Not having a ball

JODY VANCE -- 24 Hours Toronto

, Last Updated: 9:08 AM ET

After weeks of griping, the new synthetic, much-maligned basketball appears to be following a similar path to that of McDonald's pizza and for many proballers this is a case of "it's about time."

No one wants it, no one likes it and extinction is near.

Either too sticky or too slick, depending on who you ask, the ball had no bounce and worst of all, gave the players tiny cuts on their hands while they used it.

Let's face it: when Steve Nash, LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki are publicly vocal about their displeasure, it is not a good time in the NBA.

I'm pretty sure that the landslide of negative press is not scoring points for Spalding.

Perhaps the official provider of basketballs to the NBA should have done further testing with players in advance of introducing the ball? Hindsight is 20/20.

At least the plug is being pulled pronto on the failed experiment as NBA Commisioner David Stern is reacting to his superstars' complaints with decisive action.

The league will be returning to the faithful old leather ball effective New Year's Day.

The synthetic basketball is not the first "innovation" to flop in the world of sports. Cooperalls, Astroturf, the XFL and the glowing puck all come to mind as things I could have lived without.

Unfortunately, not all asinine ideas disappear fast enough for this sports fan.

Please, someone explain to me why it is necessary to interview baseball managers in game? These people are busy. For goodness sake, I can wait till post-game.

How about virtual advertising during NFL games -- if anything, this turns me off of the advertiser in question.

Tell me, do we really need the Pro Bowl?

Don't even get me started on the ever-frustrating delay-of-game penalty in the NHL for firing a puck into the seats.

These are all bad in my humble opinion.

Unfortunately, for yours truly all of the above won't be going the way of the McPepperoni any time soon -- I guess that's just the way the ball bounces. 


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