Sport

Wilson to replace Spalding as NBA's official game ball

Wilson to replace Spalding as NBA's official game ball”

As part of the new deal, Wilson will provide the official game balls for the WNBA, NBA G League, NBA 2K League and Basketball Africa League.

The partnership with the WNBA will not officially begin until 2022, however. Evolution basketballs are synthetic and have a softer surface - a completely different consistency than Spalding's leather NBA balls.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it does add the most prominent basketball league in the world to Wilson's hoops portfolio. Wilson supplants Spalding, which has been providing basketballs to the league since 1983.

The NBA and Spalding tried switching the fabric of the ball for the 2006-07 season - it was made of a trademarked "Cross Traxxion" microfiber material - but players, particularly shooters, hated it.

"Our commitment to growing the game of basketball on the global stage is at the heart of Wilson and our new partnership with the NBA", said Kevin Murphy, Wilson Basketball's general manager. Wilson said it will keep the same specifications as the current ball and even source the same leather.

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Wilson will replace Spalding starting with the 2021-22 season, according to the league.

Wilson's Evolution and NCAA balls are very popular at the high school and college level, however, the National Basketball Association and Wilson are teaming up to create a new ball - a genuine leather ball, instead of the composite leather of the Evolution/NCAA - for the league, Haynes reports. It all started with the new 'G-League Pathway Program', and it has now developed to changing the game ball brand.

It is the second major commercial deal for the National Basketball Association amid the global Covid-19 pandemic following a multiyear, multi-faceted partnership with technology giant Microsoft last month.

"Spalding developed the first basketball in 1894, almost a century before tipping off a historic partnership with the NBA".

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