What the world was like when LeBron last missed the playoffs
Gregory Shamus / National Basketball Association / Getty

Surrender the things of your youth; the automatic inclusion of LeBron James in the NBA playoffs, for instance.

The Los Angeles Lakers' elimination from postseason contention on March 22 ensured there would be no "Zero Dark Thirty-23" social media silence from LeBron this spring. That's noteworthy in itself since there wasn't much in the way of social media outside of MySpace when James last missed the playoffs in 2005; YouTube was in its infancy, Facebook was still mostly limited to university campuses, and neither Twitter nor Instagram existed.

It isn't all that surprising, seeing as the top-selling mobile phone at the time was the Nokia 1110. Apple didn't revolutionize the market with the iPhone until 2007.

The playoffs won't be the same without the King. Here's what was going on in spring 2005, when a 20-year-old James took in the NBA postseason from his couch.

NBA Finals display remnants of bygone era

Brian Bahr / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The 2004-05 season was the first after the NBA outlawed hand checking of perimeter players, perhaps the biggest impetus for the pass-and-3-pointer extravaganza we see today. Change was brewing with the seven-seconds-or-less Phoenix Suns, but it didn't reach the Finals.

That season's champions, the San Antonio Spurs, logged a top-10 offensive rating that season at 107.5 points per 100 possessions; that number would place them 26th in today's NBA. In the Spurs' seven-game victory over the Detroit Pistons, only once did either team score over 100 points.

The plodding excellence of Tim Duncan going up against the rough-and-tumble defense of Ben Wallace predictably didn't translate into big TV numbers. ABC's ratings placed those Finals 40th in average viewership over the last 45 years.

Zion Williamson was 4

Perhaps the most hyped NBA prospect since LeBron, Zion Williamson didn't turn 5 years old until June 2005. It was at that age when he started playing AAU ball with 9-year-olds in Spartanburg, S.C.

50 Cent's 'Candy Shop' was top song

Evan Agostini / Getty Images Entertainment / Getty

Two years after his seminal album "Get Rich or Die Tryin'," Fiddy was back with banger "Candy Shop." It topped the Billboard charts from March 5 to April 30 and was replaced by Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl." Oversized white tees and fitted Yankees hats, forever.

George W. Bush was president

Bush 43 had been re-elected to a second term the previous fall. While he ultimately left the White House in 2009 with an approval rating in the 30s, for various reasons, his popularity has increased in recent years. His impersonator-in-chief, Will Ferrell, addressed this last year.

CSIs, 'The Apprentice' were among top TV shows

Jun Sato / WireImage / Getty

Speaking of presidents, the current head of state's success can be partially attributed to the popularity of his reality show "The Apprentice" - the No. 14-rated program of the 2004-05 network TV season. Two "CSI" shows were rated higher. "CSI: Miami" was spectacular in large part due to actor David Caruso's use of sunglasses to deliver dramatic cliffhanger lines that cued the show's opening theme: The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again."

Other highlights from spring 2005

- Top box office movie: "Star Wars Episode III - Revenge of the Sith"
- U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate: 2.75 percent
- Median U.S. home price: $228,000

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