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A change in the NBA’s playoff format is not something LeBron James wants to see.
“I think our league has been built the right way as far as when it comes to the postseason,” the Cleveland Cavaliers star told reporters after practice Wednesday.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has suggested the league is at least somewhat open to the idea of seeding playoff teams 1-16 regardless of conference affiliation.
That could mean two teams from the West, or East, squaring off in The Finals.
Today, the West is viewed as the stronger conference, and it’s been viewed that way for some time. But that’s just today, James said.
“There’s been dominant conferences throughout time,” he said. “In the 1980s 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. San Antonio also had its run. We had our run in the East with Miami. Golden State is having their run.”
James has reached The Finals seven straight times, including three straight with the Cavs. He led the franchise to its lone title in 2016.
But all of that is beside the point in this conversation. Instead, James appears more focused on the history and tradition of the game.
“It just changes the landscape of the history of the game,” he said. “If you start messing with seedings and playoffs and then you start talking about, ‘Well, if this team would have played this Western Conference team, what….’ 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.”
The Cavs (34-22) have won four straight and return to action Thursday at home vs. the Washington Wizards. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.