The National Basketball Association (NBA) is bringing back its
old leather ball after complaints from players about the new model,
the NBA said on Monday.
The NBA introduced a new microfiber composite ball at the start
of this season but commissioner David Stern said the sport's ruling
body was reacting to the views of its players by going back to the
old version from January 1.
"Our players' response to this particular composite ball has
been overwhelmingly negative and we are acting accordingly," Stern
said in a statement.
"Although testing performed by (manufacturer) Spalding and the
NBA demonstrated that the new composite basketball was more
consistent than leather, and statistically there has been an
improvement in shooting, scoring, and ball-related turnovers, the
most important statistic is the view of our players," Stern
The players' view on the new ball has been overwhelmingly
negative, with big names like LeBron James and Shaquille O'Neal
publicly criticising it.
The players said the ball bounced differently and cut their
hands in some cases. It was the first ball change in the league for
35 years and the players union filed two unfair labor practice
charges against the league on December 1, one of them citing the
lack of player input about the new ball.
(China Daily via Reuters December 13,