New NBA ball questioned

New NBA basketball: Game changer?Courtesy calamityjake.
New NBA basketball: Game changer?
Courtesy calamityjake.

Shaquille O'Neal dislikes new synthetic basketball

Shaquille O'Neal of the Miami Heat ripped the NBA's new basketball, calling it "terrible".

"I think the new ball is terrible,'' O'Neal said Monday. "It's the worst decision some expert, whoever did it, made...The NBA's been around how long? A hundred years? Fifty years? So to change it now, whoever that person is needs his college degree revoked. It's a terrible decision.'' He also said that shooting percentages will plummet and turnovers will rise with the change.

Billionaire Mark Cuban uses science

Mark Cuban owns the Dallas Mavericks basketball team.

"I asked the University of Texas at Arlington Physics department to take a look at both the new and old NBA basketballs. I asked them to compare the two and let me know what they thought. No preconceived notions. No prejudice. Just science."

The details of their findings and proceedures can be seen on his blog, Blog Maverick

Slippery when wet

Two findings in particular should be considered. The synthetic balls became much more slippery when wet. The synthetic balls bounce was also found to be more erratic. The scientists thought this was probably due to 20 per cent of the balls surface being embossed with logos and text.

At this stage, please note that all measurements should be considered preliminary. The UTA researchers plan further tests to continue evaluating the ball.

More reading at USA Today

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

?'s picture
? says:

hi we are students from a middle school in Tucson AZ. This year we have to make a science fair project.We desided to compare the new nba ball and the old leather ball.So if you guys could help us we will appreciate with any help you could give us.

thank you

posted on Wed, 12/20/2006 - 12:00pm
bryan kennedy's picture

What kind of help are you interested in? I would be very interested in hearing more about your project.

posted on Wed, 12/20/2006 - 4:24pm
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

First, I recommend that you read the report written by the scientists. They explain how they set up their experiment. Can you get the two types of basketballs? They mention that new balls might bounce different than old ones. I also think you should see if your results are repeatable. If you run the experiment exactly the same with three different basketballs of the same age and type, will you get the same results. Perfect measurement is impossible. How can you measure the height of the the bounce? (I have one idea but think I will wait to see what you come up with) How much error do you expect when measuring. You can use this comments box to describe a first draft of the experiment. We usually will be able to answer questions or give ideas by the next day (unless it is a holiday).

posted on Wed, 12/20/2006 - 9:44pm

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