Saturday, September 22, 2007
The NBA's Composite Ball (Circa 2006)
A lot has been said of the National Basketball Association's (NBA) new game ball. Initially, I thought they changed brands altogehter since they have been doing that the last couple of years with Nike, Reebok, and now Adidas sponsoring their apparel. According to sources at espn.com, it is only "the second time in 60 seasons the NBA has changed its game balls, and the first time in 35 years."
The NBA has defined the new Spalding model as "a microfiber composite with moisture management that provides superior grip and feel throughout the course of a game."
A number of well known players have openly expressed their displeasure for the new offical ball of the NBA. Shaquille O'Neal of the Miami Heat was one of the first players to speak out against the league's decision to replace the "old" Spalding leather ball.
Personally, I found O'Neal's description to be quite amusing. He described the new basketballs as "like one of those cheap balls that you buy at the toy store." I didn't think any other player would top that till Phoenix Suns shooting guard Raja Bell said in Treviso, Italy yesterday, "it sucks. This ball isn't even a cousin of the one we played with."
Now that brought a big smile to my face :)
Update (10/5/06): Shaq has done it again! He just wasn't going to let Raja Bell "out quote" him. The ocregister.com posted this comment by the Big Diesel, "It's like touching an exotic dancer and then going and touching a plastic, blow-up doll."
Update (12-11-06): After two unfair labor charges filled against the NBA, Commissioner David Stern finally yielded to the players request to the go back to the old Spalding NBA basketball by the 1st of January 2007. Players "have complained about the new ball since training camp, saying that it bounced differently than the old one -- off the floor and the rim. They also said the synthetic material cut their hands." Two-time MVP Steve Nash, who has been one of the strongest critiques of the new microfiber ball has also been quoted as saying that another ball transition would be difficult for him as he is now "used to the (new microfiber composite ball) ball and it would be difficult to change back." (http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=Av1OMRNRvRtMUkTG3ndCwRW8vLYF?slug=ap-nb...)
Nice...really nice :)