David Stern’s Personal Foul

It was far from a slam dunk when the NBA announced it was introducing a new synthetic Spalding game ball this season. Players, who were...

It was far from a slam dunk when the NBA announced it was introducing a new synthetic Spalding game ball this season. Players, who were never consulted regarding the potential change or given a chance to test the ball, have griped about the ball since the preseason.

A recent article in The New York Times said the ball has also caused cuts on players' fingers. You would think that the first thing you might want to do when introducing something like a new basketball into the league is actually let the players-who have to use it night in and night out-test the thing out and maybe, just maybe get their opinions on it. But the higher ups at the NBA didn't think that was necessary.

So NBA Commissioner David Stern's poor internal communications planning has led to a cacophony of complaints in the media. Stern finally admitted the league's communications folly and has told the media that while some balls were being sent back to the manufacturer for testing the NBA would continue to use the new ball. But Stern did say the new ball could be replaced by the old model during the season if necessary.

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