The NBA playoffs are just weeks away, and they will be a rarity for modern day fans. LeBron James won't be a part of the playoff contenders for the first time since 2005 in his career. That's because the Los Angeles Lakers failed to get the necessary wins to qualify for the postseason. Recently, LeBron reacted to missing the playoffs, talking about how it's never a guarantee and how the plan is to keep getting better. Now, his good friend and former teammate, Dwyane Wade, is weighing in on LeBron's first season with the Lakers.

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D-Wade comments on LeBron missing playoffs

In a recent interview with The Athletic's Shams Charania, Dwyane Wade referred to LeBron's injury situation costing his friend time on the court. He labeled it as "unfortunate" in terms of the Lakers' situation. The Heat star also suggested, "You can't even really talk about him not making the playoffs, because of that. They were the fourth seed when he went out."

Wade said that LeBron's not used to losing like that or missing out on the postseason. However, being unable to play in 18 games, took the L.A. Lakers out of contention as they struggled without their top star on the court.

They never bounced back when LeBron James was finally able to play either. One thing Wade didn't really touch upon in his comments is the fact that trade rumors in the headlines may have infiltrated the mindsets of several of the Lakers' core young players. That includes Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Brandon Ingram, all of whom were mentioned as potential trade assets in a deal to land Anthony Davis.

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Wade defends LeBron against his critics

It's no surprise that Wade came to LeBron's defense for his first season with the Los Angeles Lakers. Wade spent multiple seasons as LeBron's teammate with the Miami Heat and even part of a season with him in Cleveland. The two captured NBA championships together as members of the Heat's 2012 and 2013 roster.

That was a Miami Heat team built around a "big three" consisting of Wade, James, and Chris Bosh. It also brought in Ray Allen for additional help. The Lakers have some potential future stars, but they're still young.

Otherwise, James is the only All-Star talent there. He already gave one message to potential NBA free agents about why they should join the Lakers this summer.

Wade was quick to say that critics have gone after LeBron James as decreasing in his abilities on the court due to being older. He called it a "bad year for him," mentioning "he's still great." Wade even called it "an MVP type of year" and said that he thinks he'll continue to "approach the game the way" he has been throughout his superstar career.

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While LeBron James won't be in the NBA playoffs, his good friend, Dwyane Wade, looks like he'll be a part of it. The Miami Heat are among the Eastern Conference teams contending for a final playoff spot down the stretch.

As of this report, the Miami Heat are fighting to hold onto the No. 8 spot, although Orlando and Charlotte are not far behind. It will certainly be a great way to see the three-time NBA champ and multiple-time All-Star ride off into retirement. As for LeBron James, he's far from done, and next season promises to be an improvement upon this one, should the front office make smart moves.