NBA will scrap new ball Jan. 1

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

NEW YORK -- The NBA will scrap its new microfiber composite ball and bring back the old leather one beginning Jan. 1, an official said Monday.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement of the switch was not due until at least Tuesday.

The swap was first reported by espn.com.

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.

NBA commissioner David Stern told the New York Times last week the league should have sought more input from players before introducing the new ball. He also said he would address the players' criticisms with Spalding, the manufacturer.

The lack of player input about the new ball prompted one of the two unfair labor practice charges filed by the union with the National Labor Relations Board on Dec. 1.

-- AP

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