It’s a whole new ball

By Sam Rubenstein

Now that LeBron ended the drama and killed my idea of having color-schemed LeBron alerts all summer, it’s time to find another non-issue to blow up into a full-on controversy. I present to you the magical powers of the new NBA ball.

After three days of summer league shooting percentages are up and players are raving about how much they like this new ball. We’ll see just how much this matters as the summer league plays out, if this is a game-changing innovation or just a statistical fluke. Will 40% shooters become 50% shooters? Will Ben Wallace hit a free throw this season? Will guys like Ray Allen ever miss a shot? If the ball is easier to grip, are we about to see a new era in dunk creativity? Stay tuned.

The NBA is starting to take on a baseball in the late 90’s feel. Think about this, there was one consistent 30 point scorer in the league when I was growing up. This past season we had three of them and a fourth that was less than a point away. Thankfully people don’t get as worked up about the sanctity of Kareem’s record as they do about old time baseball records. Defense wins championships but offense wins smiles. If scoring and shooting percentages go through the roof this season a la the home run explosion of post-strike baseball, keep your eye on the ball.