Sources: Not enough good leather to go 'round?

Updated: October 8, 2006, 11:13 AM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

The NBA has controversially introduced a new basketball for the first time in 35 years, prompting an obvious question: Why?

One potential factor: Spalding, which has manufactured NBA balls since 1983, was apparently eager to get out of the leather business.

NBA sources told ESPN.com that Spalding urged the NBA to switch to a composite model because it was having trouble securing the "consistent" leather needed to keep manufacturing the ball that has been used for decades.

At ...

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