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nashtymavsfan13
10-23-2006, 06:36 PM
Stern: New ball is staying
By BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer
October 23, 2006

NEW YORK (AP) -- David Stern expected complaints, and he got plenty of them.

His response: The new ball is staying.

The NBA commissioner said Monday the league is sticking with its new ball and is convinced it's a better product despite concerns from a number of players.

That was a much stronger answer than he gave recently when he was in Europe for a series of exhibition games between NBA and international teams. Stern said then he would continue to monitor the situation and test the ball some more. That seemed to leave open the possibility the new ball would be bounced.

"We've been testing it and retesting it," Stern said. "And I think that some of the dramatics around it were a little overstated in terms of the downside and not enough recognition of the upside."

The upside to Stern is that all the new balls, made of a microfiber composite, feel exactly alike. No two leather balls were the same. Stern said it was customary for referees to go through a rack of balls to select the best one before each game.

Still, some players preferred it that way. Some have said the new ball is too sticky when it's dry; others claim it's too slippery when wet.

Shaquille O'Neal and Steve Nash are among those wary. O'Neal has said the new ball "feels like one of those cheap balls that you buy at the toy store -- indoor-outdoor balls."

"Within certain parameters of the way you want a ball to perform again and again and again, it is performing extraordinarily well," Stern said. "It doesn't mean it feels the same; it may not even bounce exactly the same. It may do all the things that everyone says it may or may not do, but it's a very good ball and the tests continue to demonstrate that it's an improvement."

Stern was speaking at the NBA Store, where the league announced a partnership with the personal computer company Lenovo. But once that was done, it was back to what has been perhaps the biggest headache the commissioner has faced this preseason.

NBA officials have stressed that most players grew up playing with the microfiber composite, but they may have underestimated the preference players have for leather. That's even after Stern said Spalding wanted to make the change more than a year ago.

"We said no," Stern said. "We want to go back and do more tests and confirm to us that this move will be pain free -- which, of course, it hasn't been."

Stern said he has handled the new ball and doesn't agree with the complaints that it bounces differently from the old one.

"It may behave somewhat differently in some circumstance or another ... but I will say that whichever ball you take out of the box, it's going to behave in that way consistently," he said. "Every leather ball behaves differently."

"That's the trade-off we're making," he added. "And we think it's going to make a great improvement."

fluid.forty.one
10-23-2006, 07:10 PM
"The upside to Stern is that all the new balls, made of a microfiber composite, feel exactly alike. No two leather balls were the same. Stern said it was customary for referees to go through a rack of balls to select the best one before each game."

I hate this argument. Who cares? It's not like it's a huge pain to pick a ball...

EricaLubarsky
10-23-2006, 07:13 PM
This just in, Stern is a bonehead

EricaLubarsky
10-23-2006, 10:04 PM
after his donkey show on national television (some of us called it the NBA finals) there really hasnt been any doubt

shaw-xx
10-23-2006, 10:30 PM
...Mavs TOs will be more than last year?

nah-vit-ski
10-23-2006, 10:53 PM
I like the new ball, I think it looks cool....................(quickly runs and ducks)

Underdog
10-23-2006, 10:57 PM
Yes... Ball look cool... Must buy a dozen so Spalding can pay David Stern...

[drool...]

nashtymavsfan13
10-23-2006, 11:22 PM
I like the new ball, I think it looks cool....................(quickly runs and ducks)

Haha :D

I don't really mind too much how it looks, I just mind the fact that all the players hate it and they are the ones who are going to be using it anyway. I don't see a reason why it should be changed, it's just a case where Stern wants more money/marketing, even though the players don't like it.

Dirkadirkastan
10-24-2006, 12:18 AM
Haha :D

I don't really mind too much how it looks, I just mind the fact that all the players hate it and they are the ones who are going to be using it anyway. I don't see a reason why it should be changed, it's just a case where Stern wants more money/marketing, even though the players don't like it.

Exactly. It doesn't matter if the players want to play with styrofoam; Stern should stop being so full of himself and start listening to the players.

EricaLubarsky
10-24-2006, 04:20 AM
He should say no to a styrofoam ball because its tradition. Same with magnetic-- whatever.

