After missing Saturday night’s game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks, we can now officially say this has been the longest absence of LeBron James’ illustrious 18-year career.
And we still don’t have a return date for the future Hall-of-Famer quite in sight.
Prior to this season, the longest amount of time the four-time league MVP had been forced to sit out due to injury was 35 days, which came in the 2018-19 season, James’ first campaign with the Lakers.
Now that he’s missed Saturday’s game against the Mavericks, however, it has been 36 days since we’ve last seen James suit up and take part in an NBA game, making it the longest stretch of time we’ve had without seeing James play since he joined the Association way back in 2003, offseason obviously notwithstanding.
The last time the 36-year-old took part in an official contest was back on March 20 against the Atlanta Hawks, an outing that James participated in for 10 minutes and 36 seconds before going down with the ugly ankle injury that has kept him sidelined for this record-setting amount of time.
Prior to the last three years, the longest absence of James’ career had been just 16 days, which took place in the 2014-15 season, his first campaign back with the Cleveland Cavaliers for their second go-around.
Currently, the fourth-longest absence of his career is just 13 days.
The fifth-longest? Just 11.
That just goes to show how absurdly durable the 17-time All-Star has been in his career, and that freakish durability, along with his outrageous numbers, innumerable accolades, multiple championships and even more ridiculous longevity, all go a long way in making James’ case for GOAT status.
Alberto de Roa contributed research to this article.