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Spalding NBA Official Game Ball Basketball (2014) with Retail Packaging
|Price:||$122.98 & FREE Shipping|
|You Save:||$47.01 (28%)|
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- The original NBA official game ball returns as the Classic
- Made from the finest full grain leather to provide exceptional feel and touch
- Meets all stringent official size and weight specifications set by the NBA
- Recommended for top-level competitive indoor play
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The Spalding® NBA® Official Game Basketball has been the official game ball of the NBA® since 1983. This indoor basketball features a full-grain leather cover that provides exceptional feel and touch, setting the standard for ultimate performance and playability.
A Division of Russell Brands, LLC, Spalding is the largest basketball equipment supplier in the world, and America's first baseball company. Spalding is the official basketball of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), the official backboard of the NBA and NCAA, the official baseball of the Little League World Series, the official volleyball of the King of the Beach Volleyball Tour and of the "Pro Beach Series" and the official football of Pop Warner. In addition to being a leading producer and marketer of basketballs, footballs, volleyballs and soccer balls, Spalding produces softballs under the Dudley brand. The SPALDING and DUDLEY trademarks are owned by Russell Brands, LLC.See all Product description
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Legal DisclaimerPlay with the same ball the Pros use! The Spalding Official NBA Indoor Leather 29.5 Mens Game Basketball is the same full grain leather ball used in NBA games. Used for indoor play only. Recommended for males 12+
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I must note that all the basketballs are at 8psi (which is the median of the nba psi standards of 7.5-8.5psi).
The official NBA Ball comes out of the box really slick. It feels cheap but not like a $10 rubber ball that you'd find at a toy store or the promotional balls you'd get from Pizza Hut years ago. A leather ball feels completely different from any ball a non-competitive player has played with. Most of us that play basketball for fun usually just played with any ball. Over time, recreational players get used to the feel these balls have and that's why they are quick to shoot down the NBA ball.
When I brought both NBA ball types to games (leather and composite), most players thought that the leather NBA ball was the ball that was rejected by the NBA players. They were so sure of it. On the flip side, they thought that the NBA composite ball was the current basketball used. Obviously they never played with anything of this grade and didn't know what a leather ball felt like.
Initially, the leather ball feels heavier as a reviewer said and takes a long time to break in. The best method of breaking it in for me was a two part process. 1. I got some leather conditioner, rubbed it with a rag and let it dry. 2. The next day I would go and shoot around with it for a few hours. Dribbling breaks it in and with this conditioner, it broke it at a faster rate. Now that it's broken in, it's an absolutely fantastic ball. Nothing comes close to it. The more you play with it, the better it feels. It holds air really well and doesn't leave scuff marks on your hands. However, it is a real sensitive ball and has a couple noticeable scuff marks. About a half inch each. Doesn't affect the ball outside of ruining the perfect image you see in the product description. I must note that all the balls used have the same PSI (about 7.5, which is the median based on NBA rules).
I am a short player and have small hands. I don't have any problems with this ball. I have to disagree with another reviewer about having to be a "man-child" or needing to be strong to use this ball. It's still a ball! It feels lighter as you break it in but that may also be due to getting used to playing with it. I did notice that it is more forgiving on the rim as a shooter and as many people have said, "it feels right". What does this mean? You would have to shoot around with it when it is broken in to feel the same way. When it is not broken in, it may feel too slick, slippery and may be frustrating to use. Don't lose your patience or give it a bad review until you break it in. I also think it has a distinct sound when you get nothing-but-net. It's a better sound and makes you want to continue to make swishes. I use this ball in a league I play in as well as the other balls mentioned in this review and for our team at least, our shooting percentage is higher with the leather NBA ball. There are a lot of variables of game shooting but just wanted to make a note of that.
The NBA composite ball feels great when you start playing with it. Everyone on my rec. team preferred it initially because it has a soft and nice grip. After it got broken in a bit, it began to leave little burns on the tips of my fingers and on the inside of my palms. Since I've broken it in even more, it lost the great grip but it's still pretty solid. I don't think it's incredibly slippery when wet but it's not like the leather ball. When the leather ball is wet, it actually feels better. That's probably why you see Steve Nash lick his fingers as he dribbles up court. You don't need the leather ball to be wet to feel nice but it does feel nice wet when other composite balls feel slightly slippery. In the end, some people don't give the composite ball a chance because it was rejected by the NBA players. They automatically say it's trash without playing with it. I think it's the best composite basketball out there. It would be my number 2 basketball from the basketballs listed here. Since it's hard to find the defunct NBA composite basketball, I doubt most people will have the option to test it for themselves. (update: When I first wrote this, I did believe it was the best composite out there but I feel that it has declined to the point where I cannot stand by that comment. It IS the best composite ball until you reach a certain point and then it declines. I haven't played with it as much of late due to the recent declines. I have played with other composite balls nearly as much and they did not decline as fast as the NBA composite).
