Reaction from NBA players, officials

Updated: December 12, 2006, 2:42 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Reactions to David Stern's decision to shelve the league's new microfiber composite basketball after just a few months of use and switch back to the old leather model for all games starting Jan. 1:

"They scrapped it? I guess if I have to hear about a final decision in the media, that says it all. I guess I missed the class [at David Stern University] where they were discussing the pros and cons of the new ball and the impact of making a change [in] midseason. That's what I get for skipping class to buy DSU pom-poms as Christmas presents."
-- Mavericks owner Mark Cuban

LeBron James
James

"For the league to be successful, obviously the players have to be happy. The basketball is the most important thing to us. Like I said before, you can change the dress code, you can make our shorts shorter, but when you take our basketball away from us, that's not a transition we handle. ... I'm very excited. You see my smile, right? If we've got practice tomorrow, I'll be shooting with that [old] ball tomorrow."
-- Cavaliers forward LeBron James

Steve Nash
Nash

"After playing with an authentic leather ball your whole life and going to a composite was very difficult, but after playing with it every day you become used to it. It's going to be another arduous time for us to adjust back."
-- Suns point guard Steve Nash

"One day we're going to play with one ball and the next day we're going to play with another one. It's just like the park. That's what it's going to feel like. Whoever brings the ball on Jan. 1, that's the one we're going to play with."
-- Celtics coach Doc Rivers

Paul Pierce
Pierce

"The players, it was just tough on them because I think [the NBA] kind of just sprung the ball on the players instead of giving them fair warning. When you're playing with something for so long and then it's time for change, it's hard to accept."
-- Celtics forward Paul Pierce

"To me, it's stupid to change now. It's taken everybody three months to get used to the new ball and now it's going to take three months to get used to the old one again. You might as well keep the new one now. You started with it, finish with it."
-- Suns forward Shawn Marion to Florida Today

"I like the new ball. A lot of players don't, but it's not a problem to me. When I was growing up, a lot of guys would say: 'Well, I can't shoot with this ball.' I'm like, 'What do you mean, you can't shoot with this ball? A ball is a ball. If you can shoot, you can shoot.'"
-- Suns center Amare Stoudemire to Florida Today

Dwight Howard
Howard
"I don't like [the change]. The new ball feels better to me. It never cut my hands up and it didn't feel slippery to me."
-- Magic forward Dwight Howard to Florida Today

"Now we can concentrate on what we're here to do and that is to play basketball."
-- Heat guard Dwyane Wade

Information from ESPN.com senior writer Marc Stein and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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