The fact is he's going against tradition AND against the players on this. For what? Profits.

Dirkadirkastan
10-24-2006, 07:35 AM
He should say no to a styrofoam ball because its tradition. Same with magnetic-- whatever.

The ball is irrelevant. The point is that Stern is always wrong.

mqywaaah
10-24-2006, 10:04 AM
I think the new ball will make a lot of donkeys happy. ;)

sike
10-24-2006, 02:59 PM
http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=ap-stern-newball&prov=ap&type=lgns

The NBA commissioner said Monday the league is sticking with its new ball and is convinced it's a better product despite concerns from a number of players.

That was a much stronger answer than he gave recently when he was in Europe for a series of exhibition games between NBA and international teams. Stern said then he would continue to monitor the situation and test the ball some more. That seemed to leave open the possibility the new ball would be bounced.

"We've been testing it and retesting it," Stern said. "And I think that some of the dramatics around it were a little overstated in terms of the downside and not enough recognition of the upside."

The upside to Stern is that all the new balls, made of a microfiber composite, feel exactly alike. No two leather balls were the same. Stern said it was customary for referees to go through a rack of balls to select the best one before each game.

Still, some players preferred it that way. Some have said the new ball is too sticky when it's dry; others claim it's too slippery when wet.

Shaquille O'Neal and Steve Nash are among those wary. O'Neal has said the new ball "feels like one of those cheap balls that you buy at the toy store -- indoor-outdoor balls."

"Within certain parameters of the way you want a ball to perform again and again and again, it is performing extraordinarily well," Stern said. "It doesn't mean it feels the same; it may not even bounce exactly the same. It may do all the things that everyone says it may or may not do, but it's a very good ball and the tests continue to demonstrate that it's an improvement."

Stern was speaking at the NBA Store, where the league announced a partnership with the personal computer company Lenovo. But once that was done, it was back to what has been perhaps the biggest headache the commissioner has faced this preseason.

NBA officials have stressed that most players grew up playing with the microfiber composite, but they may have underestimated the preference players have for leather. That's even after Stern said Spalding wanted to make the change more than a year ago.

"We said no," Stern said. "We want to go back and do more tests and confirm to us that this move will be pain free -- which, of course, it hasn't been."

Stern said he has handled the new ball and doesn't agree with the complaints that it bounces differently from the old one.

"It may behave somewhat differently in some circumstance or another ... but I will say that whichever ball you take out of the box, it's going to behave in that way consistently," he said. "Every leather ball behaves differently."

"That's the trade-off we're making," he added. "And we think it's going to make a great improvement."

sike
10-24-2006, 03:35 PM
freakin Stern.

dalmations202
10-24-2006, 03:37 PM
Decisions made by people who don't use it, and can't relate.

I get that every day here where I work.

EricaLubarsky
10-24-2006, 03:41 PM
I think Sike missed this thread.

sike
10-24-2006, 03:44 PM
ugh..

sike
10-24-2006, 03:45 PM
this thread is better cause it has sike and puppy!

and I agree, pup, this stinks of greed.

vjz
10-24-2006, 04:16 PM
"The upside to Stern is that all the new balls, made of a microfiber composite, feel exactly alike. No two leather balls were the same. Stern said it was customary for referees to go through a rack of balls to select the best one before each game."

I hate this argument. Who cares? It's not like it's a huge pain to pick a ball...

Exactly! That's the same argument Cuban made in his blog too... "have to go thru numerous balls to pick one". So what? Is it worth sacrificing the player's comfort? If the players don't feel comfortable with it, STFU and go back to the old balls.

Goddamn it, I hate the NBA!

MavKikiNYC
10-28-2006, 12:14 PM
F*ck Stern. It's all a d*mn farce.

As NBA season gets ready to open, all eyes are on new ball

By BRYON OKADA
STAR-TELEGRAM STAFF WRITER

It might not be a whole different ballgame, but it's definitely a whole different ball.
For the first time in 35 years, the NBA's official game ball has a new design and is made of microfiber composite instead of leather.

Based on preliminary data gathered by two physicists at the University of Texas at Arlington, the bounce of the new basketball is considerably more erratic, and it becomes slick during play.

