NBA players are notoriously finnicky when it comes to the basketball. Several years back, when the NBA tried to change to a synthetic ball, complaints were so loud that the league switched back to their original leather ball mid-season.
Now, it’s happening again.
After years of Spalding providing the NBA with its game balls, the league switched to Wilson. Wilson said they have tried to replicate the ball as well as possible, but players aren’t buying it.
NBPA President C.J. McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers said, “We’re all still adjusting to (the new ball).” McCollum later added that he planned to discuss with players around the league to “get feedback” on the ball.
Paul George of the LA Clippers was more direct in his criticism of the Wilson ball. George said he wouldn’t use the ball as an excuse, but that “it’s a different basketball. It doesn’t have the same touch and softness that the Spalding ball had.”
Many around the league have suggested that the new Wilson ball has been a factor in shooting percentages dropping around the league to open the 2021-22 season. Several star players have gotten off to rough starts, but none have directly blamed the ball for their early-season shooting challenges.