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Adam Silver

LeBron James' talent masks potential NBA Finals issue

LeBron James gets to the NBA Finals every year, masking the East's mediocrity.

Lately, he's been the underdog and the finals' outcome has been predictable.

That doesn't seem like the best thing for a championship series, though James representing the East is a better finals option for the NBA than a Kyrie Irving-less Celtics squad or the uninspiring Raptors.

James provides the star power to drive TV ratings. So the NBA hasn't needed the best teams in the finals; it has had the best player.

"The real answer is it's better to have both," said Scott Rosner, the academic director of the sports management program at Columbia University. "The NBA,...

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