Sources: Not enough good leather to go 'round?
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.
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