get one more ring before he throws in the towel. During his peak, when he was playing on the Suns he was scoring 21.8 points per game, 1.8 assists per game and 11.8 rebounds. Marion is averaging 4.8 points per game, 0.9 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game for the Cavaliers this 2015-2016 season.
12 John Salmons - 36
Salmons joined the NBA when he was 23. He was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers for the 2002-2003 season. He isn’t an NBA superstar with multiple awards or a championship ring. Salmons is a decent small-forward that has been on various teams throughout his 13 year career in the league.
He last played for the New Orleans Pelicans for the 2015-2016 season, where he contributed 2.0 points per game, 0.6 assists per game and 1.0 rebounds per game. Salmons used to put up 19.9 points per game, 3.3 assists per game and 3.2 rebounds per game when he was on 2009-2010 Milwaukee Bucks. Salmons' career is coming to end, as his stats are not matching to what he's used to.
11 Manu Ginobili - 39
Undoubtedly a shooting guard to be reckoned with on the basketball court, this Argentinian all-star has won five NBA championship titles alongside Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. He was drafted to the San Antonio Spurs in 1999 and has definitely made a name for himself over the course of playing in the NBA for 14 years. Although Ginobili and the Spurs won a title in 2014, it seems as if that was the last one for his career. He is 39 years old and his stats has reduced drastically since entering the NBA. In his prime, according to Ginobili’s own website during his 2007-2008 season he was averaging 19.5 points per game (PPG), 3.8 rebounds per game and 4.5 assists per game.
Ginobili’s 2015-2016 season stats are 9.6 points per game, 2.5 rebounds per game and 3.1 assists per game. The amount of points he puts up has been cut in half and his other stats have been on the decline.
10 Elton Brand - 37
Brand, a power-forward, was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 1999. Brand has mentioned in the past that he wanted be part of championship team. However, he recently signed with the Philadelphia 76ers for their 2015-2016 season, stating that he wanted to return to his “adopted hometown” to contribute whatever talent he has left.
During Brand’s prime, he was averaging 24.7 points per game, 2.6 assists per game and 10.0 rebounds per game. His 2015-2016 season is off to shaky start with 4.1 points per game, 1.1 assists per game and 3.7 rebounds. He must be contemplating retiring after this season or the next one, since he returned to his hometown and is at the end of his career.
9 Chris Andersen - 38
Andersen was picked up by the Denver Nuggets in 2001 and played for them for seven seasons. This power-forward is hard to miss on the court, being that he is covered in colorful tattoos. However, don’t let the ink work fool you, he can ball. Andersen won a championship ring with Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and Lebron James back in 2013 on the Miami Heat. He played on the Heat for four years and now sports a Memphis Grizzlies jersey for this 2015-2016 season.
Andersen has been in the NBA for 14 years and should consider retiring since he is now putting up a miniscule 4.6 points per game, 0.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game. During his prime, he was scoring 7.7 points per game, 1.1 assists per game and obtaining 6.1 rebounds per game on the New Orleans Pelicans in 2004.
8 Steve Blake - 37
Blake was drafted by the Washington Wizards in 2003. He stuck with them for a couple years before playing on various different NBA teams. Blake is a veteran point-guard that played for the Los Angeles Lakers for four years and almost got a ring. Blake is still holding onto that dream of obtaining one before he retires. He recently joined the Detroit Pistons for the 2015-2016 season to make an attempt for that ring that every player covets.
In Blake’s prime, he was scoring 11.0 points per game, 5.0 assists per game and 2.5 rebounds per game. That was when he was playing for the Portland Trailblazers during their 2008-2009 season. So far on the Pistons, he has been averaging 4.4 points per game, 3.4 assists per game and 1.5 rebounds.
7 Kenyon Martin - 38
Martin has had quite the career, after playing for the NBA for 15 years. He used to play with Jason Kidd on the New Jersey Nets during his prime. Martin and Kidd made it the playoffs multiple times, but couldn’t seem to finish the job by making it the NBA finals. Since leaving the Nets in 2004, he was on the Denver Nuggets for seven years where he was fairly successful. Martin also has played for the Los Angeles Clippers for one season and the New York Knicks for a couple.
Currently, Martin is on the Milwaukee Bucks and is contributing 12.3 points per game, 6.8 rebounds per game and 1.1 blocks per game. He is playing well for his age and most likely wants to retire with a NBA championship ring. Although, that is every NBA player’s dream, sometimes you just got to know when to quit.
