U.S. News

Old Basketballs Bounce Back


The National Basketball Association (NBA) is bringing back its old leather ball after complaints from players about the new model, the NBA said Monday.

The NBA introduced a new microfiber composite ball at the start of this season but commissioner David Stern said the sport's ruling body was reacting to the views of its players by going back to the old version from Jan. 1.

"Our players' response to this particular composite ball has been overwhelmingly negative and we are acting accordingly," Stern said in a statement.

"Although testing performed by (manufacturer) 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," Stern added.

The players' view on the new ball has been overwhelmingly negative, with big names like LeBron James and Shaquille O'Neal publicly criticizing it.

The players said the ball bounced differently and cut their hands in some cases. It was the first ball change in the league for 35 years and the players union filed two unfair labor practice charges against the league on Dec. 1, one of them citing the lack of player input about the new ball.

CNBC's Darren Rovell has more thoughts on this ball reversal.