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Friday, October 06, 2006

New ball tested

Many NBA players, from Steve Nash to Shaquille O'Neal, are criticizing the new synthetic Spalding ball designed for this season. Lakers Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom aren't thrilled either, though they aren't complaining as loudly or passionately. O'Neal's analysis of the switch from leather to synthetic for reporters in Miami: "It's like touching an exotic dancer and then going and touching a plastic, blow-up doll."

Indeed, Kobe Bryant admitted: "I'm old school, so I love the old-school ball."

Odom added: "By the second or third quarter in the NBA game, guys perspire a lot, and once that (new) ball gets wet, it just kind of slips out of your hand. I guarantee you in the beginning of the season you'll see a match probably lost just by a simple pass or a guy trying to catch the ball or going up for a layup by himself the ball will slip out of his hand."

The NBA made the change in search of uniformity with a ball that doesn't need to be broken in. Players have stated the grip is very different.

Kwame Brown, who made 54.4 percent of his foul shots last season, has complained that the new ball is harder to shoot. And Odom, although he also has rust from limited play over the summer, has looked as sloppy as ever finishing shots around the basket with the new ball in training camp.

But Bryant and Odom said they've played with all sorts of balls in their lifetimes. Odom talked about playing with a handball or a tennis ball; Bryant said he played with balled-up tape or a sock.

"I played with a sock; I think I can play with this," Bryant expressed. "I don't really think it's that big a deal."

Kobe Bryant on his surgically repaired right knee holding him out of practices: "We don't want to rush it. We're just taking our time, getting stronger with it and letting the scar tissue heal."

2 Comments:

Blogger Angel said...

thats crazy, never in a million years did i think something like that would happen. Everybody knows that leather balls are best.Without a ques.

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'm old school, so I love the old-school ball."I think nobody will like the new ball.

9:24 PM  

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