Bowing to Complaints, NBA Scraps New Ball The NBA is reportedly going back to the old leather basketball, scrapping the new microfiber composite ball introduced this season. Many players have complained about the ball, saying it was too slippery caused cuts on their hands. Michele Norris talks to NPR's Tom Goldman.
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Bowing to Complaints, NBA Scraps New Ball

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Bowing to Complaints, NBA Scraps New Ball

Bowing to Complaints, NBA Scraps New Ball

Bowing to Complaints, NBA Scraps New Ball

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/6611613/6611614" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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The NBA will return to using leather basketballs, scrapping the new microfiber composite ball introduced this season. Many players have complained about the new ball, saying it was too slippery caused cuts on their hands. Michele Norris talks to NPR's Tom Goldman.

The backpedaling comes just months after Spalding's new microfiber composite ball was introduced for use in the NBA. The league had used leather balls since its earliest days.

Spalding had been trying to create a ball that was more consistent from ball to ball. Leather balls were slick when new, and they had to be broken in. The composite balls were sticky when dry, which was one of the problems players complained about.

Some players, including star guards Steve Nash and Jason Kidd, said the new balls even led to cuts on their fingers because of the friction. And when the ball was wet, players said it got extremely slippery.

Players were also upset at what they saw as a lack of cooperation on the part of the NBA and Commissioner David Stern. They complained that they weren't consulted sufficiently before the switch.

Last week, after the players filed a complaint, Stern admitted in an interview that he didn't handle the ball situation well, and that the league had not let the players in on the process sufficiently.