Busting Stern's ball 

October, 23, 2006
No matter what the players say, the new NBA ball is here to stay.

I coaxed that piece of news out of commissioner David Stern early this morning at the NBA Store in Manhattan, where I fueled up on an all-coffee, no-food breakfast to get in juuust the right frame of mind for a fiesty back and forth with The All-Powerful.

Being a big believer in the rule of life that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," I'm opposed to the league's move from a leather ball to a microfiber composite ball. I shot the new ball earlier this month at the Berto Center in suburban Chicago, and my first impression was that it seemed too squishy. I was unable to palm the old ball, but I was able to make like Connie Hawkins with one of the new balls they had at the store, grabbing it with five widespread fingers and swinging it around without losing my grip.