The NBA introduced a new Official Game Ball for play beginning in the 2006-07 season, featuring a new design and a new material to offer better grip, feel and consistency than the current leather ball. But how does the composite material stack up to the leather which was used during the NBA's first 60 seasons? Current and past players give their take:

“It will be great to get a ball that just feels the same no matter where you are and then it’ll really give you that comfort that you need, either home or away…I think the grip is nice ... I’ll be able to do more tricks with it, so I’m excited about the grip of it. It feels really good.”
-- 2006 Finals MVP Dwyane Wade

“When you play in different cities, the ball may be a little newer or may be a little worn out, but this ball right here, it seems like it’s going to stay the same, so that’s a positive thing. No matter what city you play in, it will be the same ball.”
-- 2005-06 NBA Rookie of the Year Chris Paul

“This is a great ball. If I had this ball back when I played, there would have been a lot more poster-ized guys.”
-- Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins

“This is a beautiful ball. It's easier to control. I'd take this one any day.”
-- Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler

“It took quite a while to break in a leather ball. It would probably take at least a month before you would feel really comfortable shooting and dribbling the basketball. For me it was love at first sight. When I embraced the ball I immediately felt the difference. It’s going (to give you) a great feel, great grip…great for shooting…it’s just a no-brainer. It’s a much better basketball than the leather ball.”
-- Former NBA All-Star Mark Jackson

“This has much better grip. The composite gives it a more comfortable feel. I dribbled probably eight or ten different balls and they all felt exactly the same, which is really key as a player – you want to have the same feel dribbling the ball, and as a shooter, to have that grip, to be able to feel the grooves and your hands and finger tips on the ball and not have it slid off a little bit – that is really important. I really like the ball. I think it is a big improvement over the last one.”
-- Four-time NBA champion Steve Kerr

“We didn’t like to play with a new one because the new one was real slippery. It (the new ball) feels good in my hands. I’m sure being as old as I am that I can still shoot it.”
-- Hall of Famer George Gervin

“Most of the guys like to get an older ball, got a lot of feeling to it; it’s soft, something you can play with, something you can grip, something you might want to finger roll and get a rebound with. A new ball, it’s very difficult to shoot with, because it’s still got that sliding feeling. This ball here you can feel, it feels good; feels like you got something real soft, nice, something you can play with and get an opportunity to get a better shot.”
-- Hall of Famer Moses Malone

“I think the grip is a lot better – of course, I’m used to playing with the old NBA balls that are leather and they get a little slippery. This one seems to hold its grip a lot better. I like it when the ball gets wet and the game gets going. I think it is going to be a lot better; I think the players are going to like it a lot better.”
-- NBA great Kiki Vandeweghe