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Best Basketballs To Buy: Spalding, Wilson or Under Armour?

Best Basketballs To Buy: Spalding, Wilson or Under Armour?

With the warm months quickly — and forever — approaching, we’re going to look at the best basketballs to buy. We’ve narrowed it down to just Spalding, Wilson and Under Armour even before making this list, so hopefully it’s helpful for readers. A nice reminder, as well, that there’s a big difference between indoor and outdoor basketballs. If you’re buying for yourself or a loved one, mark sure you don’t accidentally buy an indoor ball for outdoor purposes.

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world. Usually it doesn’t matter if it’s Spalding, Wilson or Under Armour. Because of this, almost everyone who loves the sport owns a basketball. Having your own basketball is quite special because there are a lot of good memories that you can make with it, whether it is playing with your friends in the basketball park and making new ones, a great shooting performance during a pick up game, a memorable shoot-around session with your father, or simply just dribbling in your room when you’re bored. Aside from the sneakers, jerseys, and other basketball apparel, the ball itself is arguably the next best thing that one can enjoy from the sport.

There are multiple brands in the market that sell basketballs, but for this piece we’re taking a look at the three best basketballs to buy — Spalding, Wilson, and Under Armour.

Spalding NBA Street Basketball

Best Basketballs To Buy: Spalding, Wilson or Under Armour?

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.”

Aside from being the first brand to make the basketball, Spalding has also been the official basketball of the NBA since 1983, which is more than 30 years. Other than the NBA, it is worth noting that it was also declared as the official ball of other professional leagues like the WNBA and Euroleague. It is also the main ball of the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament and the Rucker League. Because of these partnerships, Spalding is arguably the most popular basketball right now.

Because the brand is dubbed as the official basketball of the NBA, the basketballs they produce are top-tier and it should be, given that it is the ball used by the best professional basketball players in the world.

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 the friction against rough surfaces such as asphalt and concrete. Furthermore in terms of grip, this ball possesses deep channel designs to help players perform their ball-handling skills with ease which often translates to an improvement in the quality of play. Aesthetically, the ball comes in two color ways. One of which is the common orange, stamped with the NBA Street logo in golden linings. However, if you want to veer away from the usual orange, you also have the option to buy the ball in Pink/Purple coloration.

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 is touted to be 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.

Buy Spalding Basketball At Fanatics$35

Spalding NBA Zi/O Indoor/Outdoor Basketball

Best Basketballs To Buy: Spalding, Wilson or Under Armour?

Key Features:

  • Follows the official NBA size and weight (Comes in intermediate size as well)
  • Made for both indoor and outdoor basketball
  • Foam design for great grip and feel of the ball
  • Zi/O Tournament Composite Cover
  • Shipped inflated

Another notable basketball produced by the brand is the Spalding NBA Zi/O Indoor/Outdoor Basketball. After being in the market for more than a year now, the Zi/O Basketball is one of Spalding balls that has received tremendous feedback from its customers.

Some aspects of the Spalding NBA Zi/O Indoor/Outdoor Basketball that stand out are its versatility and durability. Its versatility stems from the Zi/O tournament composite cover while also be ping equipped with a foam backed design. With the help of a foam backed design, the players benefits from the incredible grip and feel for the ball. Furthermore, its tournament composite cover, which is comprised of a pebbling texture, also allows the ball to endure different kinds of surfaces such as wood, concrete, or asphalt.

The Zi/O makes a case as the most practical basketball for the baller who plays both indoors and outdoors. According to Baller’s Guide, the ball does not have a terribly rough texture that is common in other outdoor basketballs which often does not offer a great feel. Indoor wise, you can expect the Zi/O to replicate the standard indoor basketball features in terms of size, weight, and rotation. It is worth noting this is one of the balls that follows the official NBA standards.

If you’re a player who brings their game to any basketball environment, then this is the right ball for you.

Buy Spalding Basketball At Amazon$30

Wilson Tournament Game Basketball

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

Aside from Spalding, another brand that has been the NBA’s official ball is Wilson. The brand has been in the sporting goods industry since 1913. Originally, the company was supposed to make use of slaughterhouse byproducts. However when Thomas E. Wilson was named as the president, the company’s direction took a major shift. With Wilson feeling strongly about entering the athletic market, the company acquired Hetzinger Knitting Mills. Eventually, Wilson expanded the product line that included basketball.  Later on, Wilson would serve as the sole basketball manufacturer of the NBA in 1946 and 37 seasons later.

Wilson has been the common fixture in the high school and college basketball landscape. In fact, Wilson and NCAA has had a partnership since 2002 and will continue until the 2020-2021 season. However with the NBA dropping Spalding earlier this year, the brand is ready to make a comeback into the NBA basketball scene, as they have been declared the official ball of the league once the 2021-2022 season tips off.

Wilson has produced iconic basketballs that players would rave about. There is no question that one of the best in the market for quite some time has been 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 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. In addition to this, 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 stands out. This is made possible because of its moisture absorbing cover so that players need not to worry about the amount of sweat that reaches the ball, especially during intense games that will define a student athlete’s career.

If you want a ball that favors you during defining moments, then there is not a lot better than the Wilson Tournament Game Basketball. With a great feel and grip, it is definitely one of the best balls appropriate for the brightest stage. Because of this, this is a great ball to have for any player who wants to shine bright.

Buy Wilson Basketball At Amazon$59

Wilson NCAA Replica Game Basketball

Best Basketballs To Buy: Spalding, Wilson or Under Armour?

