Wilson to officially replace Spalding as the official game ball of the NBA, WNBA, NBA G League, NBA 2K League and Basketball Africa League
The NBA announced in an official statement this week that beginning in the 2021-22 season the league will begin using Wilson as the official game ball. The official statement reads:
The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Wilson Sporting Goods Co. announced a multiyear global partnership today that will make Wilson the official game ball of the NBA, Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), NBA G League, NBA 2K League and Basketball Africa League (BAL).
Wilson was the league initial game ball in 1946 but the partnership dissolved in 1983 when Spalding took over as the official ball.
Salvatore LaRocca, NBA President, Global Partnerships explained in the official statement that, ““This partnership with Wilson returns us to our roots as we plan for the future. 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.”
Kevin Murphy, General Manager, Wilson Basketball explained, “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. 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.”
This rollout among the various branches of the league will take place at staggered times. According to the official statement:
The NBA Wilson game ball will first be used during the league’s 75th anniversary season in 2021-22. The other debuts will be during the 2022 WNBA season, 2021-22 NBA G League season, 2021 NBA 2K League season and the inaugural BAL season.
Wilson will manufacture the NBA, WNBA and NBA G League game balls using the same materials, eight-panel configuration and performance specifications as current game balls and will also source the same leather currently used in the NBA. The NBA and its players will work jointly with Wilson to develop and approve the new game ball.