October 05, 2006

NBA changes ball despite player gripes: I don't know what to think of it. It is hard to change tradition but change is good, right?

posted by kidrayter2005 to basketball at 07:35 PM - 25 comments

Yep, and jack that hoop up another 2 feet while there at it. I have always prefered the "rip the band aid off" approach...

posted by firecop at 07:50 PM on October 05, 2006

Jeez, talk about a thread that is useless without pictures. What does the new ball look like? Like this?

posted by NoMich at 08:33 PM on October 05, 2006

For the money they get, they could play with a damn playground ball for all I care. I do agree with raising the hoop, I've maintained that stance for a long time. Scores are too high and they just need to make the player use more skill when racking up points.

posted by Psycho at 09:47 PM on October 05, 2006

so... the article says six panels, and the only pics that are available show some weird four floating panel design, with more channels than the old ball... As far as micro fiber vs leather... I always thought it was cool that the MLB always stuck with wood bats, because it gives some austerity to the game. I feel the same way about a leather b-ball. I still insist on having a leather ball around the house, because it feels so right. If it aint broke don't fix it. Bad move Mr. Stern

posted by everett at 11:15 PM on October 05, 2006

My favorite comment on raising the hoop came from Kareem. Back in his Lew Alcindor days, he said they should go ahead and do it, as that would just increase his advantage. About the ball--do NBA players need one that encourages them to palm it even more? (Assuming that's a result of the increased tackiness.) I wonder if the NCAA will switch theirs, too? I always hated getting stuck with a ball that felt wrong--too slick; not slick enough; channels too wide/deep; something rattling inside; too heavy; a bulge; a leather ball that had been used on rough asphalt too much and had developed a weird "stubble." These dogs were either the sorry last resort of a bunch of guys with no alternative, or they were switcherooed into the game by some guy nobody wanted to confront. On preview: agreed, everett

posted by Uncle Toby at 11:21 PM on October 05, 2006

Shaq and Nash both criticize the new ball on espn.com, Shaq's spiel is pretty funny: "It feels like one of those cheap playground balls you buy at a toy store." and "Whoever made that decision should have his college degree revoked." Surely, the players opinions will count for something?

posted by mjkredliner at 12:06 AM on October 06, 2006

If they don't seem to care about the players opinions, then what is the true reason for the switch? Cost? Can't be, if that were the case, Shaq would probably offer to pay for all the balls as long as he gets to use the one he wants. PETA? I can hear them at NBA games now, "no more leather, no more leather". 35 years and now this? There has to be a legit or not legit reason for this. Other leagues use composities? OK, other leagues allow fighting, they wear helmets, they use sticks,bats,shoulder pads, I don't get it. Raise the basket? No, there are enough tall people in the league who can't play. I say lower it.

posted by Bishop at 12:30 AM on October 06, 2006

Shaq is the worst shooter in the history of the planet so I'm sure the people at Spaulding are laughing at his griping, who really cares what he thinks? I don't think the new ball could make him any worse of a shooter or ball-handler. And he's had his way his whole career with the refs so to me it's like the universe is finally balancing things out. Karma can be a bitch, Shaq.

posted by somedude at 01:07 AM on October 06, 2006

I wonder if the NCAA will switch theirs, too?
Well, Uncle Toby, according to Stern this is a move to put the NBA on the same page as everyone else.
"Every organization plays with a synthetic ball -- high school, college, FIBA and the like -- and so the time of the synthetic ball is here," Stern said of his league.
And, no, mjkredliner, the players opinions don't count and if they don't like it they need to look within their NBAPA representation.
Yet much like the dress code instituted by the league last fall and its subsequent decision to ban the compression tights sported by several top players throughout the 2005-06 season, changing the official ball -- according to the current collective bargaining agreement -- is another measure that the NBA has the right to impose unilaterally, without consulting the NBA Players Association.
Yeah, somedude, Shaq is so bad. I'm sure you'd hate to have him on your favorite team/in your community. His career 57.7% from the field and career 27.1ppg. This is much ado about nothing. People react strongly to change. This too shall pass.

posted by geekyguy at 05:13 AM on October 06, 2006

I always thought it was cool that the MLB always stuck with wood bats, because it gives some austerity to the game. I think MLB sticks with wooden bats because pitchers would DIE as a result of the high velocity projectiles hit back to the box. If they could solve the safety issue, though, it would be curious to see how many players would have 100 home run seasons if MLB did move to ceramic or aluminum bats.

posted by psmealey at 07:55 AM on October 06, 2006

Great answers, geekyguy, thanks. somedude, please open your eyes, you have missed out on one of the great NBA careers I'm afraid.

