8:37 PM ET

LeBron James is in his 16th season in the NBA. Only six active players have played more games than James, so the Los Angeles Lakers forward is about as far from being a rookie as you can get. Apparently someone forgot to tell the San Antonio Spurs, who mistakenly gave James the “R” designation — for rookie — in their press notes for Friday’s home game.

Maybe the Spurs were trying to trick James into playing like a rookie, when he averaged a career-low 20.9 points per game and shot a career-worst 41.7 percent from the field. Or maybe the mistake was Spurs coach Gregg Popovich’s way of getting reporters to do their research on James.

For the record, the last time James played an NBA game as a rookie was April 14, 2004, when he scored 17 points to help the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the New York Knicks. James faced the Spurs twice during his 2003-04 rookie season, including a 32-point, 11-rebound performance in a win over Popovich’s squad in February of that season. He also was named Rookie of the Year — though the year was 2004, not 2018.

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