Nuggets’ Mike Malone On Complaints About Wilson Ball: ‘It’s A Round Ball’

Some NBA players have sort of hinted that the new Wilson basketballs are negatively affecting their shooting percentages.Michael Malone

Nuggets coach Michael Malone, though, doesn’t buy it.

“It’s a round ball,” Malone told reporters, via Mike Singer of the Denver Post.

The NBA switched its official ball manufacturer from Spalding to Wilson before the start of the season. The league had used Spalding basketballs since 1983.

The players union has met to discuss the Wilson balls, but so far, nothing has come of it. The NBA isn’t likely to switch back, anyway.

“We’re all still adjusting to (the new ball),” Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum said, via RealGM.

Clippers star Paul George echoed similar sentiments last month.

“It’s a different basketball,” George said. “It doesn’t have the same touch and softness that the Spalding ball had.”

Some around the league have even suggested the ball is the reason for declining field-goal percentages — though the players themselves have not gone quite that far.

“Several star players have gotten off to rough starts, but none have directly blamed the ball for their early-season shooting challenges,” RealGM wrote.

When the switch was announced, NBA director of global partnerships Sal LaRocca indicated that the Wilson ball could be around for a while.

“Wilson is highly regarded in the basketball world,” LaRocca told Yahoo Sports. “In the first 74 NBA seasons, Wilson had the first 37 and Spalding had the next 37. So, our running joke is these partnerships may change every 37 years.”

The Wilson basketball is also used in the European and Australian pro leagues. Along with that Wilson is the official supplier of NFL footballs, and has been since 1941.

Wilson is also the official basketball supplier of the NCAA.

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