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Shaquille O'Neal Retires, Kurt Thomas Becomes NBA's Oldest Player

Shaquille O'Neal is retiring, and that means the title of oldest player in the NBA is now owned by Kurt Thomas of the Bulls.

Shaq, a 19-year veteran, was the only active 39-year-old in the NBA at the end of this season. Thomas, a 16-year veteran, is now the oldest at 38 years, 240 days.

At least, Thomas will be the oldest in the NBA if he plays in 2011-12, as he's expected to. Thomas is one day older than Grant Hill.

In a fascinating NBA career, Thomas has played for the Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, Seattle SuperSonics, San Antonio Spurs, Milwaukee Bucks and now the Chicago Bulls.

Thomas would have to play six more years to be the oldest regular player in NBA history, a record currently held by Kevin Willis, who last played for the Mavericks in 2007 at age 44. Thomas would need to play eight years more to become the oldest player ever to play in an NBA game, a mark currently held by Nat Hickey, the Providence Steam Rollers coach who decided to put himself in one game in 1948, two days before his 46th birthday.