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Leather ball will return on Jan. 1

Updated: December 12, 2006, 4:46 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

It might be the most stunning ball reversal in hoops history.

Not even three months into the life of its controversial synthetic basketball, NBA commissioner David Stern moved Monday to hush scores of discontented players by shelving Spalding's new microfiber composite ball and authorizing a switch back to the old leather ball for all games starting Jan. 1.

The move would appear to be an unprecedented in-season change, in terms of primary equipment, for North American ...

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