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Cleveland Cavaliers

Lots of Ball Bull

By admin Published: October 5, 2006

There's been no significant rule changes. They haven't asked the veterans to report to training camp earlier. The CBA is settled. There's no dress code changes. What to talk about the first week of the season this year? Ah ha, the new ball.
Look, I'm not a professional basketball player (in case you thought otherwise). I probably can't appreciate the little nuances, such as the feel of the ball. Just as I bet an NBA player can't understand, say, the difference in the wireless network availibility at various NBA arenas or the differences in frequent flyer programs. However, I can say with reasonable certainty that all this talk about the ball is much ado about nothing.
They were using the new balls during summer league in July. Those players seemed to handle it just fine. Listening to all the worries about how slick the ball gets, you'd think an NBA practice would resemble a kindergarten dodge ball game these days. Sure, there will be some adjustment, but it isn't going to impact the game. After the preseason, you'll probably never hear about it again.
Several of the Cavs actually like the ball. Drew Gooden told me he's never been able to palm an NBA ball until this year. I couldn't believe that and challenged him. He said he could cradle it, but not palm it. Eric Snow and LeBron James, the two primary ball handlers, told me they thought the ball was cheap but they'd handle it just fine.
So enjoy the fodder -- we beat writers need something interesting to write about this time of year -- but don't read too much into it.
Oh, great line today by Zydrunas Ilgauskas. As a guy who lives in Cleveland year round, Z was asked if it is different being out in public when your with a winning team. Said Z: "Well, it's better because when people as you how the team will be this season you don't have to BS them as much."
That's all for now. Check my stories from training camp on the Cavs offensive changes and the pressure on last year's free agents to step up.

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