LeBron James says there is no need to change the NBA's playoff format or to mess with the Eastern or Western Conferences.
Days after he captained his team to a victory in the revamped All-Star Game, LeBron James said he does not think the NBA should alter its playoff format or do away with the two conference format.
"Our league has been built the right way way as far as when it comes to the postseason," James said after the Cavs practice Wednesday. "There's been dominant conferences throughout time...In the 80's, you had the Lakers who dominated the league at one point, then you had Boston who dominated the league. In the 90's, you had Chicago who dominated the league. San Antonio has had its run. We had our run in the East with Miami. Golden Stat is having [their run].
"It just changes the landscape of the history of the game if you start messing with seedings and playoffs...It's cool to mess around with the All-Star Game—and we proved that you could do that—but let's not get too crazy about the playoffs. You have Eastern Conference, you have Western Conference."
The West has produced better top-end teams and has been the deeper conference in recent seasons, which has resulted in a growing chorus of calls to alter the league's current playoff format, in which the top eight teams from each conference qualify. The most popular hypothetical alternative is a system in which the league's top 16 teams by record—no matter which conference the teams are in, or where they're located geographically—make the playoffs.
Of course, James has benefited from spending the entirety of his career in the East, particularly recently. James has reached the finals seven straight times—four straight with the Heat and three straight with the Cavs.
Cleveland, which traded six players away and added four at the trade deadline, won four straight before the All-Star break to get to 34-22. The Cavs sit third in East behind the Celtics (40-19) and Raptors (41-16).