From the editor: If you're gay and live in SF, chances are you've heard the hilarious Greg "The Gay Sportscaster" live on 92.7 radio, giving his oh-so-gay take on the day in sports. RealJock.com is pleased to welcome him to the fold with his inaugural RealJock.com column.
If they're playin' with balls, I'm all over it! That's my motto each weekday morning when I end my Sassy Sports report on San Francisco's Energy 92.7 radio. But that sentiment isn't echoed by professional basketball players this year as some of the biggest names in the National Basketball Association want nothing to do with the new balls they're playing with.
This season the NBA has replaced its old basketballs with some new and less popular ones. The league is subbing its old, larger leather balls, with a smaller, synthetic version. And that's not sitting well with players.
Accounts from some of the biggest names in basketball are that not only are the new balls slick, but that they don't have the same bounce as the old ones. Cleveland Cavalier Lebron James, one of the league's biggest stars, said that when you grip the new balls during the game, sometimes they stick to your hands.
NBA players are speaking up and it seems what their saying is that they don't want to play with sticky balls anymore.
But that's not the only problem and James isn't the only one complaining. These new balls are getting a rise out of a lot of the players. Shaquille O'Neal, Dwyane Wade, and Steve Nash all have a problem with NBA Commissioner David Stern and his new balls. It seems the smaller ball makes it easier for some of the lesser players to score. And these balls apparently don't absorb sweat and water as well, so the longer you play with them, the more slippery they get. Some are saying that that is the cause of several lost games for teams this year, as we've seen balls slip from the hands of several players at the end of tight games. It's even caused a few to double dribble.
But Stern remains firm on the league's new balls. He dismissed the complaints before the NBA season tipped off and vowed that players would play with these balls all season long.
So we'll see what develops as the year goes on and we'll watch for other improprieties in these new balls. But I think I have to side with the players on this one. As Steve Nash said about the balls, "When you start changing the thing we play with every single day, it doesn't make sense to me."
Touche Steve. But for the time being, these are the balls we've been dealt and I for one am still all over them.
About Greg Sherrell: Greg "The Gay Sportscaster" appears weekday mornings from 6 am to 10 am on KNGY, Energy 92.7 FM, in San Francisco. You can find him online at Energy927fm.com.