By Jan Carlo Anolin
The NBA is set to return to its roots after switching back to Wilson as its official ball game starting 2021.
Wilson will replace Spalding, filling its role in the NBA for the 37th and final season, as its official ball manufacturer when the league kicks off its 75th anniversary in the 2021-2022 season.
It will also be used in the 2022 WNBA season, 2021-2022 NBA G League season, 2021 NBA 2K League season and the Basketball Africa League (BAL).
“This partnership with Wilson returns us to our roots as we plan for the future,” said Salvatore LaRocca, NBA President, Global Partnerships in a statement.
“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.”
Wilson, also the official game ball of the NCAA, will use the same materials, eight-panel configuration, performance specifications and source of leather currently used by the NBA.
As per Yahoo! Sports sources, the NBA and Spalding mutually agreed to part ways.
“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.
“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.”
The NBA and NBPA, led by executive director Michele Roberts and president Chris Paul, will create a player advisory board for assistance and suggestions regarding the new deal.