Most NBA fans are in agreement that LeBron James is one of the greatest basketball players who ever lived if not the undisputed greatest. The King has been the face of the NBA ever since entering the league way back in 2003. One could argue that he is still the face of the league even in Year 20.
LeBron certainly has a long and impressive list of accomplishments that bolster his case in the GOAT discussion. He has won 4 NBA titles and also recently became the leading scorer in NBA history. However, many of his individual accolades have not correlated with team success.
With that being said, fans should certainly want to know how many times King James has missed the NBA playoffs within the span of his 20-year career. Let us take a closer look and find out.
LeBron James has missed the NBA playoffs 4 times throughout his career so far
As we all know, one of the most acknowledged accomplishments of LeBron James has been making it to the NBA Finals 10 times in his 20-year career so far. That is very impressive considering that it indicates a 50% chance of making the NBA Finals for every year that he has been in the league. However, just because he made the NBA Finals 10 times does not mean that the King always delivered and had success.
While he went to the NBA Finals 8 times in a row between 2011 and 2018, there have been times when King James‘ team wasn’t even good enough to make the playoffs. In his defense, he was either too young and inexperienced or too old and injured each time his team finished the season without qualifying for the playoffs.
LeBron entered the NBA in the 2003-2004 season. However, his team was considered quite bad and didn’t qualify for the playoffs during his first two years there between 2003 and 2005. Thankfully, he grew furthermore and turned into an incredible player who carried his team to the playoffs from that point on. In fact, he made it all the way to the NBA Finals in 2009. But he ended up losing to Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs.
James soon left the Cavaliers after realizing that he was unable to win a title there and went to the Miami Heat. He won two titles there and made the NBA Finals every time for 4 straight years. LeBron then returned to Cleveland and made the Finals 4 more times. He only won 1 title in that span during 2016.
That was arguably the peak of LeBron’s career. He missed the playoffs in 2019 during his first year with the Lakers and missed it again during the 2021-2022 NBA season. It is also highly possible that he misses this year as well. If that happens, it would be the 5th time in his career King James missed the NBA postseason completely.