17 Years Ago Today, The NBA Announced One Of The Biggest Failed Experiments: The New Ball
17 years ago today, the NBA announced that a new official game ball would be used in the 2006-07 season. What was supposed to bring the NBA into the future of sporting goods technology, it became a spectacular failure.
Not long after the ball was released, it was revealed that the NBA will be abandoning said ball, after numerous complaints from players and coaches, who said that the ball was slippery and difficult to control and even a lawsuit were issued.
The new ball was made of microfiber composite, which was designed to be more durable and consistent than the traditional leather ball. However, players said that the ball was too slick, making it difficult to grip and shoot with.
The Players Association filed a lawsuit against the NBA in December of 2006, alleging that the new ball was a safety hazard. The lawsuit also claimed that the ball was unfair to players, as it gave some teams an advantage over others.
The NBA initially defended the new ball, saying that it was safe and that players would eventually get used to it. However, the league ultimately decided to abandon the ball after it became clear that the majority of players were unhappy with it.
The new ball was then replaced with the traditional leather ball.