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Spalding Rumors

In 2006, when the NBA and Spalding tried to change to a basketball made of synthetic material, it was a bigger fiasco than the weight room at the last NCAA women’s tournament. This time, Arena said, the NBA worked with teams and the players’ union to develop the new game ball. It was introduced at the NBA draft combine in June, is endorsed by Trae Young and Jamal Murray, and has started to be distributed to NBA teams. Chris Brickley, a top NBA skills trainer and consultant with Wilson, helped develop the new ball and has been using it in his workouts for several months. “They didn’t try to reinvent the wheel and make some special basketball,” he told me. “They kept it simple. They kept it how the NBA basketball has been.”
Spalding isn’t ready to tank. Vice president Matt Murphy said in an interview that its market share grew over the past year. It still has its name on all those NBA and college backboards. It remains the official ball of leagues from high schools to FIBA to the legendary Drew in Los Angeles. It plans to release a new portable hoop that can be assembled in half an hour. “We truly believe that as long as we continue to innovate and deliver the very best products,” Murphy said, “we’re going to be the go-to brand for the player, for the athlete, for any person engaging with the game, whether it be in their driveway or in an arena or a gym or a park.”