My Other Passion Podcast: Christian Ponder Joins Us for Episode 4
Listen Now

Wilson Bounces Back as Official NBA Ball

Wilson NCAA balls
Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA announced Wilson will take over as the official league ball beginning with the 2021-22 season. Wilson supplants Spalding, which has been providing basketballs to the league since 1983.

Along with the NBA, Wilson will supply the WNBA, G-League, 2K League and Basketball Africa League. Wilson is also the official ball of the NCAA and FIBA – as well as the official football of the NFL. Wilson returns to the role after serving as the first official ball of the NBA, starting in 1946.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it does add the most prominent basketball league in the world to Wilson’s hoops portfolio. Nearly $214 million worth of basketballs were sold in the U.S. in 2018 and there are more than 450 million basketball players in the world.

While players, including Kevin Durant, seemed upset about the switch, the Spalding relationship also spurred angst when it deployed a synthetic ball in 2006. Wilson said it will keep the same specifications as the current ball and even source the same leather.