Brady, SuperSonics and the iPod shuffle – the last time LeBron missed the NBA playoffs

By Sacha Pisani 23 March 2019 3
Brady, SuperSonics and the iPod shuffle – the last time LeBron missed the NBA playoffs

LeBron James has become the face of the NBA playoffs but the Los Angeles Lakers superstar will miss the postseason for the first time in 14 years.

The last time the playoffs were James-less was in 2004-05, when the San Antonio Spurs reigned supreme, while the three-time champion has featured in the past eight NBA Finals.

James swapped the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Lakers in the offseason - hoping to guide the iconic Los Angeles franchise to the playoffs for the first time in six years.

The 34-year-old, however, has been unable to lift the Lakers.

A 111-106 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Friday confirmed LeBron and the Lakers would miss the playoffs.

We take a look at what the world looked like in 2004-05, when James last missed the playoffs.


Brady had three Super Bowl rings with the Patriots

While James and the Cavs missed out on the playoffs with a 42-40 record in the east, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots celebrated another NFL Super Bowl.

The Patriots edged the Philadelphia Eagles 24-21 in Jacksonville, where Paul McCartney performed during the half-time show at Alltel Stadium.

Brady was 23 of 33 for 236 yards and two touchdowns as he won a third ring in four years. This year, he claimed his record sixth Super Bowl crown.

Seattle SuperSonics were still a thing in the NBA

The 2004-05 campaign was the Seattle SuperSonics' 38th season in the NBA before relocating and becoming the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008.

During that season, the Sonics - led by Ray Allen - finished third in the Western Conference with 52 wins. They beat the Sacramento Kings 4-1 in the first round of the playoffs but fell to eventual champions the Spurs in the conference semis.

NBA draft prospect Zion was five years old

Projected number one draft pick Zion Williamson is set to follow in the footsteps of James and take the NBA by storm. The North Carolina-born forward was just five years of age in 2005, when James' Cavaliers lost a tiebreaker for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference to the New Jersey Nets - now known as the Brooklyn Nets.


”This the flow that got the block hot,  got super hot”

A post shared by Zion Williamson (@zionlw10) on

Mourinho won the first of his Premier League titles at Chelsea

Jose Mourinho was lured away from Champions League winners Porto by Chelsea in 2004-05. It proved to be a masterstroke by owner Roman Abramovich.

Mourinho – the self-proclaimed 'Special One' – announced himself in England with the Premier League title thanks a then-record 95-point haul.

NHL lockout stopped the ice hockey season

Not since 1919 had a Stanley Cup not been awarded but that is exactly what happened in 2004-05 over a pay dispute.

The NHL lockout saw the entire season cancelled - resulting in 1,230 unplayed games. The lockout lasted 10 months and six days, starting on September 16, 2004 before a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) was reached on July 13 with the impasse officially ending on July 22.

It was the first time a major professional sports league in North America cancelled a complete season over a labour dispute.

Batman Begins, Star Wars took the world by storm

Batman films had come and gone but Christopher Nolan's first instalment in his trilogy of movies left a lasting impression.

Starring Christian Bale, 'Batman Begins' was released on June 15, 2005 and grossed over $48million on the opening weekend in North America. Worldwide, the blockbuster eventually grossed $374m, leading to an Academy Award nomination.

'Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith' also hit the cinemas in May. The George Lucas juggernaut broke several box office records during its opening week. The sixth instalment of the film series generated $848m across the globe.

Apple released iPod shuffle, Bill Gates knighted by the Queen

We have state of the art iPod touch's but in 2005, the iPod shuffle was just hitting shelves. Apple released the first generation of the tiny music player in January that year.

Two months later, the king of computer software and Microsoft owner Bill Gates received an honorary knighthood from the Queen.

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Sacha Pisani