6 Vince Carter - 39
Vince Carter made his name known in the NBA by draining three-pointers on the Toronto Raptors. He was drafted in 1998 by the Golden State Warriors, but was traded to the Raptors to begin his career in the NBA. Carter has played for various different teams throughout his 18 years of playing in the league. He is currently playing shooting-guard for the Memphis Grizzlies for his 19th season and has no plans of slowing down.
During Carter’s glory days, he was scoring 27.6 points per game on the Raptors during their 2000-2001 season. He has no championship ring, but that doesn’t deter him to stop playing the sport he loves. He helped lead the New Jersey Nets multiple times to the playoffs and won Rookie of the Year in 1999. Carter, who is now 39 years old, should consider retirement especially since he is only scoring 6.6 points per game on the Grizzlies.
5 Jason Terry - 39
Terry is 39 years old and is currently the shooting-guard for the Houston Rockets. He has established a name for himself by putting up a substantial amount points and assisting his teammates. He was chosen in the first round of the 1999 NBA draft by the Atlanta Hawks.
It was on the Atlanta Hawks where he was truly showcased what he was capable of. Terry was scoring 19.7 points a game and had 4.9 assists per game during the Hawk’s 2000-2001 season. Based off his past three seasons in the NBA, he has been declining in contributing to his teams. His scoring, assists and steals have all dropped significantly. He used to put up double-digit points per game, now he is only contributing 5.9 points per game, 1.4 assists and 1.1 rebounds per game.
4 Pablo Prigioni - 39
This Argentina native got a late start in the NBA. He didn’t attend college and was picked up by the New York Knicks in their 2012-2014 season. Prigioni came into the NBA when he was 35 years old, which was a risky decision by the Knicks. His first season with the Knicks, he was putting up 3.5 points per game. Prigioni had a career high during the Knick’s 2014-2015 season with 4.7 points per game, which isn't that impressive.
Besides the Knicks, he was on the Houston Rockets for one season and now plays point-guard for the Los Angeles Clippers. Prigioni should be commended for making it to the NBA, however, he is now 39 years old and is putting up 2.5 points per game, 2.2 assists per game and 1.9 rebounds per game. He didn’t join the NBA in his prime, that time has certainly past. He should consider retiring after completing this season after contributing dismal numbers to the respective teams he was on.
3 Nazr Mohammed - 39
Mohammed was drafted in 1998 by the Utah Jazz. He has 18 years of experience in the NBA already. Mohammed has played center for eight different NBA teams throughout his extensive career. He isn’t exactly a legendary center like Houston Rockets’ Yao Ming, but Mohammed had a fairly successful NBA career, judging by stats.
Mohammed won Bull of the Year, when he was playing for them. He played on the Chicago Bulls from 2012-2015. Mohammed was in his prime when he was on the New York Knicks for their 2004-2005 season. He was averaging 10.9 points per game, 0.5 assists per game and 8.1 rebounds per game. Mohammed last played for the Oklahoma City Thunder for their 2015-2016 season. He was contributing 1.6 points per game, 0.0 assists and 0.8 rebounds per game.
2 Andre Miller - 40
Andre Miller has a scattered past, being that he has been on numerous different teams throughout his NBA career. He started off on the Cleveland Cavaliers and peaked at putting up 16.5 points per game for the Cavaliers during their 2001-2002 season. Miller also won the Assists Leader award when he was in his prime on the Cavaliers.
Although he has no NBA championship ring to boast about, he has had a semi-successful NBA career by being a good guard and racking up the assists. Miller is currently on the San Antonio Spurs and should consider retirement. He is 40 years old, the same age as Tim Duncan when he retired. Miller’s stats for the 2015-2016 season were 3.7 points per game, 2.2 assists per game and 1.3 rebounds per game.
1 Ray Allen - 41
Allen is currently a free agent and NBA teams are actually thinking about picking him up. Allen was a key player to the Miami Heat’s championship in 2013, when he made clutch three-pointers in to win the game. He has another ring from when he played for the Boston Celtics during their 2008 season. He got both of the rings by playing with superstar players and also being an excellent shooting-guard.
Allen is definitely passed his prime, but wants to try and get one more ring for his collection before he officially retires. When Allen was at his peak on the Seattle Supersonics, he was scoring 26.4 points per game, 4.1 assists per game and 4.5 rebounds per game. The last team Allen played for, was on the Miami Heat for their 2013-2014 season. He was putting up 9.6 points per game, 2.0 assists per game and 2.8 rebounds per game.
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