The LA Lakers were mathematically eliminated from the race for the NBA Playoffs on Friday night, thanks to a 111-106 loss to the Brooklyn Nets, as one fan trolled the star-studded Californian team with a spoof highlight montage. LA's now-six-season absence of playoff participation is easily the longest streak in the 16-time National Basketball Association champion franchise's history.
In the first year of the LeBron James era in Los Angeles, the Lakers were fourth in the Western Conference as recently as December, but injuries to James, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, among others, derailed what was once a promising year. But you don't even try to wrap your head around it, you just keep pushing. Playoffs are never promised.
It's been 13 years since LeBron James didn't play in the postseason but with that now a reality, he is choosing to look ahead rather than lament the present. "You have to come out and work".
With 10 games left in the season, the Lakers already know they're staying home again for the playoffs, even after adding James to the roster last July. So when I say opportunity, I think the opportunity would have been completely different if I was still in L.A. It's the type of organization that will trade you to kind of bring in what they want.
For LeBron James, it's the first time he's missed the playoffs since 2005 - a run that includes eight consecutive Finals appearances - falling short after a much-anticipated debut season in the purple and gold. In the end, however, they weren't able to overcome the Nets, led by former Laker D'Angelo Russell with 21 points and 13 assists, and Joe Harris, who put up 26 points on 6-of-8 three-pointers.
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It's the sixth straight year the Lakers missed the playoffs.
JaVale McGee had a career night with 33 points to go with 20 rebounds and six blocks to lead the Lakers throughout the night.
The Nets followed up their historic comeback win in Sacramento and improved to 2-3 on a season-high, seven-game road trip that continues Monday in Portland.
"I'm probably going to have a conversation with the coaching staff and my trainer and go from there", he said.