The Best NBA Players Over 30 Years Old, Ranked

From Jimmy Butler to Steph to LeBron, the 2023 NBA Playoffs have been dominated by the veterans. We ranked the best NBA players over 30 years old.

LeBron James of the Lakers and Steph Curry of the Warriors

Image via Getty/Noah Graham

LeBron James of the Lakers and Steph Curry of the Warriors

Most professional sports are considered a young man’s (or woman’s) game. Considering the physical demands on the body, the older athletes get, the more diminished the returns. But in the case of the NBA, some of the best players in the league are defying “Father Time”and the typical perception of what a player is supposed to look like in their 30s. 

As this postseason has shown, some of the NBA’s stars of the previous generations are not yet ready to relinquish their spots atop the NBA’s hierarchy of best players, with a few still in the mix for the title of the best player in the world. A year after winning the NBA Finals and capturing his first Finals MVP award, Steph Curry finds himself amongst the best of the best still even though he is 35 years old. The same goes for LeBron James, who in his 20th season still leading his team on deep playoff runs while claiming the title as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.

From Damian Lillard to Jimmy Butler, this is a list dedicated to acknowledging that some things truly do get better with time. These are the best NBA players in the NBA over the age of 30-years-old. The list will not include players like Anthony Davis who are currently 30 years old. 

Honorable Mention: Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Brook Lopez, Al Horford

10. Jrue Holiday

Jrue Holiday playing in game 1 against the Miami Heat

9. Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving playing for the 2023 Dallas Mavericks

8. Paul George

Paul George fist pumps during the game in the regular season

7. James Harden

James Harden celebrating going off in the NBA playoffs against the Celtics

6. Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard during the Portland Trail Blazer's game against the Houston Rockets in February 2023

Age: 32 years old

Damian Lillard quietly had one of the best seasons of his career if not the best. His performance this season may not get the respect it deserves because the Trail Blazers were awful and ended the No. 3 pick but it wasn’t a result of Dame’s play. He averaged a career-high 32.2 points per game to go along with his 7.3 assists per game. In addition to that, this was his most efficient season of his 10-year career. Of course, no one can forget when Dame went off for 71 points against the Houston Rockets for one of the greatest scoring performances in the history of the game.


5. Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard during the NBA playoffs against the Phoenix Suns

4. Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler Eastern Conference Playoffs first round

3. Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant of the Phoenix Suns pointing at his teammate

2. LeBron James

LeBron James celebrates passing Kareem Abdul Jabbar for the all time NBA scoring record

1. Steph Curry

Steph Curry during Game 7 against the Sacramento Kings

Age: 35 years old 

The Golden State Warriors bid to repeat as champions fell short in a second round defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers, but Curry once again had a phenomenal season while wowing in the playoffs. His 50-point explosion in Game 7 against the Sacramento Kings is one of the all-time great playoff performances in NBA history, and a 29.4 points per game campaign shows he still has plenty of gas left in the tank at the end of his age 35 season. Whether the Warriors can win another championship remains to be seen moving forward, but there is no denying Curry can still be the top option on a contender.

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