Stern confident new NBA ball will win over players
COLOGNE, Germany -- NBA commissioner David Stern suspects complaints about his league's new ball will go away -- just as they did in soccer.
"To make me feel better, I went back and looked at reactions when Adidas introduced its new soccer ball," Stern said Wednesday. "There was virtually identical commentary."
The Adidas ball, introduced before this year's World Cup, was met with heavy criticism from many players, especially goalkeepers. But few complaints were heard during the tournament.
O'Neal said the new basketball "feels like one of those cheap balls that you buy at the toy store, indoor-outdoor balls."
"But as the players get more used to it, it will become less and less of an issue for us," Stern said.
Stern also said NBA teams will continue to tour Europe for preseason games. He called the current trip a "complete success" -- apart from seeing a fan in Cologne wearing a counterfeit Allen Iverson jersey in Seattle SuperSonics colors.
"Then I knew there was some hanky-panky," Stern said with a chuckle. "It was over the top."
"We'd like to make this an annual affair," he said. "Players have been very happy, they have been enriched by the experience."
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press