In an interview during All-Star Weekend, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver spoke about the possibility of a new playoff seeding format where instead of the top 8 teams from each conference making the postseason, the 16 best teams in the league make it seeded in order of best record.
This is far from an outrageous or league altering change, and if anything – it could benefit the league.
The obvious reason would be to assure that the best 16 would always compete for the title, eliminating the ongoing controversy of how overpowered the West is compared to the East.
But there may actually be another factor behind this possible change, and it’s the potential move of LeBron James this summer.
If LeBron were to take his talents out West to LA, Houston or San Antonio – whether it’s to start building his post-career brand empire in a huge market (like LA), or chase another title with the Spurs or Rockets – it could cause a huge problem come playoff time.
If the Warriors stay in tact, and LeBron boosts a good team to a GREAT team, the league would potentially have the two undisputed power-house teams in the SAME conference battling it out to MAKE the Finals, instead of FACING OFF in the Finals, which could be a revenue nightmare for the league.
The beauty of LeBron being in the East is that he boosts the Finals matchup year after year, and most importantly, makes it a more even, better battle. Let’s say the Warriors, or LeBron’s new team in the West were to make it to the Finals next season, we could be watching a battle between a Western power-house, versus a much weaker Eastern conference team like Boston or Toronto. Don’t even start to tell me you’d rather see that lopsided matchup than a LeBron versus the Warriors rematch.
All in all, the NBA is most certainly not basing the league around James entirely, but the location next season of the most recognized player of this generation could make a huge impact on whether the league follows through on this new idea.
Do you guys think having LeBron in the West, as well as the lopsided conferences would spark a big enough problem to change the format? Leave your thoughts below!
(P/C: Lakers Nation)