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LeBron James on playoff realignment talk: 'Let's not get too crazy'

NBA commissioner Adam Silver is no stranger to progressive, even radical thinking when it comes to running the league.

He has reportedly proposed a plan to lobby for legalized sports betting that would seek 1 percent of wagers on all NBA Games.

He helped usher in a new format for the All-Star Game that produced almost universally lauded results last weekend.

And recently, he spoke to being open to realigning the playoff format to reseed all teams 1-16 rather than have separate Eastern and Western Conference brackets. The NBA has long suffered an imbalance of power favoring the Western Conference that has made for less-than stellar basketball in the opening rounds of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

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“You also would like to have a format where your two best teams are ultimately going to meet in The Finals, and obviously, if it’s the top team in the East and top team in the West, I’m not saying this is the case this year, but you could have a situation where the top two teams in the league are meeting in the conference finals or somewhere else,” Silver said at All-Star weekend. “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 wants you to know that he does not believe in playing the Warriors in the playoffs before the NBA Finals. (AP)

LeBron James, who has benefited from the imbalance of power in route to eight NBA Finals appearances including the past seven and is normally a practitioner of progressive thinking himself, advocated for tradition when addressing the topic of a new playoff format Wednesday.


“It’s cool to mess around with the All-Star game,” James said. “Let’s not get too crazy about the playoffs. You have the Eastern Conference, you have Western Conference.”

He said that after giving a rather unconvincing account of an NBA history of shifting power between the two conferences. An account that, in reality, nobody under the age of 25 could attest to.

So, for the record, LeBron James is in favor of maintaining a format allowing the Cavs or whatever Eastern Conference team he might play for to keep battling the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics for a Finals berth. He’s not in favor of a format that would force him to play the Golden State Warriors or the Houston Rockets before the final round of the playoffs.

Got it. That makes sense.

Of course that might not be the case when and if James ever bolts Cleveland for a Western Conference destination. If that happens, we’ll have to check back in for his latest thoughts.