NBA: New ball bounces poorly

SpaldingA lot can throw off even the best athlete’s performance – bad shoes, bad weather, bad coaching, or even bad food (food poisoning, that is). But here’s a new one: NBA players have been complaining that the new ball they’ve been issued this month was messing with their performance, due to its poor and unpredictable bounce.

The problem was serious enough that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban asked University of Texas-Arlington physics department chairman Dr. James L. Horwitz to run tests to compare the performance of the microfiber composite ball with the old leather balls used in the NBA.

The findings showed that the new ball bounced five to eight percent better than the leather ball when both were dropped at 4 feet, and had a 30 percent higher chance of bouncing erratically.

NBA commissioner David Stern has turned down the complaint, though, and has stated that the NBA will be using the new ball. Spalding marketing VP Dan Touhey also had his comments on the test, saying that older leather balls would definitely bounce further than a  new one.

As for the ball: The league defended the decision of changing to the new basketball, saying that the new synthetic material was resistant to water, which was easily absorbed by the old  leather balls, and affected   player performance as the game progressed.

“We felt pretty strongly that our tests and the way we conducted them were giving us accurate readings,” Touhey said. “One thing we don’t know is how they wet the material. That’s an unknown for us. We tried to replicate the rate of perspiration. We did not dunk it in a basin of water. We tried to replicate game situations throughout all these tests.”

The guys over at Arlington have some suggestions regarding the new ball to make it more acceptable, like changing ablls     during games, and boosting its air pressure from the regulation 8.5 psi to 14.5 psi.

Irregardless of what the league says, though, it doesn’t look like players Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley are in agreement, and are some of the more open critics of the new regulation ball. “The one thing I hate about the ball, it always feels new,” Barkley said earlier. “And if you ask Kenny, when we played, we always wanted an old, used ball.”

Kenny Smith was somewhat more open to the new ball, saying “It has a different texture,” and  further added “I would say if you score 40 with it, you’ll probably like it a little bit more. Out of all the things in the game that you can change, the one thing that does affect the game is the ball.”

We’d love to see just what this development might do to NBA 2k7 when it comes out, all the more as the game’s banking on its “Signature Style” system for better gameplay.

Via ESPN

SpaldingA lot can throw off even the best athlete’s performance – bad shoes, bad weather, bad coaching, or even bad food (food poisoning, that is). But here’s a new one: NBA players have been complaining that the new ball they’ve been issued this month was messing with their performance, due to its poor and unpredictable bounce.

The problem was serious enough that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban asked University of Texas-Arlington physics department chairman Dr. James L. Horwitz to run tests to compare the performance of the microfiber composite ball with the old leather balls used in the NBA.

The findings showed that the new ball bounced five to eight percent better than the leather ball when both were dropped at 4 feet, and had a 30 percent higher chance of bouncing erratically.

NBA commissioner David Stern has turned down the complaint, though, and has stated that the NBA will be using the new ball. Spalding marketing VP Dan Touhey also had his comments on the test, saying that older leather balls would definitely bounce further than a  new one.

As for the ball: The league defended the decision of changing to the new basketball, saying that the new synthetic material was resistant to water, which was easily absorbed by the old  leather balls, and affected   player performance as the game progressed.

“We felt pretty strongly that our tests and the way we conducted them were giving us accurate readings,” Touhey said. “One thing we don’t know is how they wet the material. That’s an unknown for us. We tried to replicate the rate of perspiration. We did not dunk it in a basin of water. We tried to replicate game situations throughout all these tests.”

The guys over at Arlington have some suggestions regarding the new ball to make it more acceptable, like changing ablls     during games, and boosting its air pressure from the regulation 8.5 psi to 14.5 psi.

Irregardless of what the league says, though, it doesn’t look like players Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley are in agreement, and are some of the more open critics of the new regulation ball. “The one thing I hate about the ball, it always feels new,” Barkley said earlier. “And if you ask Kenny, when we played, we always wanted an old, used ball.”

Kenny Smith was somewhat more open to the new ball, saying “It has a different texture,” and  further added “I would say if you score 40 with it, you’ll probably like it a little bit more. Out of all the things in the game that you can change, the one thing that does affect the game is the ball.”

We’d love to see just what this development might do to NBA 2k7 when it comes out, all the more as the game’s banking on its “Signature Style” system for better gameplay.

Via ESPN

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