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Monday, December 11, 2006
David Stern Drops New Basketball Crusade
According to ESPN, NBA Commissioner David Stern will announce tomorrow that on January 1, 2007, the league will drop its new "microfiber balls" and bring back the traditional leather ball. The ball has drawn widespread rebuke from players as being uncomfortable and difficult to grasp, and Steve Nash and Jason Kidd even say that it cuts their hands. These complaints over both comfort and safety have reached legal significance, as the NBPA recently filed an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB to have the ball replaced. That will no longer be necessary as Stern has essentially capitulated.
Skip Oliva over at the Voluntary Trade Blog has an insightful reaction to Stern's decision and the broader implications it may have on Stern and professional sports commissioners in general:
I consider this a “jump the shark” moment for Stern because the seemingly arbitrary decision to change the ball represented the zenith of Stern’s bureaucratic (and some would say autocratic) management policies. The new ball’s failure may signal at least a temporary end to Stern’s increasing centralization of power.See also
A Revolution Against David Stern and Creeping Orwellianism? (11/21/2006)
NBA Player Autonomy: How Should We Define It? (11/28/2006)
Update on David Stern and NBA Player Autonomy (11/29/2006)