Leagues and Governing Bodies

Some NBAers say new Wilson ball "noticeably different" from Spalding

This NBA season has brought a shift from Spalding to Wilson as the official ball, and "even with the same stock of leather" being used, "some players insist there is a tangible difference," according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida SUN SENTINEL. Heat G Duncan Robinson said on his "The Long Shot" podcast, "They are trying to push that it’s the same, and I’m not here for it. I don’t think it is actually the same. Now, I think players will get used to it and nothing will really change. But if you handed me like blind-feel test, a Spalding and a Wilson, I would 1,000 percent be able to tell the difference." Heat G Gabe Vincent: “It’s noticeably different.” Winderman notes the NBA "has been breaking in the Wilson ball since the pre-draft combine, with it also utilized during summer league." The balls "were made available to teams well in advance of training camps." Spalding took over the contract in '83 and held it for 37 years. Heat G Tyler Herro: “At first you could tell the difference. But once you start working out with it and using it, it’s more normal." Heat C Bam Adebayo: “I feel like it’s a slicker ball." Robinson: “My own immediate reactions or short-term reaction is that the Wilson just has a little bit more of like a tackier feel. The Spalding had this like great feel to it, where it would just like break in really well" (South Florida SUN SENTINEL, 10/26).

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