Monday , Nov , 17 , 2003 C.Y. Ellis

NBA expanding to six divisions next season

New York, NY (Sports Network) – NBA Commissioner David Stern announced Monday
that the league’s Board of Governors approved a realignment plan that will
take effect with the start of the 2004-05 season.

The NBA’s newest member, the Charlotte Bobcats, will tip off its inaugural
season as part of the Eastern Conference, while the New Orleans Hornets will
move from the Eastern to the Western Conference.

Each conference will now have 15 clubs comprised of three divisions of five
teams.

The Eastern Conference will consist of the Atlantic Division (Boston Celtics,
New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors),
Central Division (Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Indiana
Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks) and Southeast Division (Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte
Bobcats, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Washington Wizards).

The three divisions in the Western Conference will be the Southwest Division
(Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Hornets,
San Antonio Spurs), Northwest Division (Denver Nuggets, Minnesota
Timberwolves, Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle SuperSonics, Utah Jazz) and
Pacific Division (Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles
Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings).