Skip to main content

"The ball tears my fingers apart. It's like papercuts"

Steve-Nash

Ten years ago the NBA presented a revolution in the game - a brand new microfiber composite ball from Spalding. This new technology was supposed to provide more consistency with the ball and provide better results. At least that's what David Stern told us, that Spalding and the NBA did testing and it showed a better shooting percentage, lower turnover rate and an overall improvement in performance.

Before the season started, all the players were speaking positively about the new ball. In those comments, we learned some interesting details about the ball and what are the differences from city to city. Here's Chris Paul:

"When you play in different cities, the ball may be a little newer or may be a little worn out, but this ball right here, it seems like it's going to stay the same, so that's a positive thing."

His banana boat partner, Dwayne Wade, spoke of the same thing. HOw the ball can feel a lot different depending on which city you are playing with and that the new ball will provide more consistency. Wade added he feels the new ball gives him more grip and he will be able to make trick shots with it.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Then the season started and the players started to play with the new ball. Things went south quickly after that. A lot of players started complaining that the ball changes a lot - too sticky when dry, too slippery when wet and too unpredictable when it hits the hardwood. Wade found out that the expectation of grip and trick shots was wrong:

"My bank shot is no longer existent. My game-winning shots, I'm telling you, it's [in the] past."

Perhaps the loudest critic of the new ball was two-time MVP, Steve Nash. If there was a player who's style suffered from a ball that is unpredictable when bouncing and has less grip, it was him. But all that was not Nash's biggest complaint. The new surface was causing cuts on a lot of players fingers, and the issue became so prevalent it was the straw that broke the camels back.

Once it became an obvious injury issue, David Stern decided to go back to the old leather ball mid-season. The new composite ball didn't make it to the All-Star game. Funny enough, Nash criticized that decision as well - pointing out he had just gotten used to the new ball and a change is being made again. The biggest criticisms was that in both cases - introducing the new ball and going back to the old one - players weren't consulted enough. Steve Nash put it best:

I'm disappointed that they didn't seek more input from us before they introduced the new ball and I'm disappointed that we're changing the ball during the season. It's still tearing up my fingers, but after three months ... it's too late. I'm telling you, the [two] balls feel totally different. There's a different feel, a different weight, a different texture.

Quotes in this story courtesy of ESPN:
NBA ball controversy reaches new level
Leather ball will return on January 1

Dejounte Murray responds to trade rumors swirling around him in the buildup to the 2022 NBA Draft

Uh Ohhhhhhhhh”- Dejounte Murray responds to trade rumors swirling around him in the buildup to the 2022 NBA Draft

Murray’s name keeps popping up in discussions with the Atlanta Hawks for John Collins, and Murray offered a simple response when seeing the rumors on Twitter: uh oh

The Phoenix Suns are “very motivated” to find a sign-and-trade deal for Deandre Ayton

The Phoenix Suns are “very motivated” to find a sign-and-trade deal for Deandre Ayton

The Suns could keep Ayton onboard since he’s only a restricted free agent, but with some bad blood between the two, they have decided that now is the time for them to move on from him

How Kobe Bryant built his huge business empire
Play

Kobe Bryant's best and worst investments throughout his career

Bryant invested $6 million a startup sports drink company called BodyArmor, and the current valuation of that investment is now close to $800 million

mark-price-john-stockton-min

John Stockton explains why Mark Price is one of the most underrated players ever

Stockton even called him one of the best guards he ever played against.

Rick Ross praises Dwyane Wade for letting LeBron become face of the Heat franchise

Rick Ross lauds Dwyane Wade for allowing LeBron James to become 'the face' of Miami: "That’s why he would never not be number 1"

Some credit LeBron James for Miami's historic back-to-back titles, but Rick Ross believes it wouldn't be possible if Dwyane Wade did not take a step back

michael-jordan-fan-min

Michael Jordan harshly rejects two kids asking for a photo

MJ is getting a lot of criticism for his reaction, as many people are saying LeBron would never treat his fans that way.

Gregg Popovich during a Spurs timeout with Kawhi Leonard

How Gregg Popovich tweaked his coaching style to fit Kawhi Leonard's nonverbal approach

Kawhi Leonard is a generational star that needs a unique type of treatment. Gregg Popovich knew that.

Kyrie Irving reportedly has a lack of respect for Nets head coach Steve Nash

Kyrie Irving’s ‘lack of respect’ for Nets head coach Steve Nash reportedly is a major issue amid extension talks

The Brooklyn Nets are reportedly hesitant to give Kyrie Irving a max contract because of his ongoing conflict with Steve Nash