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LeBron James on new Playoff seeding format: "Let's not get too crazy"

Yash Matange
FEATURED WRITER
News
370   //    22 Feb 2018, 18:28 IST

NBA All-Star Game 2018
NBA All-Star Game 2018

What's the story?


Recently crowned All-Star Game MVP LeBron James wants nothing to do with the new "up-for" discussion Playoff seeding format.


In case you didn't know


In his annual All-Star Weekend press conference, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver mentioned that in the hope of seeing the two best teams play in the NBA Finals, the league is considering seeding all Playoff teams 1 to 16, instead of the current Conference format.


Heart of the matter


After the All-Star Break, all teams returned back to practice on Wednesday. In a post-practice interaction with the media, James wasn't too enthusiastic about the new format.


"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."

James is coming off of seven straight Finals experience, four with the Miami Heat from 2011 to 2014 and then three consecutive with the Cavaliers, and given the team's mid-season trades, he looks poised for his eighth consecutive appearance.

The four-time league MVP wasn't for the change and stated the fact that six out of the 14 championships teams during the career have been from the East.


"I've been a part of the Eastern Conference my whole career and we've been very, very competitive," James said. "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?"

While James did break it down to championships, Adam Silver had another agenda on mind regarding the new format :


"You also would like to have a format where your two best teams are ultimately going to meet in the Finals," Silver 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."


What's next?


The new-look Cavaliers will try to continue their good momentum (2-0 win streak) against the Washington Wizards at home on Thursday evening.

With respect to the new Playoffs format, it is definitely not being implemented this season.


Author's Take


Facts are facts. Since Michael Jordan retired in 1998, the Eastern Conference has been weaker, to say the least. It's happened way too often that the Western Conference Finals have been more competitive than the Finals itself.

Although James is right, in terms of numbers (East won 6 out of 14), what he isn't right about is whether each time the two best teams in the league met in the Finals. The aim, on the part of Adam Silver, is not to see whether both conferences are equal in terms of championships, it's to ensure the two best teams in the league meet on the grandest stage of them all - the NBA Finals.

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Yash Matange
FEATURED WRITER
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