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NBA to go back to old ball

NEW YORK (AP) -- The NBA will scrap its new microfiber composite ball and bring back the old leather one beginning January 1st, an official told The Associated Press on Monday.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement of the switch was not due until at least Tuesday.

Players have complained about the new ball since training camp, saying that it bounced differently than the old one -- off the floor and the rim. They also said the synthetic material cut their hands.

NBA commissioner David Stern told the New York Times last week the league should have sought more input from players before introducing the new ball. He also said he would address the players' criticisms with Spalding, the manufacturer.

The lack of player input about the new ball prompted one of the two unfair labor practice charges the union filed with the National Labor Relations Board on December 1st.

Two-time league MVP Steve Nash has said the ball cut up his hands but wasn't looking for a return to the old ball.

"There's some things about it that are still difficult," Nash said last week. "It kind of beats up my fingers. Now, I'm used to the ball and it would be difficult to change back."
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