One of the D-League’s many benefits to the NBA is the opportunity to test-drive new rules and policies. The minors essentially provide a real, basketball laboratory in which changes can be test-driven in a professional basketball setting before NBA implementation, in order to more accurately assess impacts that have been potentially overlooked.
Now though, things are just getting silly. According to Utah Flash president Drew Sellers (via Scott Schroeder of Ridiculous Upside), the D-League will use a new ball next season, with no immediately apparent reason other than to switch things up. There’s nothing wrong with changing the design of the basketball, though I have to ask: what’s the point? Maybe the ball is another experiment in alternative materials, such as the synthetic design the NBA dabbled with a few years back. Or maybe it really is exactly what it looks like: a ball with a different groove design, and no other significantly different features.
There’s nothing wrong with it. It looks fine. The only question is: why? Why make all the players transition to a new feel? Why throw out all of the already existing balls in favor of something new that isn’t really any better? Change is great for improvement’s sake, but when the cosmetic reasons aren’t even all that compelling, it just comes off as a bit odd.