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10 things that have changed since LeBron James last missed the NBA Finals

Did you know that Steph Curry had just completed his rookie year when LeBron James last missed the NBA Finals? We name more such occurrences

SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10 30 May 2018, 20:42 IST
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LeBron James, in 2016, with the NBA Championship trophy and the Finals MVP trophy
LeBron James, in 2016, with the NBA Championship trophy and the Finals MVP trophy

Greatest of all-time or not, LeBron James is an all-time GREAT. For the sake of this article, let's leave aside any debate and just appreciate his greatness. (If you still wish to indulge yourself in a LeBron vs MJ debate, do plunge in here)

Despite all the adversities that James and the Cleveland Cavaliers have had to overcome over the course of this past season, as we begin the final week of May, the King is back where he belongs - the NBA Finals.

In doing so, he becomes the first non-Boston Celtics' player (from the 1960's) to make it to eight consecutive NBA Finals. Led by LeBron, the Cavaliers have now become the fifth team (fourth franchise) to make it to four consecutive Finals (2015-18). The previous teams being the Celtics from 1957 to 1966 and then again from 1984-87, the 'Showtime' Los Angeles Lakers (1982-85) and the Miami Heat (2011-14).


But, in this case, we are talking about a player's streak and not that of a team. In fact, he has more Finals appearances than 28 franchises in the league (only ones having more are the Lakers and the Celtics). It's safe to say that his appearance in the Finals was most in doubt this year and yet, despite all the odds, he remains the King of the East.

LeBron's Finals' streak is now legitimately as long as two US Presidential terms. So, it's time to take a short trip down the memory lane to see everything that has changed since LeBron last missed the NBA Finals (these are not rankings):

Note: 2009-10 was the last season LeBron James missed the NBA Finals.


#10 Chris Kaman was an All-Star

San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Clippers
#35 Chris Kaman going up against Tim Duncan

Remember Chris Kaman? No?

That's because he hasn't done much to help you recollect. Kaman, who was drafted 6th overall in 2003 Draft, hasn't officially retired yet but has not played for any NBA franchise since 2016. In those 13 years, he played five teams - the Lakers, LA Clippers, New Orleans Hornets, Dallas Mavericks, and the Portland Trail Blazers.

He literally has one career highlight or award to his name - making the All-Star team in 2010. It was the first and only All-Star selection of his career during a season when he averaged 18.5 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists on 49% shooting.

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