It’s a dream of every basketball player to make an appearance in the NBA at a certain point in his career. Whether debuting as a 18 year old young star or as a 35 year old veteran who has played all around the globe earning accolades. Few players made a mark or entered in the NBA at almost post their prime of their careers, but due to the earned experiences in the foreign leagues, NBA teams hired them for squad depth.
Here are 5 notable late old entrants in the NBA :
5. Antoine Rigaudeau – Dallas Mavericks :
Age – 31 Years 33 Days: Position – Point Guard: Year – 2002-03
He is considered to be one of the best players for the French Basketball. Before entering the NBA, he was a 2x Euroleague champion and 5x French League MVP. He was a Silver Medalist with the France National Team at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
He played 11 games in the NBA with the Dallas Mavericks where he averaged – 1.5 points, 0.7 rebounds and 0.5 assists and was then traded to Golden State Warriors who eventually waved him off. Rigaudeau retired in 2005 and now is the Head Coach of France Pro A League Club – Metropolitans 92
4. Pero Antic – Atlanta Hawks :
Age – 31 Years 93 Days: Position – Center: Year – 2013-2015
The Macedonian Centre was a famous basketball player in the Greek and Euroleague. He was 2x Euro League Champion before entering the NBA and the Russian Cup MVP in 2011, and Bulgarian League MVP in 2008.
Antic went undrafted in the 2014 NBA Draft before making his debut with the Atlanta Hawks, where he played two seasons with the Hawks. He also appeared in the Playoffs with the Atlanta Hawks in 2014 but was eliminated in the 1st round against the Indiana Pacers.
The big man played a total of 113 games where he averaged – 6.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 0.9 assists before returning into the Euro League. He eventually retired from Basketball in 2018 and currently the President of the Basketball Federation of North Macedonia.
3. Andre Ingram – Los Angeles Lakers :
Age – 32 Years 142 Days: Position – Shooting Guard: Year – 2018
One of the beautiful stories in basketball was scripted in 2018. Lakers were out of playoff contention where the rest of the season was just a normal schedule for the Lakers. Magic Johnson allowed one of the most established stars in the G-League, Andre Ingram to make his debut in the NBA after almost 11 years in the NBA G-League
He went undrafted in the 2007 NBA Draft,post the disappointment, he played in G-League. His debut in NBA was the most memorable one, where he scored 19 points with Four three-pointers and became the oldest American Rookie in 1964.
He has played Six games in the NBA where he averaged – 4 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 1.2 Assists.
2. Marcelo Huertas – Los Angeles Lakers :
Age – 32 Years 156 Days: Position – Point Guard: Year – 2015-17
Brazilian International Huertas, went undrafted in the 2005 NBA Draft, thereby becoming an unrestricted free agent. Before joining the NBA, he was a 3x Spanish League NBA Champion, 2x All-Spanish Team.
He signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2015 and made his debut in the opening game of the season in 2015 scoring Two points Two rebounds and Two assists. He was best known for his antiques in a few of the games featured in Shaqin-o-fool. He never had a noteworthy season in the league and returned to Euro League post Two seasons in the NBA.
He played 76 games in the NBA – Averaged 3.9 points, 1.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.
1. Pablo Prigioni – New York Knicks :
Age – 35 Years 169 Days: Position – Point Guard: Year – 2012-2016
One of the most established overseas players to play in the NBA, Prigioni went undrafted in the 1999 NBA Draft. Before entering the NBA, he was 3x Spanish Cup winner, Spanish Cup MVP. He also won a Bronze Medal in the 2008 Olympics.
He was one of the most respected players entering the NBA. Pablo never wanted to leave Spain and Play in the NBA, but it was Luis Scola and Manu Ginobili who convinced him to join the New York Knicks as they were in desperate need of a good point guard. Argentine played Four seasons in the NBA with New York Knicks, Houston Rockets, and LA Clippers before returning to Europe.
He averaged 3.5 points, 1.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.0 steals in 270 games played
He currently is the Assistant Coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves.