Despite the best efforts of everyone else on his team, LeBron James is headed to his eighth consecutive NBA Finals. There are high schoolers watching the NBA now who have no solid memories of an NBA championship series without LeBron. The last time LeBron lost an Eastern Conference Finals, the guy who led the Celtics in scoring in Sunday’s Game 7 was 12 years old.
It’s obvious that eight years is a long time—it’s the reason we’re all freaking out about LeBron having not missed a Finals in that time—but this tweet sort of put it in perspective for me.
And that got us thinking: How else was the world different the last time LeBron bowed out of the playoffs before the first round.
• SI.com was actually sportsillustrated.CNN.com and looked like this:
• Shaq was LeBron’s teammate.
• Hall of Famer Allen Iverson was still in the NBA.
• Kevin Ollie was still in the NBA. He retired, spent two seasons as an assistant coach at UConn, got promoted to head coach, won a national championship and got fired this year.
• DeMarcus Cousins, Blake Griffin, John Wall and Paul George hadn’t played an NBA game.
• The first Avengers movie was still two years away from being released.
• This is what the president was up to:
• Mike Trout was playing for the Class A Cedar Rapids Kernals.
• Game of Thrones was still a year away from debuting on HBO.
• Tyronn Lue was enjoying his first year of retirement.
• The Xbox One and Playstation 4 were three years away from being released.
• You would get laughed out of the room for saying LeBron was the best player of all time.