What kind of balls do NBA pros practice with?

Spalding is the official ball of the NBA and the ball that NBA pros use and practice with on the court. However, there are also other brands such as Wilson and Under Armour that have become increasingly popular and used during their practice and official games.

Basketball is arguably one of the most popular sports in the world. Besides the right sportswear, having a ball to practice with is one of the first things a player need before getting into training or practice. There are so many brands in the market but there are only a few that players, especially NBA pros, use (and promote).

In this post, we’ll share the kind of basketball that NBA pros use and practice with and some of the best features that match the skills of these NBA players.

Spalding

Spalding

Key features:

  • Durable outdoor rubber cover (Performance Outdoor Cover)
  • Easy to grip due to deep channel designs
  • Structurally engineered for outdoor basketball
  • Follows the official NBA size and weight (comes in youth and intermediate sizes as well)
  • Two color variations
  • Great for shooters
  • Shipped inflated

Founded by Albert Goodwill Spalding and Wilmer Jesús Pisco Calvo, Spalding is one of the most famous brands in the basketball world. In fact, they are the brand responsible for bringing the first ever basketball into this world. According to the Spalding official website, Dr. James Naismith, who is the creator of the game of basketball, requested Albert Goodwill Spalding to make it. In fact in the official rules of the game, it mentions “The ball made by A.G. Spalding & Bros. shall be the official ball.”

Because the brand is dubbed as the official basketball of the NBA, the basketballs they produce are top quality and it should be, given that it is the ball used by most of the NBA pros.

Although Spalding is often used in the hardwood, the brand also makes high-quality outdoor basketballs. One of which is the Spalding NBA Street Basketball. Its durable high-performance rubber allows it to withstand friction against rough surfaces such as asphalt and concrete.

Grip-wise, this ball has deep channel designs to help players perform their ball-handling skills with ease and improve the quality of play. Aesthetically, the ball comes in two colors. One of which is the common orange, stamped with the NBA Street logo in golden linings. However, if you want to stay away from the usual orange, you also have the option to buy the Pink/Purple one           .

Because of these amazing qualities, the Spalding NBA Street Basketball is one of the best outdoor basketballs to be produced. In fact, according to Game Basketballs, this ball has been credited as the “industry standard” for other basketball manufacturers.

Overall, the Spalding NBA Street Basketball is simply designed to help players showcase their talents on concrete. With a combination of durability and unmatched gripping ability, it is a ball that is approved in the streets which makes it one of the best outdoor basketballs to have today.

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Wilson

Wilson

Key Features:

  • Official NCAA Championship and March Madness Basketball
  • Patented Laid-in channels for incredible grip
  • High definition pebbling
  • Moisture absorbing cover
  • Equipped with Cushion Core Technology
  • NCAA and NFHS Approved

With the NBA dropping Spalding earlier this year, the brand is ready to make a comeback into the NBA basketball scene, as they will come out as the official ball of the league once the 2021-2022 season tips off.

Wilson has produced iconic basketballs that players would talk about everywhere. Undeniably, it is one of the best in the market for quite some time since the Wilson Tournament Game Basketball. It was declared as the official game ball of major basketball events such as the NCAA Championships and March Madness, and there is a good reason why this ball was selected.

The Wilson Tournament Game Basketball is easy to grip because of its laid in channels that the brand itself patented. Plus, despite a pebbling texture, the ball also utilized the Cushion Core Technology which not only translates to a great bounce on the court but also an unforgettable feel. The texture gives every player’s hands a soothing sensation that allows them to improve their quality of play in terms of ball control and shooting release.

Aside from these outstanding qualities, the ball also absorbs moisture significantly which makes it a total stand out. This is made possible because of its moisture absorbing cover so that players need not worry about the amount of sweat that reaches the ball, especially during intense games.

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Under Armour

Under Armour

Key Under Armour Features:

  • Durable rubber cover
  • Utilized Butyl Bladder
  • Made for indoor and outdoor play
  • Endorsed by Stephen Curry
  • An Under Armour product

Under Armour was not really a known brand when it comes to basketball. However when Stephen Curry claimed MVP honors and his first NBA Championship, that all changed. From sneakers and apparel to basketball, Under Armour reached relevancy in the basketball realm. In terms of balls, the Under Armour Stephen Curry Basketball is one of the best basketballs in the market as it offers a sleek design while featuring durability and versatility.

Because it is a ball officially endorsed by Stephen Curry, the ball has Curry’s logo which the Golden State Warriors (GSW) and Stephen Curry fans will surely love about. But aside from Curry’s endorsement, the Under Armour ball looks relatively neat aesthetically.

In terms of durability, the ball is structurally engineered to mount all kinds of surfaces whether it is wood, asphalt, or concrete. Because of its durability, it translates to its versatility as well since players can use it for indoor and outdoor play. Furthermore, the ball is also equipped with the Under Armour GRIPSKIN rubber which also allows the user to grip the ball with ease.

Yes, the brand found a lot of success in this ball due to Stephen Curry’s rise. However, the Under Armour ball is relatively decent as it offers some great qualities that meet a standard basketball. If you love playing indoor and outdoor basketball, you might want to try this ball. At the same time, you can’t go wrong with the ball that is supported by the best shooter of today.

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Final Thoughts

For those who play indoor and outdoor basketball, the most important qualities are versatility, durability, and feel. If you’re thinking about using or purchasing a basketball that NBA pros practice with or uses in their game, you may consider one with all those qualities. Choose a ball that can take all kinds of surfaces and it’s going to be worth your investment because you can use it any time and anywhere you want to play.

More than versatility, it is important to choose a basketball that surpasses or at least matches the standards of the formal basketball scene. Hopefully, you now have an idea of what basketball NBA pros use and which you can use too in case you’re just starting or want to feel and become good like them.

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Aaron Jones

Aaron Jones

My name is Aaron and I am the owner of Make Shots. On this site, I discuss the most frequently asked basketball questions and give my opinions. My love for basketball started in 2010 and ever since I have fallen in love with the sport.
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