NBA Changes Official Game Ball from Spaulding to Wilson

There’s great news for Chuck Noland, Tom Hanks’ stranded character in the film “Cast Away” — starting in 2021, he’ll be able to see his old friend Wilson several nights a week. The NBA on Wednesday announced it will be changing its official basketball brand to Wilson when its contract with Spaulding expires at the end of the 2020-2021 season. The deal marks a return to the NBA’s roots, says Salvatore LaRocca, NBA president of global partnerships. “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 says.

For players and fans, the only difference between balls will be the logo. “Wilson will manufacture the NBA, WNBA and NBA G League game balls using the same materials, eight-panel configuration and performance specifications as current game balls — and will also source the same leather currently used in the NBA,” a statement released by the league reads. “The NBA and its players will work jointly with Wilson to develop and approve the new game ball.”

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