Just four players have played 20 seasons in the NBA:
- Robert Parish (21)
- Kevin Willis (21)
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (20)
- Kevin Garnett (20)
Dwight Howard wants to join the club.
Dwight Howard said he hopes he can have a career as long as the one his Wednesday night opponent — Tim Duncan — has had in San Antonio.
“That’s always been my goal- to play 20 years in the league so I think it can be done,” said Howard, who is in his 11th NBA season. “It would be great. Tim is still playing great basketball. He has migrated to different spots on the floor instead of just the post.”
Duncan, who has seemingly been around forever, is in just his 18th season. He might keep playing beyond this season, but that underscores just how difficult it is to play 20 years.
Howard is already showing signs of his body breaking down. The 29-year-old has played just 38 games this season, and he has looked less explosive while on the court.
Could he overcome these injuries and play nine more seasons and get to 20?
He at least has chance.
At some point, it would likely require accepting a lesser role. Teams always need size, and maybe Howard could hang on as a backup big – and maybe even eventually a third big. That’s years away, but if he really wants to play 20 seasons, it should become part of his long-term plan.
Not everyone can accept that, especially stars who become accustomed to their prominent place. But it can be done. Look at Vince Carter.