17 Years Ago, The NBA Ditched Its Synthetic Ball And Returned To Leather
17 years ago today, in a surprising move that sent ripples through the basketball community, the NBA announced its decision to part ways with the synthetic basketball introduced at the start of the 2006-07 season. The league returned to the iconic leather ball.
The synthetic ball, hailed as a technological leap forward when it was first introduced, aimed to provide a more consistent feel and grip while minimizing variations between individual basketballs. However, players expressed mixed feelings about the new ball, citing concerns about its grip, bounce, and overall performance on the hardwood.
The decision to revert to the leather ball came on the heels of extensive feedback from NBA players who, over time, voiced their preferences for the traditional leather feel. Numerous players found the synthetic ball harder to control, with some reporting discomfort in their hands during gameplay. The NBA, known for its commitment to delivering the best on-court experience, took heed of these sentiments.