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Saturday, June 23, 2018

Jason Kidd Advises Carmelo Anthony to Stay in Western Conference

It seems like there’s a new twist to Carmelo Anthony’s situation on a daily basis. Last week it was the New Jersey Nets saying they had dropped out of the running to acquire the All-Star in a trade. Before that there were rumors of a 17-player deal in the works, and since then it’s been anyone from the Pistons to the Knicks to the Warriors who might get included in a potential deal. Frankly, I’ve had enough of the daily rumors and made a commitment to ignore the story until Melo is actually moved. But there is one aspect of the story I cannot ignore.

Over the weekend, New York reporter favorite Jason Kidd was in town for Dallas’ game with New Jersey. Not only did he explain that he doesn’t consider Newark a free agent destination, implying that they better get moving with their departure for Brooklyn, but he also gave advice for Carmelo Anthony.

“If I was his adviser, I wouldn’t want him to go East, but if he wants to go back home to New York or if the closest he can get is New Jersey, then you wish him the best. But you look at the Eastern Conference, there’s some talent over on this side.”

What stands out to me is the way his advice points out the balance of power shift in the NBA. The Western Conference was the best conference by far the entire past decade. In addition to the Lakers who won five titles from 2000-2010, the Spurs won three. Beyond those two, the Mavericks with Dirk Nowitzki have been a strong team, the Suns have put together excellent squads with MVP Steve Nash, the Rockets with Yao Ming were tough, the Jazz were a playoff lock, and the Nuggets, Blazers, and Hornets have all been good.

Now it’s the Eastern Conference that’s stacked with strong teams. The Miami Heat have a bevy of talent and one of the best teams in the league. The Celtics are aging but winning. The Bulls raided the Jazz and stole half their team. Additionally, the Magic and Hawks are both talented and even stole some of their players from the Western Conference. Think about how crazy Kidd’s advice would have been two years ago and now consider how much the league has changed in a short period of time. It’s pretty surprising when you think about it.

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