I don't see what the players' beef was with the new ball. Shooting was better, scoring was up, etc.
Especially Carmelo. They played with the ball at the FIBA tourney and he set the net on fire. And now he is/was leading the lead in scoring.
But, David Stern really ****ed up the whole deal. You don't just spring new equipment on your players without even consulting with them. If he really wanted the new ball, he should work with high schools and the college ranks to have players play with them growing up, and not just randomly make a change in the NBA.