The NBA introduced a new game ball this season that was designed using new material to have better grip and consistency. But star players have complained about the new ball, saying they have not gotten used to it and it has an odd bounce. It is difficult to adjust such a change, but good players should be able to adapt to any change. They should just stop complaining, keep on playing, and start getting used to the ball.
The complaints of the new ball began since the beginning of the season. Shaquille O’Neal, Steve Nash and Dwayne Wade are some of the few players to speak out against the change.
LeBron James has recently joined the criticizing party, saying it is inconsistent and not good.
Players had all of the offseason to get in shape and train using the new ball designed by Spalding. There were no complaints made in the summer from any players while training, so why does this all come out now? Not only did players use the balls in the offseason, but all stars used it in the 2006 NBA All Star game, as well.
O’Neal played for 22 minutes and shot 7-9 from the field, and ended the game with 17 points and 9 rebounds. I don’t remember any complaints after that game.
Wade played for 30 minutes, and had 20 points shooting 9-11 from the field. No complaints there.
James was on the floor for 30 minutes, and shot 12-21 from the field, putting up 29 points and leading the East team to a victory. He ended up with an All Star game MVP award, as well. I did not hear him say anything bad about the ball after being handed his MVP award.
FIFA, governing body of soccer, received similar complaints during the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Goalkeepers complained the ball designed by Adidas was too light, giving an advantage to strikers. More spin and movement of the ball was evident in replays of goals, and goalkeepers struggled to save many shots due to the “knuckling” movement of the balls. The extra spin and knuckling movement were due to the lightness of the ball, and everyone but goalkeepers approved of it.
I understand why some players would complain about the issue of changing the official game ball, because it does change some of the little details. But it is not a major change.
A professional and talented athlete should be able to adjust to the change and continue to do well. Players may struggle at first with the new ball, but that should not be an excuse for not performing well. They should just stop complaining, start playing and get used to the ball.