The NBA has been dealing with the talent disparity between its two conferences for quite some time. With the exception of the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls in the 1990s, the Eastern Conference has always played catch-up with its Western brethren. A combination of bad ownership for most Eastern Conference teams (see James Dolan and Dan DeVos) and undesirable destinations (see Indiana and Charlotte) has made the Eastern Conference into the 'little brother conference'.
With this being said, the NBA should just do away with the whole concept of west versus east. Get rid of geographical conferences and divide your new conferences into two with divisions of east, central, and west. Boom, you're established. Here's a breakdown what I'm talking about:
The fact is, there are only 13 NBA teams in the Eastern Time Zone as opposed to the NHL having 16 teams. However, that doesn't mean that the NHL should not follow suit and keep its geographical conferences. With the unsettling financial nature of many NHL teams, the NHL may go through plenty of realignments before it finally settles into an established format. With NHL expansion coming soon, they should try and emulate what the NFL has done with their divisions.
I hate the concept of geographical conferences. They do save on traveling costs for plenty of teams. But for other teams like the Trail Blazers, it can be a nightmare. It also is a pain to arrange the conferences to perfection. I mean, the Red Wings, Maple Leafs, and Raptors, and Sabres are closer to the Great Lakes than they are to the Atlantic Ocean. Same thing for Oklahoma City being a 'northwest' basketball team. Let's just leave the geographical conference ordeal to Major League Soccer, okay?
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