LeBron James opted to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Eastern Conference for the second time to ply his trade in the Western Conference.

The small forward’s departure from Cleveland will leave a big hole in the Eastern Conference and Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons says it “sucks” he won’t be coming up against the 33-year-old as often.

Rookier of the Year Simmons came up against the three-time NBA champion on four occasions in the east last term with each team winning twice.

But Simmons insists there is still plenty of competition to look forward to playing against this season.

“It sucks that I’m not going to be able to play him as many times,” Australian star Simmons told Omnisport.

“At the same time, I’ll be able to go to LA and play at Staples [Center] against LeBron, which would be fantastic.

“Obviously he’ll be able to come to Philly. I know that’s going to be a huge game. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

James has already started to give fans a taste of what they can expect in the west with his pre-season performances including a stunning 34-foot buzzer-beater shot in the Lakers’ 123-113 win over Golden State Warriors.

But NBA legend Reggie Miller doesn’t think he’ll be missed in the Eastern Conference because it gives new players and teams a chance to shine.

“Ding dong the witch is dead. Bye LeBron, don’t let the door hit you. It’s a new lease on life in the Eastern Conference,” Miller told Reuters.

“Look, he held it down obviously and that’s what the greats do, they dominate.

“It’s great that LeBron has taken his talents out west because it opens up the doors for not only a lot of these young players but these organisations, fresh blood.

“Something new to see who can compete for that Eastern crown.”

The Lakers have one final pre-season game against the Warriors tomorrow night before they kick off their regular season against the Portland Trail Blazers next week.

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