SBD/Issue 103/Leagues & Governing Bodies

NBA Taking Strides To Eventually Reintroduce Synthetic Ball

NBA Still Looking To Return To Synthetic Ball
The NBA has “scuttled plans to reintroduce a synthetic ball for next season,” even though the “tentative plan was to have an improved version of the microfiber composite ball back in play as of 2007-08,” according to sources cited by Mitch Lawrence of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. The source: “It’s highly doubtful that a synthetic ball will be in play next year. Because (the league) and players are working on the ball, there’s no way it will be ready for next season.” The NBA has “yet to approach the [NBPA] about which players it wants to be involved in helping to design the new model,” and the eight months until the ’07-08 training camp “is not seen as enough time to develop a new model” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/16). Jazz G Derek Fisher, who will formally become NBPA President at this weekend’s annual players’ meetings, said the agenda would probably include “some of the issues related to the ball and officials” (DESERET NEWS, 2/16). In N.Y., Liz Robbins notes players “have been invited to test different synthetic ball materials at their hotel.” NBA VP/Communications Tim Frank: “There will be a testing station for players so they can try different things and determine what they like about the synthetic balls. Ultimately, this is Step 1 in a process of developing a composite ball” (N.Y. TIMES, 2/16).

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