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[NBA] Players get leather balls back


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NBA commissioner claims introduction of new ball mishandled

Associated Press

NEW YORK ? Commissioner David Stern acknowledged Tuesday the NBA should have sought more input from players before introducing its new game ball.

"It's an improvement in many ways," Stern told the New York Times in a story posted on its website Tuesday. "But if our players are unhappy with it, we have to analyse to the nth degree the cause of their unhappiness."

Stern said he will address the players' criticisms with Spalding, the ball manufacturer, but some are ready to get rid of it.

"I don't think anybody would complain if they take it away, I'll tell you that," Miami guard Dwyane Wade said. "Hopefully, we'll get back to the other balls."

Heat teammate Antoine Walker said Stern needs to take action.

"Saying and admitting that you're wrong is not good enough," Walker said. "Right now we just need to get back to the old ball.

"That's what guys are comfortable with and are used to playing with, and what we prefer."

Players have complained about the ball, changed from leather to a microfiber composite, since training camp began. They argue the ball bounces differently than the old one, both off the floor and the rim. The new synthetic material is more sticky when it's dry, but players say it's more slippery when wet ? which the league and Spalding deny.

"Everything is on the table," Stern told the paper. "I'm not pleased, but I'm realistic.

"We've got to do the right thing here. And, of course, the right thing is to listen to our players. Whether it's a day late or not, we're dealing with this."

The lack of player input about the new ball prompted one of the two unfair labour practice charges the union filed with the National Labor Relations Board late last week.

"I think it's never too late from a league point of view," Seattle guard Ray Allen said. "From a player point of view, at least we know it's not falling on deaf ears.

"At least it's trying to be handled and worked with."

Some of the league's biggest stars, from Shaquille O'Neal to LeBron James, have been among the most critical of the ball.

"You worry about that ball, and it kind of keeps you from doing what you have to do with it," Suns guard Raja Bell said. "I let that go.

"But I do think they should have probably asked guys. If you aren't going to ask the whole league, at least ask your superstars, the guys who make you the money."

Stern said he understands why the players feel as they do.

"I won't make a spirited defence with respect to the ball," Stern told the Times. "In hindsight, we could have done a better job.

"With respect to the ball, I take responsibility for that."

http://www.globesports.com/servlet/story/R...Basketball/home

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i didnt see why the change of the ball was necessary, i was shocked when i heard that they were using the new ball. but football (soccer) often have changes to their ball and the players often coped with it.

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Players will have say in future ball changes

Dec. 13, 2006. 08:31 PM

ASSOCIATED PRESS

MEMPHIS, Tenn. ? Given the reaction regarding a change in basketballs this season, NBA commissioner David Stern said Wednesday players will have a say in any future changes.

"We would like to work with our players and Spalding to come up with the perfect ball," Stern said. "Our players have played with a synthetic through high school. They played with a synthetic in college, yet, this synthetic, they are unhappy with it."

Stern said he didn't expect all the criticism the new ball received, but on Monday he announced

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What's amazing about this fiasco, is that points are up, and ball handling errors are down.....so how is there a problem? This, IMO, was just overpaid athletes whining over literally nothing. I would have told the players "Tough. Deal with it".

It's about picking your battles. Stern doesn't want to seem like he completely ignores the players requests, so giving in on this while maintaining bigger stances, such as the dress code, he looks like he's willing to give when it makes sense.

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What's amazing about this fiasco, is that points are up, and ball handling errors are down.....so how is there a problem? This, IMO, was just overpaid athletes whining over literally nothing. I would have told the players "Tough. Deal with it".

That could also be due to the fact that only 5 or 6 teams really stress defense (chicago, san antonio, houston are what comes to mind) while many teams are switching to the running style that phoenix plays (Golden State and Denver especially)

I am glad they are switching back because the old ball just feels way more comfortable

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Did you read the PETA response to this? Very funny :laugh:

On behalf of the more than 1 million members and supporters of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) worldwide, I am writing with a solution to the recent drama of a few high-profile NBA players who were whining about fingertip scratches and scrapes caused by the new composite basketball adopted by the league. As excruciating as these “injuries” must be for a world-class athlete, thousands of cows stand to suffer far worse if the NBA goes back to a leather basketball—so we’d like to suggest a compromise.

PETA would like to offer a lifetime supply of cruelty-free hand cream to any NBA siss … excuse me, superstar who’d be willing to give the composite ball another shot. Recreational players and NCAA athletes have been using composite balls for years without experiencing scratches or scrapes—but we understand that the delicate hands of pampered NBA superstars are far more sensitive than those of your average Joe who actually has to work for a living. The hand cream comes in a variety of scents, including “Filthy Rich Organic” (perfect for any overpaid millionaire) and “Peaceful Patchouli”—Nash, we have a whole case of that set aside for you. Maybe by taking care of your own skin a bit better, you can allow cows who would otherwise meet their end in the slaughterhouse to keep theirs.

Shaq, as one of the players who has been most critical of the composite ball, perhaps you’ll volunteer to be our test case—since you’ve only played four games all season, surely you have time to work a moisturizing routine into your schedule. Or LeBron, maybe you’re interested. The NCAA has used the composite ball for years—so it’s not only an education that you missed out on. Maybe you just need some more time to adjust.

In the interest of sparing thousands of cows a hideous, unnecessary death, please consider this suggestion. In the meantime, we wish the NBA luck in its search for leftover leather basketballs—judging by the reaction of some players, it seems like balls are in pretty short supply around the NBA these days.

Sincerely,

Dan Shannon

Manager of Campaigns

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Source: http://blog.peta.org/archives/Letter%20to%20NBA.pdf

Absolutely funny :laugh: :laugh:

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I'm not a huge fan of PETA but I have to admit that was a good press release.

I don't see how this causes thousands of cows their deaths as cows are killed for other reasons (i.e. their meat).

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PETA response its plainly offensive... it really makes me sad =\

I've never played with the Leather Ball so i cant compare, but i would love to try it :)

You mean the synthetic ball? The leather ball is the old ball we've known for years.

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What's amazing about this fiasco, is that points are up, and ball handling errors are down.....so how is there a problem? This, IMO, was just overpaid athletes whining over literally nothing. I would have told the players "Tough. Deal with it".

Yeah thats easy to say, but try catching a hard chest past with just your hands while using a ruber ball. You might as well rip your finger nails off before you even play.

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I see. What team do you play for?

this will also take that synthetic "official" ball off the store shelves

but i was more referring to the fact that I that this means players will feel more comfortable with the ball and therefore be able to play at their highest level

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