The last time LeBron James missed the playoffs, YouTube hadn’t yet launched to the public.
LeBron had reached the postseason every year since 2005, when his Cavaliers went 42-40 and finished ninth in the East – another good marker. The last time LeBron missed the playoffs, it was so long ago, an Eastern Conference team could be that good and not qualify.
But his Lakers were officially eliminated from the playoff race Friday with a loss to the Nets.
BOX SCORE: NETS 111, LAKERS 106
That ends LeBron’s postseason streak at 13 years – tied for the 13th-longest of all-time. Karl Malone and John Stockton hold the record, each playing in 19 straight postseasons.
Here are the longest playoff streaks of all-time:
Obviously, LeBron joining the Western Conference put his playoff streak in greater jeopardy. And the Lakers’ fate has been known for a while.
Still, it’ll be a little jarring to watch a postseason that doesn’t include a player who ruled half the bracket for so long.
That said, LeBron might not have the longest playoff streak snapped this year. Tony Parker, who reached the playoffs in all 17 of his seasons with the Spurs, could fall short in his first season with the Hornets.
If Charlotte misses the playoffs, 76ers guard J.J. Redick is in line to hold the longest active streak at 13 years.
Here are the players with the longest active streaks that could continue this season.
Players are listed with the teams they made the postseason with during their streaks. If they haven’t reached the playoffs in their stint with their current team, that team is listed in brackets.
Players whose teams are currently in playoff position are in teal. Players whose teams are currently outside playoff position but not yet eliminated are in purple. Free agents who’d be eligible for the playoffs if they sign before the end of the regular season are in white:
There’s no reason to believe Manu Ginobili will come out of retirement. But he has played in every postseason since missing the entire 2009 playoffs due to injury. It’s technically possible for him to play in the 2019 playoffs and keep his streak alive.
Which is more than LeBron can say.
Related Slideshow: Best of the 2018-19 NBA season (provided by imagn)