The last time LeBron James missed the NBA Finals, Deron Williams and Joe Johnson were still All-Stars, the “Twilight” series was still going strong in theaters nationwide and planking was an internet sensation. In other words, it’s been quite some time.
While James almost surely has enough to lead the Lakers to their first playoff appearance since the 2012-13 season, everything would have to go right for him to make his ninth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals, which would be tie him for the second-longest Finals streak in NBA history. At eight straight Finals appearances, James currently has the longest active streak in the NBA by four years.
It would be a tremendous feat for James to keep the streak alive in Los Angeles, but he told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports that he knows it can’t last forever.
“[The Finals streak] means a lot,” James told Yahoo Sports. “To have a streak of anything is significant. Games played, threes made, Finals appearances. These are things that you can always talk about when you get older and are done with the game, but at the end of the day, they all come to an end.”
At 33 years old and entering his 16th year in the league, James is still someone you don’t want to see in a seven game playoff series, but in order to even sniff the dream of a champagne-drenched locker room and a Larry O’Brien trophy, James and the young Lakers will have to get through the Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder. James might be a super hero, but even Superman has his Kryptonite.
On the other hand, it might be too early to rule out James from making another NBA Finals appearance. Brandon Ingram has looked like a solid No. 2 option in the preseason and he, along with the team’s young supporting cast, will continue to progress throughout the season.
This king may not be ready to give up his throne just yet.
You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.