The NBA’s Western Conference is better than the league’s Eastern Conference.
Understandably, Western Conference teams don’t like competing with each other for eight playoff spots while the road in the East is much easier. Some have discussed allowing the top 16 teams, regardless of conference, into the postseason.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has a different proposal.
Bryan Gutierrez of Mavs Outsider Report:
I’m glad Cuban admits his selfish motive for getting Dallas into the East, because it’s so obvious.
On the merits, Cuban’s plan has a few issues.
What about the Grizzlies and Timberwolves? Memphis and Minneapolis are east of Texas. Why don’t those teams get to switch to the lesser conference? They certainly wouldn’t accept Cuban’s plan without objection.
The Pistons and Pacers present a particular problem. Unlike the Bulls and Bucks, Detroit and Indiana play in the Eastern time zone. More games in Western Conference cities, with late start times in Michigan and Indiana, would adversely affect television ratings. The same issue would exist, to lesser degree, in Illinois and Wisconsin, too.
The gap between the conferences is a problem, but it will probably self-correct in time. I’m not convinced a few teams swapping conferences would provide meaningful long-term change, but I know it would lead to intense campaigning by Western Conference teams to be in the group that moves to the East.