BREAKING: Western Conference Secedes, takes BOS and CHI with it.

Los Angeles (GG) -- Frustrated with what has been called the "disgusting" level of competition in the NBA's Eastern Conference, Western Conference teams announced jointly on Sunday that they would be seeking secession papers, effective immediately.

"Look, Kyrie Irving and Anderson Varejao were a credible playoff team before Andy got hurt," new Western Commissioner Adam Silver said, "We love both of those players, here, and they did have Ramon Sessions and, um, Alonzo Gee. We'd love to have them in our new league. But enough is enough. Kyrie and Andy were -- by themselves -- a credible threat to steal an 8 seed spot. That's simply not right. In the Eastern Conference, the teams that stumble blindly into talent and depth despite themselves bungle away that talent and depth. And the teams without talent and depth? Jesus, don't even get me started."

"Except for the Celtics and Bulls," Silver added, "they're pretty good." Silver proceeded to announce that the West would be retaining the Celtics and Bulls, who were deemed "close enough" by an independent committee to an average West Coast team to count. With these acquisitions, the as-of-yet unnamed Western Basketball Association will be composed of teams holding 42 of the previous 52 NBA titles, and 18 of the last 20.

Once populated by deep, historically interesting franchises like the 90s Bulls, Knicks, Magic, and Pacers, the Eastern Conference has grown stale in ensuing years, despite having roughly as many franchise players as the West and being hyped in each preseason as finally bridging the talent gap. Even sources from within the conference seem dissatisfied with the level of play. "Listen, do you want to know why Jason Kidd, Rasheed Wallace, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett finally broke through when they went to the East? Here's a hint: it's not like they got any better at basketball," one Celtics scout told us confidentially, adding, "The most benevolent thing Sam Presti ever did was to send over an above-average shooting guard. The Eastern Conference hadn't seen a team with 3 above-average players on the same team in years. Besides the Pistons, of course, who went to six Eastern Conference Finals in a row. The Pistons!"

The response from the newly-seceded teams has been mixed. While most players in both conferences support the move, Pau Gasol, starting Power Forward for the Los Angeles Lakers, was reported to have screamed "No! Ricky!" through muffled tears before being reminded that the Timberwolves were still in the Western Conference. Upon being reassured that Jose Calderon would be the only remaining Spaniard in the Eastern Conference either, Gasol had no further tears or comments.

Silver added that "the Magic suck and the Hawks coast through every game. Fuck that noise," while calling attention to the large number of teams on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. "Get it," Silver said with an uncharacteristic grin, "the East coast."

Notably absent from the secession talks was the Miami Heat. Scattered comments from the Heat organization and players indicate that Pat Riley is "fine" with staying in the east. More thorough investigations point to more enthusiasm. LeBron James, for example, was seen buying a trophy case as big as a house.

Pau Gasol's Infinite Sadness, by the Numbers.

Due to the crushing unpopularity of the "Gothic Ginobili" brand, we have decided to take the blog in a different direction. Welcome to "Goth Gasol", a blog whose sole purpose is to make you think about death and get sad and stuff. To start things off, we have provided a statistical assessment of Pau Gasol's infinite sadness. Required reading.

I'm gonna be honest. I used to get a little jealous sometimes. Of Zach Lowe, you see. Lowe is something of a wunderkind -- a great writer, a great guy, and generally one of the smartest guys around in the NBA writing game. He also, however, has connections. (Not conniptions, those are different.) For instance, he recently had me run a few numbers for an excellent piece he wrote on defending the corner three. It was a great piece, and I was honored to help out. But had it been the me from months prior, I wouldn't have been able to help being a bit jealous of his access to such interesting numbers. However, that all changed a few months ago. I am jealous no longer. See, I found this one guy. Or rather, he found me. His name shall remain anonymous. This is mostly because I have no idea who he is. He contacted me after my prior piece on Kobe as Stavrogin to send me a detailed spreadsheet of the number of times Kobe has invented a new cuss about wizards during each NBA game in the last four years. I have no idea how he tracked this. Not a clue.

I never asked, and I filed the numbers away for the next time I do an analysis on cusses -- a rare but ever-present option for me. Anyway, long story short, he sends me completely unsolicited spreadsheets every few weeks on things that either make no sense whatsoever numerically or make me wonder who in the world could possibly have these numbers handy. Given our new rebrand around the ongoing sadness of Pau Gasol, though, the data he sent me the other day is of the most paramount value. We now have statistics for the number of Pau Gasol frowns for each game of the 2012 season. Armed with these numbers, we may now examine the relationship between Pau's sadness, egg consumption, and the Lakers' winning ways. Anyways. This is the post you've all been waiting for. It's my big break. So, let's get to it.

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