With the departure of LeBron James from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Eastern Conference has opened up for the first time in years.
With the King gone to the West, there will likely be a new representative from the East in the NBA Finals this season for the first time in four years, and there are plenty of teams in contention.
Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward could rule the East at the Boston Celtics. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons could dominate with the Philadelphia 76ers. Kawhi Leonard could finally get the Toronto Raptors over the hump as well.
However, one team which not many people are giving a chance to despite their talent is the Washington Wizards, and this has annoyed John Wall.
The Wizards' point guard believes his team needs to be held in the same regard as the franchises mentioned above as they're all on the same level since none of them have won a championship recently.
Wall said to Michael Lee of Yahoo Sports: “I feel like we’re all equal. None of them won a championship.
"This is no knock on no other team. Don’t get me wrong. Boston is a hell of a team. Philly has great young talent with those guys [Joel] Embiid, [Ben] Simmons. And Toronto, losing DeMar [DeRozan], they still get Kawhi [Leonard].
"Y’all might have been to the Eastern Conference finals, where we haven’t been to, but none of y’all were going to the Finals. It was one guy going to the Finals. Ain’t nobody separated from nothing.
"I know one guy that separated himself from the Eastern Conference every year and that was LeBron James and the Cavs. Other than that … if you lose in the second round, or the conference finals, you still didn’t get to your ultimate goal."
He continued: “Everybody is going to put Boston No. 1, because that’s what you’re supposed to. They had a hell of a season with those guys coming back.
"You’ve got Philly, they got their pieces. I feel like those top four, those top five — you can’t forget Milwaukee, what they have with Giannis [Antetokounmpo] — I feel like it’s all cluttered. I put us right there.”
The East is definitely going to be competitive next season as several teams have a really good chance of coming out of top. Now LeBron is gone though, it's time for these teams to put their money where their mouth is.
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