For the last 37 seasons, the NBA has used Spalding for the league’s official basketball. Now, for the 75th season in league history, they are returning to their original basketball sponsor, Wilson Sporting Goods. The NBA announced the switch in the official game ball earlier this week.
Wilson Sporting Goods was the official game ball of the NBA for the first 37 years, with Spalding taking the reigns from years 38-74. The 75th season is the start of a new multiyear partnership between the two basketball giants, with the contract — and the look and feel of the actual basketball — being negotiated by the league, the Players Association and Wilson.
The NBA revealed what teams will be playing with when the 2021-22 season kicks off in October of this year.
Wilson Sporting Goods Co., in partnership with the NBA, today unveiled the league’s new official game ball in advance of the NBA’s 75th anniversary season. pic.twitter.com/2LtwrBfIFh
— Ryan Ward (@RyanWardLA) June 17, 2021
Within the reveal of this partnership and the new basketball, a two-man Advisory Staff was named to provide feedback and collaboration with Wilson on all of their products. The two players named to this staff are Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young and Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray.
Along with the NBA, Wilson is joining forces with the WNBA, the G League and the Basketball Africa League. Young and Murray will join WNBA All-Star Liz Cambage on the Advisory Staff, ensuring that Wilson continues to push products that help improve the game.
NBA responds to LeBron James’ injury tirade
Following another postseason injury — this one to Kawhi Leonard — Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James took to Twitter to voice his frustration over the injuries caused by a rushed offseason. NBA spokesman Mike Bass responded to James, saying that injuries were not worse in 2020-21 than they were in any previous season and that the league always looks after the health of their players.
While this response was deemed insufficient by many given the obvious rash of injuries occurring league-wide, the NBA clearly has decided to put the difficulties of this season behind them and move forward to 2021-22.
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