The 2018-19 NBA season can be defined as a major disappointment for the Los Angeles Lakers as injuries ultimately derailed what had been a promising start to a new era.
With the team’s playoff drought reaching a franchise-record six consecutive seasons, LeBron James will merely be a spectator this year. It’s only the third time in his career he won’t participate in the playoffs and the first since his 2004-05 NBA season with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Prior to joining Los Angeles, the 15-time All-Star had advanced to the NBA Finals an astonishing eight years in a row — each with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat.
Stephen Curry admitted it will be weird to not see James in the playoffs this year, but is a firm believer that he and the Lakers will regroup for a fresh start next season, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN:
“Obviously the rest of the league continues to go, a lot of talent, a lot of great storylines, people chasing championships,” Curry said. “But he’s had an amazing run. Pretty sure he’ll be able to reset for next year and regroup. It’s just different [with James not in the postseason].”
The upcoming summer will be a big test for the Lakers, as they’ll attempt to pair James with a second star either through free agency or trade.
Moreover, the Lakers must decide what to do with head coach Luke Walton. Speculation points to the team making a change, with Miami Heat assistant coach Juwan Howard being floated around as one of the early, leading candidates.