View Full Version : Why the Western Conf. power shift?

Usually Lurkin
07-11-2003, 08:14 AM
suggested in an article at ESPN:

A few years ago, the balance of power in the NBA shifted dramatically when the premium players migrated West, either through trade or free agency. There was no real discernible explanation, other than in L.A., where the bright lights of Hollywood beckon. Perhaps it is the style of play. Perhaps it is, as ESPN analyst Tim Legler once told me, that Eastern cities take the games too seriously, too live-or-die, whereas Western Conference fans for the most part leave their emotions -- good and bad -- at the arena. Whatever the reason, the shift happened.

Big lights and fun fans? I don't think so. I think the consolidation of power is a consequence of expansion. There are only so many players who can claim to be the best in the world. Sure, they're sucking the high schools dry looking for whoever will be next years top player, but those who are the best now can only confirm that they are the best by playing against other players who are the best. So maybe they've ended in the west because there are better cities in the west, but I think the cosolidation of power is because there are two many teams, and just not enough basketball super players to support such a broad power base.

does that make sense?

07-11-2003, 01:34 PM
I think there are a few more factors leading into the West's dominance.

Many peole have pointed out Jordan's retirement as the point when the West took over. This may be true, but there were a few things leading up to this. The West just didn't wake up and say,"Jordans gone, now we can win." For the two years leading up to Jordans last run with the bulls, there were two things that hapened at the same time. Shaq left Orlando and went to LA in 96. Also, that same year Kobe got drafted by the Lakers. This is where the shift to the west started. As Kobe began to mature his NBA game, Shaq was becoming known as one the most dominant players ever to play in the NBA. The West had to adjust to these to players together and that is what toughened up the west.

By the time Jordan retired in 98, the west had stepped up their game, where the east thought they could continue their same style of play. The east thought since Jordan wasn't around, there was no need to step up. This is when the west made the final transition. San Antonio wins the championship and then the Lakers won 3 straight without looking back.

07-12-2003, 05:34 AM
Players love to play in NY or Boston or Chicago or Detroit for the spotlight. Die-hard fans are as much a blessing as a curse, so some players would like that, some wouldn't. Those explanations don't account for much, I think it's just that the East GMs have sucked big time lately, both in drafts, in trades and in using cap space on nobodys.