Any time an argument comes up about is LeBron the goat, a point is usually made that he plays in the weaker eastern conference. He has completely dominated the conference in a fashion not seen since Bill Russell’s Celtics, by winning it 7 consecutive years. It appears that players in the east know they stand no shot of a finals appearance so they are heading west. Take a look at the following big name players from this off season and the conference they moved to:
⁃ Jimmy Butler (east to west)
⁃ Paul George (east to west)
⁃ Paul Millsap (east to west)
⁃ Jeff Teague (east to west)
⁃ Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (east to west)
⁃ Chris Paul (stayed in west)
⁃ Gordon Hayward (west to east)
I think the one that truly sticks out is Chris Paul. He has been one of the best players in the game for a decade now and his career is coming to an end within a few years. The only thing he has yet to do is win a ring and he felt the best chance he has of doing so is remaining in the west and playing in Houston.
Yes you can say the west has drafted better players recently or has better management, but you can’t argue that winning your conference 7 years in a row isn’t impressive. Looking at the top teams in the east recently (Bulls with prime Rose, Pacers with PG, West and Hill, and Hawks with Teague, Millsap, and Horford) these were all very good teams. LeBron obviously beat them, but he was able to outlive the window those teams had of winning. Your window to win a ring is very small and LeBron’s ability to remain great for so long makes it very difficult for these teams to have a shot. You have to be lucky with no injuries and have good timing to make your run and because these teams were defeated year after year, they eventually fell apart from injuries and roster moves.
So sure you can keep saying LeBron has it easy by playing in the sorry east, but look at the real reason why the conference is weak. Players want to win and know they have a better chance of doing so if they go west.