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LeBron James Against NBA Playoff Format Change

LeBron James has spoken out against proposed changes to the NBA playoff format.

Despite being named NBA All-Star MVP in a revampled All-Star game format, he is against changing the postseason too much.

As Silver mentioned last Saturday, a format change has been discussed in the league office for a few years. The perceived need for a change comes from the disparity between the Western Conference and the East, the ‘Leastern’ Conference.

Silver’s proposal would bring the top 8 teams from each conference and seed them 1 – 16. This would potentially allow for the league’s two best teams to meet in the finals.

“You also would like to have a format where your two best teams are ultimately going to meet in the Finals,” the NBA Commissioner said. “You could have a situation where the top two teams in the league are meeting in the conference finals or somewhere else. So we’re going to continue to look at that. It’s still my hope that we’re going to figure out ways.”

LeBron James is on his way to a 9th (and 8th straight) NBA finals, and is a champion of the East. He urged the NBA not to get ‘too crazy’ over the playoffs.

“It’s cool to mess around with the All-Star Game — we proved you can do that — but let’s not get too crazy about the playoffs. You have Eastern Conference and you have Western Conference. You have Eastern Conference champions, you have guys from the Eastern Conference that win the big dance and sometimes you have it from the West as well.”

East VS West

“I would disagree with that. I think our league has been built the right way as far as when it comes to the postseason,” said LeBron James. “There’s been dominant conferences throughout time. In the ’80s you had the Lakers who dominated the league at one point, then you had Boston that dominated the league. In the ’90s you had Chicago that dominated the league. San Antonio also had its run. We had our run in the East with Miami; Golden State is having their run.

“I’ve been a part of the Eastern Conference my whole career and we’ve been very, very competitive. There’s been years where we weren’t as good. If I can think from once I got into the league, it’s been us, I’ve done it three times, Detroit, Boston, Miami in ’06, that’s like [six] championships out of 14 years. That’s [about] half, right? So what are we talking about?”

As Silver mentioned, there would be barriers to such a format change, most notably the travel implications. As well as that, 20 of the 30 NBA teams would have to vote for it, which is by no means guaranteed.

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