Durability is something we don’t see often in sports, especially in basketball, with that new load management trend that makes players miss back-to-back games.
Also, injury-prone players often play with minutes restrictions regardless of the score or the rival, which obviously takes a toll on their ability to make an impact on the game.
However, we’ve seen some true iron men throughout the history of the league, guys that have endured dozens of seasons and have played through it all. Today, we’re going to let you know about the top 10 active players with the most minutes played:
10. Trevor Ariza – 31,650 Minutes
Trevor Ariza has been around the league for 15 years. He’s mostly played on Championship contenders and has been a major contributor for them with his 3-and-D expertise.
Ariza rarely misses any game even though he only played through the full 82-game schedule once on his career. Still, the 34-year-old veteran could still play in the league for many more years.
9. LaMarcus Aldridge – 34,518 Minutes
Ever since LaMarcus Aldridge made it to the league he’s been one of his team’s pinnacles. Thus, it’s not a surprise to see him among the players with the most minutes played in the league.
Aldridge has been a prime example of durability throughout his career, as he only missed more than 10 games twice on 13 seasons. Also, he’s a regular face to watch in the playoffs.
8. Chris Paul – 35,353 Minutes
Chris Paul is entering his 15th season in the NBA and even though he hasn’t made it to the Finals even once, he’s still a guy that’s been used to carry the load for his squad into the playoffs.
Paul has always been the most important player on his team because of his two-way skills and he’s never played less than 31.8 minutes per game throughout his career.
7. Dwight Howard – 37,177 Minutes
Dwight Howard was considered to be the most intimidating rim protector in the league. Also, he was the master of the fine art of rebounding, so obviously, he was around the court for a lot of time.
His playing time has taken a major dip over the last couple of seasons and the way the game has changed. Still, other than one of his seasons with the Houston Rockets and their lone season with the Wizards, he’s been quite durable.
6. Andre Igoudala – 37,293 Minutes
Even though Andre Iguodala hasn’t been a starter in the league for quite some time, it’s not crazy to see him among the active leaders in minutes played, as he’s usually the first guy off the bench.
Iguodala went from being a team’s go-to-guy to being their primary defender, so he’s used to that kind of workload. He even led the league with 39.9 minutes per game in 2008-09, but his playing time is drastically decreasing as the years go by.
5. Jamal Crawford – 38,988 Minutes
Jamal Crawford entered the league at 20 years old and left as a savvy 38-year-old veteran. Still, he was putting defenders on skates and scoring at will from all over the court.
Crawford drank from the fountain of youth for sure. We still can’t believe no team has been interested in even working him out after all he’s done in the league.
4. Carmelo Anthony – 39,752 Minutes
Ever since making it to the league 17 years ago Carmelo Anthony has been used to being a team’s primary scorer. He’s one of the greatest offensive players ever, regardless of the disrespect he’s gotten.
Moreover, Anthony is a player that’s rarely injured, so if it wasn’t for the year he lost after being shut down by the league, he could even be ranked higher on this list.
3. Pau Gasol – 41,001 Minutes
Pau Gasol hasn’t officially retired from the NBA but hasn’t been able to play this season due to injury, so it’s just a matter of time before he calls it a day.
Gasol is one of the most hard-working players this league has ever seen. He paid his dues and did what was asked out of him, and that’s why he’s a guy everybody wanted to play with.
2. Vince Carter – 46,367 Minutes
Vince Carter has played in four different decades. That’s not a typo. He entered the league in 1998 and is still hooping in 2020, which will be his final season in the NBA.
Carter has lacked playoff success so that’s why he’s not ranked higher on this list. He hasn’t averaged 30+ minutes per game since 2011, but he’s still been quite productive coming off the bench and mentoring young players.
1. LeBron James – 48,329 Minutes
Well, this is absolutely nuts, but LeBron James is – by far – the active leader in minutes played. Notably, he made it to 8 straight NBA Finals, so he’s played more games than most players.
However, what’s impressive is the fact that he’s been the team’s go-to-guy for 17 seasons and is currently averaging 34.9 minutes per game. He’s led the league in minutes per game three times on his career, including 4 seasons of 40+ minutes. This is just ridiculous. He’s the ultimate Iron Man.