Did you know that the official game ball of the National Basketball Association (NBA) is the WILSON NBA Official Game Basketball? It was first introduced in 2021 and replaced the Spalding Official NBA basketball, which was used for 37 years.
9 (+1) Amazing facts about the NBA basketballs
1) Wilson is providing the new game ball of the NBA since 2021
For the previous 37 years, the NBA was using Spalding basketballs.
2) Wilson and the NBA have a long history
Before Spalding’s reign, Wilson had also been the league’s game ball of choice. In fact, Wilson was the official ball for the league’s first 37 seasons (from 1946 to 1983 when Spalding was introduced). Upon the return of Wilson to the NBA, Salvatore LaRocca, NBA President, Global Partnerships stated: “As the NBA’s official game ball for the league’s first 37 seasons, Wilson makes its return building on our shared history and looking ahead toward the continued growth of the league.”
3) The NBA official game ball is made of genuine cow leather.
Horween Leather Company is the supplier of the leather used in the NBA official ball. This company uses 100% cowhide. However, most other balls nowadays, are made of synthetic leather or rubber and not from animal skins.
4) The NBA basketball size is size 7
It has a 29.50 inch (75 cm) circumference and a weight standard of 22 oz (623g). The NBA basketball has a diameter between 9.43 inches (24cm) and 9.51 inches (24.1 cm).
5) The official game balls are extensively tested to meet the high standards set by the NBA.
More specifically, in the design phase, the ball went through 750k cycles on Wilson’s durability machine. Afterwards, each and every ball is also extensively tested before being made available to players.
Watch this video to find out more about the testing process that new balls have to go through (video is from the pervious Spalding process, but you helps you grasp the process):
6) Wilson has hired top NBA players on their advisory staff to ensure optimal performance of the game balls
2020 NBA All-Star Trae Young and 2016 first-round NBA Draft pick Jamal Murray have been hired as official Advisory Staff members. Their role includes playtesting, providing feedback and collaborating on official basketballs performance improvements. There are more basketball professionals in this board, for example, WNBA All-Star Liz Cambage and FIBA 3×3 stars Dušan Bulut and Migna Touré are also playing crucial roles in this
7) The NBA basketballs are made out of 8 separate panels
Those panels are then stitched together to form the spherical ball used on NBA’s courts
8) 10,700 hours were spent on the ball design only!
This makes for a non-stop 1.22 calendar year! (Of course, this time was split between different Wilson designers). 293 NBA players were surveyed in this process, to ensure optimal performance and playing experience for the PRO athletes
9) Wilson balls are also used in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the G-League
The WNBA official game ball is also made by Wilson. It is smaller in size than the NBA official ball but has a similar construction. The G-League, formerly known as the Development League (D-League), is the NBA’s official minor league. Balls used in the games of the above leagues are also provided by Wilson.
+1) You can purchase an official NBA game ball directly from Wilson
It comes with a premium price but it is as close as you can get to feeling the real NBA experience. Check the ball out directly on the company website.
On the other hand, if you need a more affordable solution, you may check the WILSON NBA Authentic Series Basketballs on Amazon.
They come at 3 versions:
- Indoor / Outdoor
They also are produced in sizes 5 to 7.
What is the official basketball for NBA?
The official basketball of the National Basketball Association as of 2021 is the Wilson NBA Official Game Basketball
Can you buy an official NBA basketball?
Yes, you can purchase an official NBA ball directly from the Wilson website. You can purchase cheaper replicas (WILSON NBA Authentic Series Basketballs) from Amazon.
How much is a real NBA basketball?
A real official NBA game ball from Wilson will cost you $200. Wilson NBA Authentic Series Basketballs come in at a cheaper price of around $30 – $60 USD, depending on the size and version.
What size is an official NBA basketball?
The official size of an NBA basketball is size seven. It has a 29.50 inch (75 cm) circumference and a weight standard of 22 oz (623g). The NBA basketball has a diameter between 9.43 inches (24cm) and 9.51 inches (24.1 cm).
Why are Wilson balls used in the NBA?
Wilson balls are used in the NBA because they meet the high standards set by the NBA. They have been tested to ensure optimal performance and durability. Wilson also has top NBA players on their advisory staff to provide feedback and collaborate on official basketballs performance improvements.
What size is a WNBA basketball?
The official size of a WNBA basketball is size six. It has a 28.50 inch (72 cm) circumference and a weight standard of 20 oz (565g). The WNBA ball is slightly smaller than the NBA official ball.
How many panels are on an official NBA basketball?
The official NBA ball is made of eight separate panels that are stitched together to form the spherical ball used on courts.
How many basketballs are used in an NBA game?
The home team gives the referees 3 balls before the start of the game. All are checked to meet standards. One of them will be used as the main game ball and the other 2 will be the backup balls on hand in case of accidents or spills.
What is the diameter of an NBA basketball?
The official size of an NBA basketball is size seven. It has a diameter between 9.43 inches (24cm) and 9.51 inches (24.1 cm).
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