Spalding vs Wilson basketball: Which is the best basketball brand and why is it the best?

Spalding vs Wilson basketball: Which is the best basketball brand and why is it the best?

Grace Waruguru
updated at April 19, 2024 at 4:07 AM

When you do a Spalding vs. Wilson basketball comparison, which brand is the best for the sport? Both companies have produced quality balls over the years, enjoying partnerships with big leagues like the NBA. Which one ranks better among basketball lovers, and why? Find out in this article.

Spalding vs Wilson basketball
Spalding and Wilson are the two top basketball brands that have partnered with the NBA. Photo: @spalding, @wilsonbasketball (Modified by author)
Source: Instagram

Table of Сontents:

Which is a better basketball, Spalding or Wilson? Several factors affect players' experience, including their skills and knowledge, shoes, court, and rim. However, ball quality also plays a significant role. Keep reading to compare Spalding vs Wilson basketball according to several online sources and find out which is the best basketball brand.

Comparing Spalding vs Wilson basketball

Spalding was founded in 1876 by Alert Goodwill Spalding. In 1884, Dr. James Naismith, the creator of basketball, asked Spalding to develop the first basketball. It became the sport's official ball. The ball underwent several improvements and became the official NBA ball in 1983, a partnership that lasted until 2021.

Wilson, known fully as Wilson Sporting Goods, was founded in 1914. In 1946, the company became the NBA's official ball supplier until 1983. After 37 years, the company partnered with the league again in 2021.

Basketballs are designed for indoor, outdoor, or indoor-outdoor use. The material used makes each suitable for the specific terrain. Another factor to consider is whether the ball will be used by learners or professional players.

What is the difference between Spalding and Wilson basketballs?

Wilson basketball
Donovan Mitchell of the Cleveland Cavaliers holds a Wilson brand official NBA basketball before a game with the Detroit Pistons on December 02, 2023, in Detroit, Michigan. Photo: Nic Antaya
Source: Getty Images

The two sporting equipment companies have produced quality products used in various sports. However, their basketballs have minimal differences that distinguish them. Some of the disparities comparing basketball's Spalding vs Wilson include:



It is made of composite leather

It is made of full-grain leather

Wilson balls have a better bounce and grip due to their cushioning

Spalding balls have less bounce and grip

Its material affects the ball's shooting consistency

They have better shooting consistency

They are available at a higher price range

The brand sells at a lower price range

Is Wilson or Spalding better?

Is Spalding or Wilson basketball better? Basketball lovers consider various factors when purchasing a ball. Both brands have unique qualities, making them a preferred choice for players and groups. According to online sources, Spalding has partnered with over 60 franchises and leagues as of April 2024, including:

  • Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL)
  • Liga Nacional de Basketball (LNB)
  • Greek Basket League (GBL)
  • Italian National Team
  • Mexican National Team
Spalding basketball
A Spalding basketball on the floor during a break in the game between the Memphis Grizzlies and the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on January 23, 2009, in New York City. Photo: Chris McGrath
Source: Getty Images

On the other hand, Wilson has collaborated with over 11 teams and associations. These include:

  • National Basketball Association (NBA)
  • Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA)
  • Basketball Champions League (BCL)
  • Basketball Africa League (BAL)
  • National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA)

Customer experience

Amazon is one of the leading e-commerce platforms globally. The site has over 85,000 reviews for 23 different balls. Wilson earned an average rating of 4.678, while Spalding's rating averaged 4.637. According to users, Wilson is better than Spalding in terms of performance and experience.

One of the best Wilson basketballs is the Wilson NBA Authentic Series Basketball. The indoor-outdoor ball is 27.5 inches in diameter and is made of composite leather. It has an inflation retention lining, seams, and channels that ensure maximum grip and control during shooting.

Spalding vs Wilson basketball NBA partnership

Wilson basketball
A Wilson basketball is pictured during the game between the Detroit Pistons and Dallas Mavericks at Little Caesars Arena on March 09, 2024, in Detroit, Michigan Photo: Nic Antaya
Source: Getty Images

Why did the NBA switch from Spalding to Wilson? Wilson and Spalding have partnered with the National Basketball Association. In 2021, the league ended its 37-year partnership with Spalding and returned to Wilson.

According to, the Wilson basketball's raw material (composite leather) makes it more durable than Spalding's. The material makes it more suitable for pro games because it has a better bounce and grip.

Frequently asked questions

Players look for specific features when choosing their balls. Here are some common questions regarding Spalding and Wilson basketballs:

Is Spalding a better brand than Wilson?

Spalding and Wilson have produced basketballs for several years. The major distinguishing factor between them is the raw material. Spalding is made of full-grain leather, while Wilson is made of composite leather, a mix of leather, and a special kind of rubber or polyurethane.

Who is the NBA's official ball partner?

Spalding basketball
The Spalding leather basketball which replaced the microfibre synthetic ball during the game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Denver Nuggets on January 2, 2007. Photo: Garrett W. Ellwood
Source: Getty Images

Spalding and Wilson have previously partnered with the NBA. Wilson was the official ball partner from 1946 to 1983, when Spalding took over the partnership until 2021. As of April 2024, Wilson is the NBA's official ball partner.

Final word

The debate about which is better between a Spalding vs Wilson basketball depends on the player and their level of play. Both brands enjoy a significant market share and are likely to keep improving their products to serve their customers better.

READ ALSO: What sports are similar to basketball?

Sports Brief published an article listing the sports that are similar to basketball. These sports have slight differences and several similarities but have attracted numerous fans in different parts of the world. Which are some of these sports?

Ringball, founded in 1907, is one of these sports. The non-contact sport started as a hoop and evolved to become one of the famous traditional sports in South Africa. Others include Korfball and Slamball. Check out the article above for a complete list of sports similar to basketball.

Grace Waruguru photo
Grace Waruguru
Grace has over 4 years of experience in article writing and digital media content creation for various local and global brands. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication (Public Relations) from Daystar University, Kenya.
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