NBA is switching to Wilson basketballs
The NBA has been using Spalding as their official game balls for thirty-seven years! That’s longer then the length of the entire tenure of NBA Commissioner David Stern. At the beginning of the 2021 season, things are about to change. NBA is switching to Wilson basketballs. This change aligns with the leagues 75th anniversary; a new era is set to begin. Sources say the decision between the NBA and Spalding was mutual.
The NBA’s contract with Spalding is expiring and now Wilson will be the new partner to produce the league’s official game ball starting with the 2021-22 season, which happens to be the league’s 75th anniversary, sources with knowledge of the deal informed Yahoo Sports.
Back in 1946 Wilson became the NBA’s original ball manufacturer was. They also had a contract for 37 years. “This partnership with Wilson returns us to our roots as we plan for the future,” said Salvatore LaRocca, NBA president, global partnerships said in an official release.
Wilson will also be the official game ball of the WNBA, NBA 2K League, G League, and Basket Africa League. The WNBA will switch over at the start of the 2022 Season.
“We were partners for 37 seasons dating back to when Wilson manufactured the first official NBA basketballs in 1946, and we look forward to growing the game of basketball together.” – Salvatore LaRocca.
Last week we wrote about the NCAA’s decision to allow athletes make endorsement deals.
Wilson is already one of official basketballs of the NCAA. In fact, colleges play with a variety of basketballs from different brands. The official NCAA rulebooks say that a game ball must have a circumference between 29.5 to 30 inches and weigh between 20 – 22 ounces. Any basketball that meets these requirements is legal. The rulebook does not mention the seams or stitching.
The new Wilson basketballs will essentially be the made to the same specifications. The leather used on the new balls will come from the same exact provider. These balls will feature the same eight-panel configuration as the current ones. The NBA will also be putting together an advisory panel of players to offer potential suggestions and assist in the development and approval phase.
“Our passion for this game and the league runs incredibly deep, as does our history with it. And as we start this new chapter in the game, our focus and energy will be on supporting the league and the players, coaches and fans with the most advanced, high-performance game basketballs possible.” said Kevin Murphy, General Manager, Wilson Basketball.