The NBA and NHL have Eastern/Western Conferences. The MLB and NFL have American/Nation Conferences. All of these conferences contain geographic-oriented divisions. Which do you prefer and why? Would it work to have a National and American Conference in the NBA (a la the NFL), with both having North, South, East, and West divisions?
I would actually like to see a National/American Conference style for the NBA, but I foresee a significant problem. It works well in the MLB and NFL for different reasons:
- In the MLB, teams play series of (usually) three games in a row, so traveling across country to play a team in the same conference is not ornerous
- In the NFL, however, teams play only once a week, which still makes traveling across country to play a team in the same conference less burdensome (though some would argue the time change etc. is relevant)
I can see this would be harder in the NBA, for teams a different team every few days, so it would be inconvenient and costly to play continually play geographically-distant teams. On the other hand, very few teams in the Western Conference are close (only Sacramento-Golden State, Lakers-Clippers, and the Texas teams are close, though I suppose you could argue OKC and NO are close to each other and Texas.)
So it wouldn't be entirely unreasonable to have a National/American Conference format, would it? I like the NFL having eight divisions among two conferences and the MLB's two leagues rarely playing each other.
What about you? I hope to hear from you guys--this question has been on my mind quite a while.
Whatever the case, at least put NO in the East and Chicago in the West. After all, Chicago is historically considered part of the Western US (and remains part of the Midwest), and I don't believe NO was every considered anything but Southern.