The NBA has signed a multi-year global partnership with Wilson Sporting Goods, that will see Wilson balls replace Spalding across the NBA, WNBA, G League, 2K League and Basketball Africa League, from the 2021/22 season.
The deal sees the return of Wilson balls to the world’s top basketball league after partnering with the league from 1946 to 1983 before being replaced by Spalding, who has been the league’s official game ball since 1983.
NBA president of global partnerships, Salvatore LaRocca, said the partnership will go a long way to helping grow the game of basketball even further.
“This partnership with Wilson returns us to our roots as we plan for the future,” LaRocca said.
“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,” he said.
Wilson Basketball general manager, Kevin Murphy, said Wilson is excited to help grow basketball on the global stage.
“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,” Murphy said.
“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,” he said.
While the deal will kick in for the NBA, NBA G League, NBA 2K League, and the Basketball Africa League (the NBA’s regional joint venture with global body FIBA) as of the 2021/22 seasons respectively, the WNBA will wait until 2022 before making the switch from Spalding to Wilson.