This season marked the second time in four campaigns that LeBron has missed the NBA playoffs. His stint with the Los Angeles Lakers has been good or bad, depending on who you ask, as some people don't think that winning a championship equals success.
After that title, the Lakers have struggled to make another deep playoffs run, getting eliminated in the first round of the postseason last year and even missing the play-in tournament this one.
Following their 2020 NBA championship, the Purple and Gold have struggled to find their touch. Not even bringing Russell Westbrook to create a Big 3 could help them this campaign, as they never clicked, and injuries bothered them all season long.
It was a rare experience for LeBron James, who hasn't missed many playoffs during his 19-year career. The King recently opened up on how he lived these moments, even on vacation. On the brand-new episode of The Shop, James was asked how it felt to miss the playoffs when he's so used to being in those games (23:00).
"I took my wife to her dream destination, to the Maldives, right after the season. She never thought I would go. Every time she asked me about it I'll be like, 'no, it's too fucking long. It's too far.' I just got done playing in June. Only have a month and a half to relax before I get going'. So, when I told her we was going, she still didn't believe me. She didn't believe me until we pulled up to the plane and she was like, 'oh shit, you were serious.'"
“I was literally in the Maldives, waking up at 3 in the morning watching the playoff games. Like every single game at 3 in the morning. As much as I don't want to watch it, 'cause it burns my stomach to not be a part of these games, 'cause is the best time to play basketball. Like the fan in me can not- I just love it."
It wasn't easy for LeBron not to be part of the playoffs with his team, but the King still found a way to enjoy the postseason. He was very active on social media, commenting about everything happening in the Eastern and Western Conference. The Lakers have made some interesting changes ahead of the 2021/22 NBA season that they hope can help them turn things around and get back to contention.
After going to the Finals for eight straight seasons, LeBron is now in a different position. The Lakers did win in 2020, but the team hasn't shown the consistency they need to win more championships. Lakers Nation hopes that the team finds that momentum next season.