Outside of Shams Charania stealing some of Woj’s thunder and turning himself into God ShamsGod, the biggest development so far this NBA offseason doesn’t involve any one thing. It’s actually all the moves that spurred the great migration of talent to the Western Conference.
If you haven’t already, check out all the memes on social media. Nearly everybody thinks the Eastern Conference is a joke. Nearly.
Just like Kobe Stans, the “I don’t like teams, I’m a LeBron fan” segment of NBA fandom will take any perceived slight on what they believe in to heart and rationalize anything that could possibly hinder their golden boy’s GOAT status.
Now, at the moment, most Bron fans will agree that the East is lacking in star power and any serious contenders to Cleveland’s conference throne, but once the season kicks into high-gear they’ll be back on their defensive steez.
Let’s examine how the Nick Wrights of the world will downplay the dumpster fire that is the NBA’s Eastern Conference.
Yeah, but Jordan…
Like it or not, everything about LeBron starts and ends with a comparison to Michael Jordan. This is especially true if you’re a die-hard Bron backer.
It makes sense considering he’s the biggest contender to the GOAT crown since MJ retired, sorry I’m not sorry Kobe Stans, but let’s be real here. You’re a “hater” if you don’t make an excuse for any bad LBJ showings or don’t prop up his accomplishments, regardless of context.
LBJ gets torched following an anemic playoff performance? His legion of fans will create and reference a meme that includes a partial MJ stat line to rationalize James’ bad game.
Never mind the fact MJ ended up dropping something like 29 points that game including 18 in a row in the 4th quarter though.
Dog on James’ conference and path to the Finals? Just watch.
They may not have a solid leg to stand on when defending the conference during the regular season, but that doesn’t matter. In fact, much like a politician, they’ll move the goal post during the playoffs and throw the fact that James is undefeated in the first round. Something MJ can’t even claim.
What does MJ have to do with today’s Eastern Conference? Nothing. Nada. Zip. But like I said. It always comes back to MJ for these guys.
Is it really that the East is weak or that everyone leaves or doesn't come because they are scared of LeBron?🤔 Up for serious discussion🤗
— Anajuwon R. Spencer (@J_Bigger_Better) July 1, 2017
What's not being said is how sad that all these grown ass men are scared of LeBron James.
— Aaron Burgin (@FullTimeHoops1) July 1, 2017
See everyone going to the West cause they scared of LeBron and doesn't want to play him until you absolute have to
— Devin 🏈 (@_Devin13) July 3, 2017
Everyone is scared of Lebron this is crazy lmfao https://t.co/iyRNGZ17Iw
— Rob (@RobMullen1728) July 3, 2017
Is it just a coincidence that literally EVERY top FA in the East seems the go West? Or can we conclude guys are scared of LeBron?
— Quarter-Lee Report (@QuarterLeeShow) July 3, 2017
It’s Not Your Fault
Hit that like button so you can coldtake these fools.
I’m sure you’ve heard Bron fans tell you it’s not his fault the East sucks. Technically, that’s true. It’s not his fault all the competent executives are in the West (RIP Hinkie). However, you can’t claim it’s not Bron’s fault the Leastern Conference is a thing now and then cape for the Cavs’ inevitable march to the Finals in May/June.
“The Eastern Conference is terrible, BUT…” still equals “The Eastern Conference is terrible”.
It’s Not THAT Bad
You combine that sentiment with the hype train behind Giannis and the Bucks, the Wizards winning non-believers over in this year’s playoffs, and the fact the 2016 No. 1 seed Celtics are basically rolling out the same team next year, and you could sort of understand people thinking the East isn’t as bad as we think it is.
Hear me out though.
The Heat didn’t even make the playoffs last season and are expected to make a gigantic leap to challenge the Cavs? Yeah, sure.
The Bucks haven’t won a playoff series in the Giannis era and were eliminated last season by the team Bron waxed.
I could log minutes coming off of Washington’s bench. Plus, Scott Brooks.
We all saw what happened between the Celts and Cavs last season. Jayson Tatum ain’t fixing this…
Here’s how it’s going to go down.
Bron will drop 70 in the all-star game and his biggest supporters will use that performance to tell you the West’s best players aren’t that big and bad. What they’ll ignore is that the East will only score about 90 in a game devoid of defense.
The King will then take a 2-3 week sabbatical immediately following the break because seeding doesn’t matter in the East. This isn’t far-fetched by any means. Seriously, he took a freaking vacation in the middle of a season once. #EastLyfe
There will be one team from the East that ends up with a winning record against the West’s top teams and Bron fans will tell you about it. Oh man, they’ll tell you about it.
They will of course ignore the fact those wins included two against the Spurs while Pop rested ALL THE PLAYERS, a game against a team that had to play the Warriors, Rockets, Spurs back-to-back-to-back before playing them, and teams trying to lose on purpose to avoid playing the Warriors in the second round. Context, schmontext.
Northwest > North West > East
I tried my hardest to channel my innermost Bron fan to rationalize the following tweet, and I couldn’t think of anything.
Let’s just accept we’ll have to realign all the teams in NBA 2k18 to make the playoffs worthwhile.