Spalding is perhaps the most respected and popular brand when it comes to basketballs. Spalding, a brainchild of Albert Goodwill Spalding, was created in 1876, and was the first firm to manufacture balls specifically for the game of basketball. According to the survey website epinions.com, Spalding is the global market leader in basketballs, rivaling the popularity of other basketball brands like Nike, Wilson, Rawlings, and Mikasa.
Spalding has been NBA’s officially recognized ball since 1983. Almost all reviewers on Epinions gave five star ratings to Spalding balls. Spalding balls are considered extremely durable, suited to both outdoor and indoor play. Another factor in their favor is cost- they are not as expensive as other basketballs like Nike. For example, a Spalding All Surface Composite Leather ball sells on SportDepot.com for around $30. As the name suggests, this ball is good for both indoor and outdoor play. It has a soft composite leather shell, marked with deep channels to enhance grip and bounce.
The NBA (and WNBA) basketballs manufactured by Spalding measures 29.5″ in circumference (28.5″ for the women’s match). That is, official size 7 for men and 6 for women. The men’s basketball is pebbled with a density approaching 122 per square inch, and this helps retain a good bounce for a longer time. This ball has a leather cover, suited only to indoor play. The wide channel design ensures smooth bounce.
The Spalding Rubber Men’s basketball is manufactured according to the requisite NBA specifications, and it is good for both outdoor and indoor play. It has a circumference of 29.5″. This brown colored ball has the NBA logo imprinted on it.
The latest, and very popular, Spalding basketball lines are the TF 100 and TF 1000. These balls are used by basketball pros during official matches, and are retailed on many sports websites like SportsDepot.
Apart from the official basketballs, Spalding also manufactures other kinds of balls like the Leather Mini basketballs, which are sold by OnlineSports.com.