Lebron’s 13 years of playoff appearances comes to an end

Jheron Garrett, Reporter

LeBron James reached the playoffs 13 consecutive times with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat. According to ESPN, Lebron averaged 30.8 points in his first run through the postseason in 2006 and led the Cavs through a seven-game conference finals matchup with the Boston Celtics in 2018, reaching the NBA Finals for the eighth consecutive year.

Now, in his first year with the Los Angeles Lakers (who are in 11th place in the Western Conference), James is more than likely going to miss the playoffs for the first time in what seems like forever. Lebron has been to the NBA finals for eight consecutive years. The last time he wasn’t in the finals was  back in 2010. To get a perspective of how long ago that was, these were the current events going on at that time: Steve Jobs and Apple released the first ever Apple Ipad , Alabama beat Texas 37-21 in college football BCS bowl to win a national championship. Also Instagram had just launched for the first time and Toy Story 3 had just been released.

Lebron has built up a lot of controversy over missing the NBA playoffs this year because of the high standard he has set for himself over the past 8 years. The debate now is that  Lebron is losing his touch? According to SportsReference.com, Lebron is averaging 27.5points per game along with 8.5 rebounds and 8.0 assists on 51.4 percent shooting.

This season is his third best in assist and rebounding in his career. Lebron and the Lakers are a young , core team with an average age of players being  26- years old, which is relatively young compared to other NBA teams. The young core has taken a toll of injuries to end the season while losing star players Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball both with season ending injuries.

Lebron has explained that missing the playoffs could be a good thing for the young core, including himself, because Lebron will be entering his 17th season this upcoming season and getting a couple more months to rest his body and prepare it for the new season is a big deal.

The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to sign a few big name free agents in the summer including players like Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Kyrie Irving. They could also table another trade offer for New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis and James has revealed LA will be an attractive destination for some of the best players in the league this summer.

The fact is that the stats Lebron is averaging this season shows that he is not losing his “touch” and still has a lot of work to do with his team to become NBA final champions.