LeBron James says East seizing power

Updated: February 25, 2011, 10:58 AM ET
By Tom Haberstroh | ESPN.com

MIAMI -- When LeBron James joined forces with stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh last summer, he expected others to follow suit .

Now, with Carmelo Anthony joining Amare Stoudemire and the Knicks and Deron Williams headed to the New Jersey Nets, James' prediction is coming true.

James We took two of the best players in the West and brought them to the East.

-- LeBron James on balance of power shifting from West to East

"Everybody's bringing their talents to the East," James said. "It's going to be fun.

"We came here to team up and we knew we were starting a trend. Teams are going to have to load up because the competition level is rising."

James said there has been a shift in power between the NBA's conferences.

"We took two of the best players in the West and brought them to the East," James said. "D-Will has been a multiple All-Star in the West and Melo, of course, has been a multiple All-Star and now they're in the East. Amare Stoudemire was a multiple All-Star in the West and now he's in the East too. So it is shifting."

The Knicks acquired Anthony from Denver on Tuesday in a three-team trade that also involved Minnesota. New York received guards Chauncey Billups and Anthony Carter, and forwards Renaldo Balkman, Shelden Williams and Corey Brewer in the deal, while giving up forwards Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari, guard Raymond Felton, center Timofey Mozgov, draft picks and cash.

"It's great for the league that the New York Knicks are relevant again and competing at a high level," James said.

When asked whether it's a bad thing that players are empowered to make choices for themselves, James and Wade laughed.

"Do you know how crazy that sounds?" James said with a smile. "I'm not answering that. I am not answering that."

Wade stuck up for his fellow All-Stars.

"I'm for it," Dwyane Wade said. "I'm 100 percent for players making decisions that they feel is best for them and their family. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't."

Wade doesn't believe front offices should have complete control over their players.

"That's something that should be up for debate in this world and it isn't talked about enough." Wade said. "You always say that when management decides to get rid of somebody, they got rid of them. When a player decides to go elsewhere, it's [considered] a bad thing."

During Wade's response, James jokingly interrupted him from afar, encouraging him to leave the gym with him by calling out Wade's name. Wade laughed before continuing with his comments.

"As a player, you have to do what's best for you," Wade said. "You can't think about what someone's going to feel or think on the outside. You have to do what's best for you and that's what some players are doing. I'm happy for those players that felt that they wanted to be somewhere and they got what their wish."

Tom Haberstroh is a writer for ESPN Insider.

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