Key Features:

  • Official Basketball of the NCAA Championships
  • Patented laid-in channels for incredible grip
  • Equipped with Cushion Core Technology
  • Moisture absorbing cover
  • Made for indoor and outdoor play
  • Two color variations

Speaking of being the official ball of the NCAA Championships, the Wilson NCAA Replica does a perfect job in imitating the qualities of the original NCAA Tournament game ball. Just like its original version, the ball possesses the patented technologies of the brand such as the Cushion Core Technology and the laid-in channel design. Because of this, the grip of this ball remains at the top-tier, remaining true to the Wilson brand of basketball in terms of unmatched feel. Aside from these established Wilson brand features, the replica also possesses the moisture absorbing abilities that prevent any sweat from compromising a player’s moves on the court.

The big difference maker between the Wilson NCAA Replica Game Ball and the Tournament Game Ball is that the former extends its functionality into outdoor play. With the Replica Game Ball, it is more practical for the player who showcases his talents on the hardwood and also participates in pick up games in concrete or asphalt. The Replica Game Ball is more versatile, as it caters to a lot of leisure players who want to use a formal basketball in the hardwood or the streets. Another difference is that the Replica has more color options. Aside from the traditional orange pattern, Wilson also offers it in a pink color way.

Given that it possesses all the great qualities of a Wilson ball and combined with its versatility to extend its use in the outdoors, you can barely ask for more. Personally, this makes a case to be the best basketball in this in terms of practicality, versatility, and feel.

Buy Wilson Basketball At Amazon$29

Wilson Killer Crossover Basketball

Key Features:

  • Equipped with All Surface Cover and Deep Channel Construction for the ideal grip
  • Made with Premium Carcass Construction to withstand hard conditions
  • Made with Optima Rubber
  • Made for indoor and outdoor play
  • Comes in six colorations

Orange has been a common pattern for basketballs. However, if you want to a basketball with multiple color ways without compromising functionality, the Wilson Killer Crossover Basketball is the most ideal. It is a ball that definitely stands out in terms of style as the brand offers it in six different color ways partnered with white which includes lime, blue, black, red, orange, and Carolina. Although it is not the ideal basketball for a formal basketball competition due to its extreme colors, the ball is definitely a must have for recreational players who just want to enjoy the game of basketball while having a ball that has a lot of style.

Even though the colors move away from the traditional design, the Killer Crossover maintains the good qualities of the Wilson brand of basketball. In terms of the texture of the ball, it is made with Optima Rubber in order for the player to have a great feel off the ball, which helps in ball control. At the same time, the ball is also versatile, as you can use it on a wooden court or on rougher surfaces such as concrete or asphalt. Even with tougher surfaces, the ball is built to withstand the friction due to its Premium Carcass Construction.

Overall, it is a kind of ball that offers versatility and uniqueness in style without sacrificing the qualities of a good basketball. Thus, the Wilson Killer Crossover Basketball is definitely one of the masterpieces of the brand.

Buy Wilson Basketball At Amazon$21

Wilson Evolution Game Basketball

Key Features:

  • Microfiber composite leather cover
  • Laid-in composite channels
  • Equipped with Cushion Core Technology
  • Moisture-wicking
  • High definition pebbling
  • Available in eight designs
  • Comes in Official, Intermediate, and Youth sizes
  • Approved by NFHS

If you love Wilson basketballs, then you will extremely love the Wilson Evolution Game Basketball. Wilson continues to improve on their success in making quality basketballs, and there is no question that the Evolution Game Ball manifests that. It is worth noting that this is the number one best-selling basketball in America today.

The Evolution Game Ball is truly a work of art. While it is equipped with Wilson’s classic technologies such as the Cushion Core Technology, Moisture-wicking ability, and laid-in composite channels, the ball combines these with the premium EVO microfiber composite cover which heightens the already great feel of Wilson Balls. Thus, the texture of the ball offers a unique sensation that players can never get enough of. Because of the microfiber composite leather cover, it not only improves ball control and grip but also the durability of the ball. As a result, it is the hottest indoor basketball in the market right now.

It is hard to think of any other basketball that can match the feel and grip that the Wilson Evolution Game Basketball offers. In terms of functionality indoor wise, this ball is in a class of its own. It is not the best-selling basketball in America for nothing.

Buy Wilson Basketball At Amazon$65

Under Armour Stephen Curry Basketball

Best Basketballs To Buy: Spalding, Wilson or 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 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 contains Curry’s logo which is definitely a must have for Golden State Warriors and Stephen Curry diehard fans. But aside from Curry’s endorsement, the Under Armour ball looks relatively neat aesthetically. More importantly, in terms of durability, the ball is structurally engineered to tolerate 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, this isn’t a bad ball to have. At the same time, you can’t go wrong with the ball that is supported by the best shooter of today.

Buy Under Armour Basketball At Amazon$27

Best Basketball to Buy: Wilson Replica Game Basketball

As someone who often plays indoor and outdoor basketball, the most important qualities are versatility, durability, and feel. Because of this, I believe the Wilson Replica Game Ball possesses a balance of those qualities. With a ball that can take on all kinds of surfaces, you know it is worth your investment because you can use it any time and anywhere you want to play the sport.

Aside from the versatility, it already possesses the features of the NCAA Championship basketball which tells you that it surpasses the standards of the formal basketball scene. But more importantly, the versatility combined with the outstanding feel is what made the ball the best one to buy for me. Although the Wilson Evolution Game Basketball seems to have a better grip and feel, it still hasn’t extended into outdoor play which is common for recreational or pick-up basketball.

Given that the Wilson Replica Game Ball can be played indoors and outdoors combined with the amazing qualities of the Wilson brand, this ball is the most practical one to buy. Sorry to Under Armour and all the other solid basketballs to buy.