LeBron James doesn’t agree with changing the format of the NBA playoffs to follow the one-and-done matches of the NCAA.
No, no, no,” he said. “That’s wack. That’s wack. Why? You got to earn your spot to be in the postseason. No consolation for finishing last. That’s corny. That’s corny. That’s wack. To play for what? What are they playing for?”
He said that do-or-die matches will give the lowest-seeded team a puncher’s chance of winning.
“Even if my record is better than yours? Nah, that’s wack,” he added.
Do-or-die matches in college basketball allowed the 16th seed UMBC to eliminate the No. 1 seed, University of Virginia, on the way to Sweet 16. The Cinderella story of the Retrievers finally ended with a defeat against the much superior Kansas City Wildcats.
During the All-Star Games press conference, NBA commissioner Adam Silver broached the idea of changing the seeding format in the NBA playoffs. He said the biggest stumbling block so far is the distance between games if a change in the format is introduced.
“When we get to the playoffs, should we be taking the best 16 teams?” he said. “Or, even if we go eight from the West, eight from the East, [should we re-seed] 1 through 16 going into the playoffs? … I think the obstacle is travel, not tradition.”
Silver said they are thinking of coming up with the solution to ensure that the two best teams in the NBA meet in the finals. The Easter Conference is always viewed as the weaker competition compared to the stacked Western Conference.
“I’m not saying this is the case this year, but you could have a situation where the top two teams in the league are meeting in the conference finals or somewhere else,” he added. “We’re going to continue to look at that.”