Posts Tagged ‘Conference Realignment’

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The Dallas Mavericks may be entering a full-on rebuild, but the franchise likely would’ve treated this year’s offseason much differently had it been in the Eastern Conference, according to team owner Mark Cuban.

“We’re rebuilding, and there’s no question about it,” Cuban told ESPN during Sunday’s summer league game. “If we were in the East, we would not be rebuilding. We’d be handling things completely different.”

After whiffing on several big-name free agents in recent years, the Mavericks have taken a less aggressive approach this offseason, with longtime power forward Dirk Nowitzki serving as the team’s lone free-agent signing.

“I think I’m going to kidnap Adam Silver and not let him out until he moves us to the Eastern Conference,” Cuban joked. “Given where we are, given where the Warriors are, and what’s happening in the Western Conference, it kind of sealed what we have to do.”

Cuban hasn’t been afraid to share his thoughts on the imbalance in the two conferences, recently suggesting that the league should consider tweaking the current playoff format to help solve the disparity.

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The NBA is in no hurry to address the issue of conference imbalance.

It was reported recently that multiple Western Conference team owners reached out to the league to propose ways to solve the power disparity, with their half of the league being so much stronger than the East.

It’s a problem the NBA has had for some time, and delved into two years ago only to find that abolishing conferences would be infeasible.

“We concluded that given all the focus on sports science, health of our players, impact of travel, it didn’t make sense, at least at this time, to move to a balanced schedule, because again, we play an imbalanced schedule,” commissioner Adam Silver said Wednesday at the Board of Governors presser, as quoted by ASAP Sports.

“Teams in the East obviously play each other more than teams in the West, and the notion is if you’re going to see one through 16, the only fair way to do it is then have a balanced schedule throughout the season.”

Silver explained that balancing out the schedule league-wide would necessitate far too much travel.

“The conclusion was that at least given the state of travel, the state of science on travel, we’re better off staying in the conference system the way we have it, and of course same implications for the playoffs; the notion, again, of having teams crisscrossing the country in the first round didn’t seem to make sense to our teams,” he added.

That said, the NBA isn’t ruling out the possibility of someday realigning conferences or changing the playoff format. In fact, Silver said he assumed the league will eventually look into it again.

“I think for the league, I think many of us felt a 1-through-16 playoff made more sense. And maybe there’s also the potential – it’s in some ways a separate issue, should you reseed after every round as some leagues do? I think those are the things we’ll continue to look at, but it’s not at the top of the agenda right now.”