Why did NBA stop using Spalding basketballs

Additionally, the NBA was looking to partner with a company that could provide more innovation and technology when it came to their official game ball. They felt Wilson was better positioned to leverage data and analytics to continue improving ball performance.

For decades, the NBA used basketballs produced by the Spalding sporting goods company. However, starting in the 2021-2022 season, the league switched to Wilson as its official game ball provider. There were a few key factors that led to the NBA parting ways with Spalding.

The biggest reason was simply that Spalding's contract expired. The two sides were unable to agree on terms for a renewal, so the long-running partnership came to an end. Spalding had been the NBA's official basketball since 1983, but after nearly 40 years, the league was ready for a change.

There were also some performance considerations behind the switch. Wilson was using new composite leather material in its basketballs rather than the traditional genuine leather that Spalding used. The NBA felt the composite leather provided more consistency and durability.

Many players had complained that the grip and feel of Spalding's leather balls would vary noticeably from game to game based on use and conditions. The high-tech composite material promised more predictable ball control and handling.

Additionally, the NBA was looking to partner with a company that could provide more innovation and technology when it came to their official game ball. They felt Wilson was better positioned to leverage data and analytics to continue improving ball performance.

In the end, the expiration of Spalding's contract and Wilson's promise of improved consistency and innovation led the NBA to make the big switch after nearly four decades of sticking with Spalding basketballs.