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Slow death of the NBA’s Eastern Conference

The highly anticipated Carmelo Anthony trade was finalized in the last days of the NBA offseason. The trade sent Anthony from the New York Knicks in the Eastern Conference to the Oklahoma City Thunder (OKC) in the Western Conference.

Anthony will join Paul George and reigning MVP Russel Westbrook, making OKC a powerhouse in the NBA. While this has many fans excited for the upcoming 2017-2018 season, NBA fans on the east coast are not as thrilled. Anthony was one of few stars left on an Eastern Conference team.

However, there is one big name left. He is the best player in the league and the only hope that the Eastern Conference has left. On the other hand, knowing Lebron James and his tactic of transferring to each season’s expect champion, that is not much hope at all.

Lebron James has one season left on his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Multiple reports have come out this offseason saying that James has intentions of taking his talents to the Los Angeles Lakers next season. The most sound report came from NBA insider Peter Vecsey.

The highly respected reporter guaranteed that James would become a Laker in 2018. However, anyone who has followed the NBA in the past seven years can see this coming. Lebron James is chasing the best team and to earn the highest title he must win championships.

It is the same reason he left for the Miami Heat in 2010. It is also the reason he came back in 2014, even though he claimed it was “for Cleveland.” The man wants rings. Championship rings. And if he has to move his family to a city where the team is loaded with talent, so be it. He has done it twice before with no hesitation. This time, though, his move could dismantle the NBA. The question is, does Lebron James care?

The Carmelo Anthony trade and the prediction of Lebron James leaving for LA indicates that there will be little to no superstars left in the Eastern Conference for the 2018-19 season. The Western Conference completely dominates the eastern conference in talent.

The stars in Western Conference include: Steph Curry, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard, Carmelo Anthony, and Paul George.

Besides the biggest star of them all, Kyrie Irving and John Wall are the only superstars left in the Eastern Conference. ESPN and TNT each pay the NBA over one billion dollars a year to show games on national television. Without Lebron James, the entire Eastern Conference will crumble.

ESPN and TNT are not going to pay billions of dollars for games that are not being watched because the two teams playing are not good. They will force a new deal with the league for less money and much less Eastern Conference television time.

The entire playoff seeding system will also be changed so that a team’s conference has nothing to do with a team’s road to the championship. Lebron James’ salary will not be affected. He has a house, a business, and a young point guard in Lonzo Ball waiting for him in LA.

Lebron James will do what he always has, chase fellow talent and, therefore, championships. As a result, the NBA will change significantly and the Eastern Conference will be irrelevant for seasons to come.

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