I can understand the elimination of the laces from the original rock, obviously due to the need for dribbling, but I had no idea the rock of today would be soon looked at as a historical relic.
http://www.nba.com ran the story on the new ball a few months ago. They report and I quote, “The design is comprised of two interlocking, cross-shaped panels rather than the eight oblong panels found on traditional basketballs. As a result, there is more material coverage. The material is a micro fiber composite with moisture management that provides superior grip and feel throughout the course of a game.”
They also add this in the article, “Additionally, the new composite material eliminates the need for a break-in period, which is necessary for the current leather ball, and achieves consistency from ball to ball.” I haven’t yet touched this new, “wonder ball” yet, but I do have some thoughts about it.
First off I would like to say that I am not of giant stature, but even still, I can palm a regulation size basketball with either hand. With this being said, how can men of such size and strength have any trouble holding onto the basketball the way it is? When watching the NBA it would appear to me that 99.9% of the players can grab the ball as if it were an orange. Making it even stickier with a micro fiber composite material could only mean one thing; Even more palming and carrying of the basketball! Which I thought the NBA was trying to make an emphasis on to really watch out for... I’m not a NBA player (as if I needed to say that), but I felt that all the indoor-use only balls that I have ever played with were sticky enough, but hey what do I know?
Now on to the design. The new paneling of the ball would appear to be harder to grab and hold onto because there is less of a tread for your fingers to grip. I know when I’m doing my best Michael Jordan impression my fingers are locked into those grooves. Now with less grooves it would appear that such luxuries are lost. Why this is better I do not know.
All in all it just seemed to me to be a marketing strategy by Spalding and the NBA. The new ball will obviously give hoop fans a reason to go down to the local sporting goods store and shell out God knows how much. The real question to be answered is how many ballers will embrace it? Henry Abbott ran a story just recently with Kwame Brown that brought the new ball into question. When asked about the ball, Kwame said he hated it! To check the full read click here, but until the new rock gets released to the public on Halloween it is just another wait-and-see.