The state of Boston sports the last time LeBron James missed the playoffs

NBC Sports Boston Staff
Taking a look at how the landscape of Boston sports has changed since the last time LeBron James missed the NBA playoffs.

The state of Boston sports the last time LeBron James missed the playoffs originally appeared on

With a 111-106 loss to the Brooklyn Nets Friday night, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers were officially eliminated from the playoffs. This will be the first time James will miss the postseason since the 2004-05 season, as a 20-year-old with the Cavaliers. 

A lot has changed since then. The iPhone was not yet introduced, the Seattle Supersonics had not yet moved to Oklahoma City, and George W. Bush was President of the United States. 

The landscape of Boston sports underwent a massive change as well. After years of heartbreak and disappointment, Boston has turned into the city of champions, and April of 2005 was the beginning of a run that isn't close to ending. Here's what all four teams were up to the last time LeBron missed the playoffs. 


The Patriots were two months removed from their third Super Bowl in four years, beating the Eagles to become the first back-to-back champions since the 1997-98 Broncos. Nobody has done it since, and now the Patriots have a chance to do it again after capturing their sixth Super Bowl this year. 

Tom Brady was 27 years old with zero league MVP's and two Pro Bowl selections. He now has three MVP's and 14 Pro Bowl selections. 

Corey Dillon was the Patriots' running back, and the linebacking core consisted of Willie McGinest, Mike Vrabel and Tedy Bruschi. 


The Celtics had plenty of battles with LeBron in the postseason later in his career, but they had trouble making it far in the postseason before acquiring Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett in 2008. The Celtics went 45-37 in 2004-05 and lost to a Pacers team led by Reggie Miller, Stephen Jackson and Jermaine O'Neal. 

A 27-year-old Paul Pierce led the team in scoring with 21.6 PPG, while Antione Walker, Ricky Davis and a 36-year-old Gary Payton rounded out the team's core. It was also Doc Rivers' first season as the Celtics' head coach. 

One championship and about a million trades later, the Celtics are one of the most talented teams in the NBA hoping to put it all together towards another title. This year's team still has connections to 2004, as the trade that sent Paul Pierce to the Brooklyn Nets led to acquisitions of Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. 


Unfortunately for the Bruins, they were just waiting for the 2005-06 season to begin. Due to an unresolved lockout, the 2004-05 NHL season was canceled. Patrice Bergeron missed his 19-year-old season and the team was led by 24-year-old Joe Thornton, Glenn Murray and Mike Knuble. 


The Red Sox were just beginning their first World Series defense in 86 years. After defeating the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2004 World Series to break the Curse of the Bambino, Boston went on to win 95 games but lost to the eventual champion White Sox in the ALDS. 

David Ortiz (47 HR, 148 RBI) and Manny Ramirez (45 HR, 144 RBI) were still in their primes, Pedro Martinez had just left for the New York Mets for a four-year $53 million contract and Alex Cora was Mark Bellhorn's backup at second base. 

After breaking the curse, the Red Sox have become the most successful franchise in baseball, winning the World Series in 2007, 2013 and 2018. 

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