posted by mjkredliner at 07:59 AM on October 06, 2006

could you imagine a pitcher getting pasted by a line drive from sheff using an aluminum bat? "MEDIC!!!!!"

posted by firecop at 08:02 AM on October 06, 2006

Raising the hoop, as Kareem pointed out so many years ago, would only benefit the taller players. Want to take away their advantage? Lower it to 9 feet, and watch the goaltending calls go through the roof.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 08:49 AM on October 06, 2006

If the consenses is that the hoop be lowered then there needs to be some rule changes/enforcements. No traveling to Dunk, no hanging from the hoop, enforce goaltending and call charging when it is charging and not a foul. Maybe we need an extra official on the court, hockey has fewer rules and they have three on the ice.

posted by Psycho at 10:14 AM on October 06, 2006

I heard an interview with Shaq in which he compared the feel of the balls. He said the old ball was like the skin of a beautiful stripper and the new ball was like touching a blowup doll. I have not seen those quotes in the press. Must be too risqué for the staid old NBA.

posted by Midwest Steve at 10:42 AM on October 06, 2006

They make 20 million a year and they're bitching about the feel of a ball. Cry me a river.

posted by The Tooz at 12:21 PM on October 06, 2006

Its because of Kevin Garnett. They don't have the money to pay for the leather any more. If any of you have ever touched a really nice indoor leather basketball, then you know there is nothing else like it. Not quite brand new, but not beat to shit, just right. If the ball is "plastic" feeling as Shaq is quoted as saying, I wouldn't be suprised to see more turnovers and lower shooting percentages. Also, anyone who wants the rim lowered needs to hit the gym and work on their hops cuz you must have never been able to get up there.

posted by LA-4-Life at 12:48 PM on October 06, 2006

Why couldn't they just bring the old ABA ball back I mean with all the flags flying and support our troops on the backs of cars I think that would've been a much better decision and SHAQ is just going to have to play with that cheap store bought ball seems to me it might just effect my bulls so commish please bring the old ball back

posted by luther70 at 02:05 PM on October 06, 2006

That old ABA ball must be stuck somewhere with a period.

posted by jojomfd1 at 03:23 PM on October 06, 2006

NBA players don't like how their balls feel. NFL quarterbacks can now bring their balls to the game. Baseball hitters like to have their balls tightly wound. I wonder if the NBAPA has the balls to do anything about it. (Above written with tongue firmly implanted in cheek)

posted by Howard_T at 04:10 PM on October 06, 2006

If any of you have ever touched a really nice indoor leather basketball, then you know there is nothing else like it. Not quite brand new, but not beat to shit, just right Agreed. I like the leather balls, however when they got old, they got really slippery. The synthetic ones tend to keep their grip a bit longer, and being cheaper, makes them more cost-effective for schools etc. On the other hand, the cheap ones also go out of shape quicker.

posted by owlhouse at 04:22 PM on October 06, 2006

If any of you have ever touched a really nice indoor leather basketball, then you know there is nothing else like it. Not quite brand new, but not beat to shit, just right I have used the indoor leather balls before and you are deffinately right. Nothing better. The way it just comes off the floor and swish in the basket. Awsome, and you know what I don't care how much they make they can gripe as much as they want if the equipment they are using is from Wal Mart.

posted by kidrayter2005 at 05:21 PM on October 06, 2006

As posted by geekguy,Shaq's 57.7% from the field and 27 points per game. Those are good stats no doubt,but what's his free throw average? Maybe the new ball will help him if: A: Lower the hoop B:Move the free throw line in 10 feet C:Change the size of the hoop big enough so a medicine ball can fit in it. Even if they did all that,he probably still couldn't make a free throw. Gotta be the worst free throw shooter of his era. Hell, maybe of all time.

posted by Ghastly1 at 08:11 PM on October 06, 2006

Gotta be the worst free throw shooter of his era. Hell, maybe of all time. Chris Dudley routinely shot in the 40% range on his free throws. I wouldn't call Shaq the worst of all time though. I think its the sheer number of free throws that he actually attempts that makes it seem worse than it really is. Doesn't Bruce Bowen shoot like 40-50% from the free throw line?

posted by LA-4-Life at 08:22 PM on October 07, 2006

Seriously, a good leather ball is $50, and an official indoor/outdoor synthetic is $35. Money can't be an issue here. I think it's more about the fact that we're trying to adopt international standardsd so we fare better in the World Champs.

posted by LostInDaJungle at 02:10 PM on October 09, 2006

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