"Imagine Shaq [Shaquille O'Neal], who's one of the most disappointed of the players with the ball," James Horwitz, chairman of the physics department at UT-Arlington, said of the ball's penchant to become slick. "In his typical stance, holding the ball with one hand, he can't grip it or hold it away from his body. It might affect someone like Tracy McGrady, who goes to the rim, or Dirk [Nowitzki]. The ball might just fall out of his hand."
The ball has been used in preseason games and will be used when the regular season begins next week.

The differences in performance, physics professor Kaushik De says, comes down to these:

Embossing of logos and inscriptions on the synthetic ball are deeper, creating a "jitter" effect when the ball bounces. The synthetic ball's bounce is about 30 percent more erratic than a leather ball, early data show, whether bouncing off the floor or the backboard.

The synthetic ball does not bounce as high as conditioned leather balls. This could affect not just dribbling but bank shots, as well as the shots of players known for having a "soft touch."

When dry, the synthetic ball is about twice as easy to grip as a leather ball, and even small-handed people can palm it. The synthetic ball, however, does not quickly absorb moisture -- sweat -- and the surface becomes slick. A leather ball can absorb nearly 12 percent of its weight in sweat without the surface staying wet. Leather balls get softer and heavier, therefore, as games go on. Overall, the synthetic ball is likely to be 20 percent to 30 percent harder to grip than a leather ball at the most critical points of games.

The preliminary results of the UT-Arlington study, which was requested by the Dallas Mavericks and started on Oct. 14, were sent to the Mavericks via e-mail Thursday and have already been posted on Mavs owner Mark Cuban's blog at www.blogmaverick.com (http://www.blogmaverick.com/).

There has been no contact with either Spalding, which produces the ball, or the NBA about the preliminary findings, Horwitz said.

Both researchers emphasize that they have no opinion on the superiority of one ball over the other. They were asked only to test each ball's properties and performance. On the other hand, it's a safe bet that NBA fans don't want to see the superstars fumbling the ball out of bounds more often.

"Perhaps Spalding needs to look at the design for the outer surface to make it more absorbent," Horwitz said.
The erratic bounce -- if it really is due to the deeper embossing -- would be pretty easy to fix, researchers say.
The researchers plan to continue testing the ball for up to three weeks. Upcoming are more extensive experiments about how the ball reacts around the rim and backboard.

Some NBA players, of course, have already been vocal in their support or derision for the ball.
"It's what the big guy [NBA Commissioner David Stern] said they're going to stick with, so it's really a dead issue," Mavs guard Jerry Stackhouse said Friday. "We've got to adjust to it. It's all muscle memory, getting in the gym and taking 400 to 500 shots a day."

Preliminary tests in a laboratory may not translate exactly to how the ball will perform in games, Stackhouse said.
"How are some white collars going to decide how the ball is going to be better for the game if they don't play the game?" he said. "That's backward for me."

First-hand observations of guard Devin Harris, Stackhouse's teammate, seem to confirm the early findings of the scientists.

"It's all right when it's dry, but it gets slippery when it's wet," Harris said. "It's as simple as that."

Cuban posted several personal conclusions on his blog, which are, in summary:

Keep the ball. "It's not perfect, but it would create more hassles than it solves to change," Cuban wrote.

Make sure NBA floors are consistent, with no "dead spots."

Dry the balls. Switch out wet balls.

Keep the balls clean.

Change the embossing and layout on the ball for next season.

The new basketballs, which are meant to be used indoors, are relatively pricey at about $100 each.

Spalding spokeswoman Lynn Luczkowski said via e-mail that all full-line sporting goods chains will carry the ball. In the Metroplex, Academy Sports & Outdoors has the largest account, she said.

At Academy's North Richland Hills store, a worker said four were on the shelf Friday, going for $99.99. It was much the same story at the Grapevine store. In both cases, both stores said the new official game basketballs -- something like $30 more than last year's game ball -- were not selling yet.

In Arlington, team sports department manager Chris Poole said he has seen interest, particularly among autograph seekers who want top-line athletes to sign authentic balls.

"I sold three this week and we just got them in," Poole said.