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NBA exec dismisses ball design critics

  |   Oct. 4, 2006 at 12:47 PM
NEW YORK, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- NBA executive Stu Jackson has dismissed criticism over the New York-based league's new basketball design, saying it is superior to the previous version.

Asked if he would heed the advice of Miami Heat center Shaquille O'Neal and fire proponents of the new ball, Jackson, executive vice president of basketball operations and chairman of the competition committee that approved the ball, said: "No, it's a better ball," USA Today reported Wednesday.

O'Neal said the new ball, the first to be adapted by the NBA in 35 years, was detrimental to game play and whoever decided that it was a good idea should be fired. He said the ball, which is produced by Spaulding, will cause increased turnovers and lower shooting percentages.

"I really didn't have a reaction to his comments, and everyone is entitled to his opinion," said Jackson. "The testing has proven it has played well without any negative damage to the game, in terms of its playability."

However, Jackson said the NBA would consider all feedback.

"We have nothing to gain by putting a non-performance product out on the floor," he said.

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