In a rather shocking move, David Stern admitted defeat on the issue of the new NBA basketball, and will re-issue the old leather ball starting January 1st. Here’s what he had to say:
“Our players’ response to this particular composite ball has been consistently negative and we are acting accordingly,” Stern said in a statement Monday. “Although testing performed by 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.
Well, why would we trust statistics and evidence and research when we can rely on ‘feel’? I’m only half-serious here, but let’s be honest here. The game hasn’t suffered at all. The stars are still the stars, handlers can still dribble, and point guards are still passing around the horn. If this is the big power play that the NBA Players Association brought out, they may as well pack up and go home. Why deal with issues such as money, TV rights, etc. when they can go after a meaningless issue where the conclusions weren’t even in yet?
But…they were right. Is that contradicting what I said above? Sort of. Stern and the NBA had no real reason to change the basketball before the season. It was the sort of picky change that really only serves to annoy a few people and have nobody else really notice or care. Lose-lose, essentially. Good job picking a pointless issue Dave.