The Wilson Solution (official college ball) is a great ball as well but also of the composite variety. It's nice overall but for the price, I'd rather have the official nba ball or the TF 1000. This is the same for the Wilson Evolution. Both Wilson balls are good but they are too spongy for my taste. I have a Solution and a couple of my teammates have Evolutions. I like the Solution better.
The TF 1000 (official high school ball) is also a nice ball and has great grip and feel. The reason why it's so popular is that the grip is nearly as good as the NBA comp. ball but without the bad press. The newer ZK Pro feels very similar to the Wilson Solution yet it's cheaper in price. Better yet, The TF-1000 composite, the cheaper model to the ZK Pro feels better than the more expensive ZK Pro out of the box. The catch is after you play with both of them for awhile, the TF-1000 composite fades in quality while the ZK-Pro holds up better. I guess the durability is what makes the ZK Pro worth 20 dollars more.-- The cheaper 'microfiber composite' TF-1000 ball actually feels better than the ZK Pro. Initially the price difference was 20 dollars but now you can find the difference to be $5-$10. I think they are close in quality but the ZK-Pro seems a bit bouncier and provides longer rebounds, which I find to be a sign of the ball being too spongy. I find this to be true with the Wilson basketballs. I do not find this to be much of a problem with the 'microfiber' or the nba composite basketball.
For those on the fence, the ZK pro or the TF-1000 composite ball may be your best bet. If you're used to playing with a rubber, composite ball, you will probably be the most satisfied with the TF balls. For quality and durability, I would suggest spending a little extra on the NBA ball. I've had all of these basketballs for a year or more and while the TF's, Wilsons and the NBA composite are nice, the quality seems to fade over time while the leather NBA ball just seems to keep getting better with each indoor run.
Finally, there are many good basketballs out there. I have played and liked the Molten GL7, The Baden Lexum Elite and the Nike 4005 balls. You won't go wrong with any of these basketballs--- But if 'on a desert island', I would go with the NBA leather basketball over any ball out there. If I couldn't afford the NBA leather basketball, I would go with the TF-1000 microfiber composite although you are aware that the TF-1000s do have a relatively short shelf life compared to their leather counterparts.
I read some of the reviews and I respect the opinions. I have to disagree with the negative reviews though. You must not know what a leather ball should be like is all I can say. I even thought, based on the reviews, that when I got a new one I wouldn't like it until I broke it in. Not true at all. I love it! I feels just like I remember leather balls should feel like. The best thing is, it will only get better with use! I love that it gets more grippy when it get's wet. I love the way it feels and feel like I could make every shot with it. I don't have the biggest hands and I remember being able to palm basketballs in highshool as they got more moister. I can do the same thing with this one right out of the box. I can't imagine anyone not liking this ball. I could not be any happier with my purchase!
I watched Youtube videos of each of of these balls being manufactured--really very interesting to me. The football (The Duke) is made in the USA by Wilson. Rawlings makes the baseball in Costa Rica. When I watched the video purporting to depict the Spalding basketball being made, everyone in the video was American. When I saw this basketball was made in China, I was off-put! Only later did I realize that the Spalding video showed Americans TESTING the balls, not manufacturing them.
Spalding moved its manufacturing to China a few years ago. They still use Horween Leather that is made here in America.
I ordered my basketball Monday via Amazon Prime, and it arrived yesterday (Wed.) afternoon.
It is fully inflated, and carries David Stern’s signature. It smells great, and did not have nearly as slick of finish on it as I had expected after reading many of these reviews. The “fit and finish” seemed very well done to me.
I took it to the gym and put it through its paces, and just really enjoyed myself as I played with the real deal.
Now I’ve got the official game ball of three major American sports and am exceptionally pleased because I think the genuine article is quite a bit better than the imitations.
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