The Los Angeles Lakers were officially eliminated from playoff contention following a 111-106 loss at the hands of the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night. This will mark the first time LeBron James has failed to qualify for the postseason since 2004-05 -- his second season as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Not only does James' 13-year playoff streak come to an end, so too does his unreal run of eight consecutive NBA Finals appearances.   

There's certainly been quite a few marquee moments that have occurred around the NBA since LeBron last missed the playoffs 14 years ago. To illustrate just how long it's been since The King has watched the playoffs as a spectator, we take a look back and see what was happening in the NBA at the time LeBron missed the cut, along with what's occurred since around the league. We also examine LeBron's career and how it skyrocketed from that point on. 

When LeBron last missed the playoffs ...

Allen Iverson was the league scoring champ. 

A.I. was still dominating the NBA for the Philadelphia 76ers during the 2004-05 season, and even won the NBA scoring title. During that spectacular season, the 11-time All-Star guard averaged 30.7 points.

Current Lakers coach Luke Walton was playing his second season for the Purple and Gold. 

LeBron's current head coach started his professional career as a member of the Lakers roster after being the 32nd overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. While Walton only saw limited minutes during the 2004-05 campaign, he appeared in 61 games and made five starts that season for Los Angeles.

Shaq ended his long run with the Lakers. 

L.A. formed a dynasty during Shaquille O'Neal's tenure with the franchise, but issues between himself and Kobe Bryant eventually led to the front office making a tough decision and breaking up their core. They ended up sending Shaq to the Miami Heat, where he would ultimately help them win their first championship, in exchange for Lamar Odom, Caron Butler, Brian Grant and a future first-round pick.

Reggie Miller played his final season in the NBA. 

After 1,389 regular-season appearances for the Indiana Pacers, Reggie Miller decided to call it quits following the 2004-05 season. However, he was still quite effective despite being 39 years old at the time, averaging 14.8 points per game during his final season as a professional.

The Seattle SuperSonics made the playoffs for the final time. 

With a record of 52-30, the SuperSonics made the postseason for the final time before the franchise relocated to Okhaloma City a few years later. Led by Ray Allen, Seattle won the Northwest Division and defeated the Sacramento Kings in the first round before being bounced in the Western Conference semifinal by the San Antonio Spurs, who went on to win the NBA title. 

Since LeBron last missed the playoffs ...

The underachieving Warriors transformed into a dynasty. 

Speaking of the Warriors, Golden State certainly wasn't always this great. In fact, it was quite the opposite for many years. Before this franchise took the league by storm, it made the playoffs just once between 1994 and 2013. Stephen Curry, drafted in 2010, didn't see the playoffs until his fourth season. While then-coach Mark Jackson led the Warriors to the postseason in back-to-back seasons, he was ultimately fired in favor of Steve Kerr.

Since Kerr took over, the Warriors have gone to the NBA Finals in four consecutive seasons and won three NBA titles during that stretch. In addition, Golden State has won back-to-back titles with its eye on a three-peat.

We witnessed the rebirth of superteams. 

Now, before the Warriors began their current dynasty, franchises like the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and LeBron's very own Cleveland Cavaliers elected to restart the trend by loading their rosters with superstars, then fill out the remaining spots in the rotation with veteran role players who chose the opportunity to compete for championships over big-money deals with other teams. No team has done it better than the Warriors in recent years, but several franchises have certainly tried their hand at putting together their own "superteams."

The one-and-done era began

LeBron, of course, never played in college, going straight from St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio to the Cleveland Cavaliers when he was picked No. 1 overall in 2003. Just a few years later, however, the NBA moved away from the practice of drafting high school students, instituting a new rule in 2006 which mandated that in order for players to be eligible for the draft, they must be 19 years old, and be a year removed from their high school graduation class. 

That rule doesn't mandate that kids go to college -- they can play overseas, in the G-League or simply take the year off and work-out -- but most opt to play in the NCAA for one season. Which has resulted in the so-called one-and-done era, as top recruits roll into school for one season before moving on to the NBA. 

Interestingly enough, that rule could be changed again soon. Adam Silver has talked about it, and the players association has proposed a change as well. 

Coach K and Team USA dominated

In the 2004 Olympics, the United States men's national basketball team struggled through a disappointing performance, going just 3-2 in the group stage -- including a loss to Puerto Rico -- before finishing with the bronze medal. It was the first time since 1988 that they hadn't won the gold, and resulted in systematic changes to the national team system. 

Legendary Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski was brought in to run the show, and since then the U.S. hasn't lost a single game at the Olympics, winning gold in 2008, 2012 and 2016. 

The NBA's dress code changed

At the start of the 2005-06 season, the NBA instituted a new dress code that said, "players are required to wear Business Casual attire whenever they are engaged in team or league business." Most notably, it banned items like chains and pendants, sunglasses, jerseys or baggy clothes. Many players saw it as racist, and complained about the league being afraid their players were "too hip-hop," as Stephen Jackson said. Via Ball Is Life:

A dress code that some players, like Jason Richardson, thought was targeting just black players.

"One thing to me that was kind of racist was you can't wear chains outside your clothing." Said Richardson before a 2005 preseason game. "I don't understand what that has to do with being business approachable. … You wear a suit, you still could be a crook. You see all what happened with Enron and Martha Stewart. Just because you dress a certain way doesn't mean you're that way. Hey, a guy could come in with baggy jeans, a 'durag and have a Ph.D. and a person who comes in with a suit could be a three-time felon."

Other players like Stephen Jackson, who was involved in the infamous Malice at the Palace a season earlier, accused the league of being afraid of its players becoming "too hip-hop" and said some the above bullets were "definitely a racial statement."

In recent years, however, players have leaned into the league's dress code as a way to express themselves and expand the boundaries of fashion. Their walks into the arena now are filmed and documented as if they were in the middle of a fashion show, and entire social media feeds exist to document players' outfits. 

How LeBron's career took off since last missing playoffs

It's been no secret that James has been one of the top playoff performers the NBA has ever seen, and his playoff resume really speaks for itself. The versatile superstar has thrived in stints with the Cavaliers and Heat before coming to the Lakers. Although he didn't collect his first championship until 2011-12 -- his second season with the Miami Heat -- LeBron's accomplishments, both as an individual and from a team perspective, really began to pile up. Here are some of his biggest achievements:

  • 3 NBA championships (2012, 2013, 2016)
  • 3 Finals MVPs (2012, 2013, 2016)
  • 4 regular-season MVPs (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013)
  • 14 All-Star appearances (2006-2019)
  • 3 All-Star Game MVPs (2006, 2008, 2018)
  • 12x All-NBA First Team (2006, 2008-2018)
  • 5x NBA All-Defensive First Team (2009-2013)

James' first tenure with the Cavaliers didn't exactly end the way that many fans would've liked. However, the Lakers forward won a pair of NBA titles with the Heat in four trips to the NBA Finals with the team before returning to Cleveland to win another ring. James has also won the NBA Finals MVP in all three of his victories in the Finals.