In the basketball world, people often have strong and passionate opinions that they must express so the world can know how they really feel about the subject at hand. Hoopers are always debating things such as who the G.O.A.T. or what the best pair of basketball shoes are. Today though, the debate is much more important. It's a debate that might not ever come to an end no matter how many times it's discussed and that is: Which basketball is the best one to hoop with?
It is difficult to determine a single brand that is the most beloved by players as it ultimately comes down to personal preference. Each brand has its own unique features and are great in their own way. This list will only include the best of the best and nothing less than that. Lets begin!
Nike is a well-known sports brand that has made a significant impact on the basketball industry. We know they can make a great shoe, but if I had to choose another product made with the same type of quality and care then basketballs would be a close second. They are known for producing basketballs with innovative technology, such as their Nike Premier Team Basketball which features a unique grip design to help players better handle the ball. Nike is a popular choice among younger players who are looking for a stylish and high-performance basketball, but it should be considered one of the greatest basketballs of all time. The softness and feel of a Nike basketball are 10/10. The way it comes off the hands when you shoot, the way it makes contact with the rim and the way it sounds hitting the hardwood are all reasons why Nike basketballs should be in the running for one of the best basketballs ever made.
FIBA basketballs are the official basketballs of international basketball competitions, and they have been trusted by professional and amateur players alike for their high-quality construction and regulation standards. But what do players really have to say about these basketballs? As a hooper who has played with almost every type of basketball, I think FIBA basketballs are great! Just not THE greatest. In my opinion, they sometimes feel too heavy when shooting them, as it feels like you have to use noticeably more strength to shoot shots that you normally do not even have to think about. The smooth feeling in your hand and lack of distinct grooves do make the ball feel VERY comfortable while dribbling though. Is it the best basketball to ever exist though? That's for you to decide.
We all know about our Spalding since it's been one of the go-to basketballs for players for quite some time. Spalding basketballs are durable and reliable, but does that mean it's the best basketball to grace the courts? For me, Spaldings at the college and high school levels do not give me the satisfaction that I feel I should get while playing with them. I do not particularly love the grip nor do I have anything specific that I like about it. It just seems to be there existing in the world of basketballs without any real significance.
But, the Spalding distaste was only aimed at the Spaldings of high school and college. While it feels like some basketballs aren't basketballing like they used to, there is one particular Spalding that will have my gratitude forever and that is the NBA Spalding. An NBA Spalding basketball, especially one that has been broken in is close to being one of the greatest things to ever appear on a basketball court. And when I say broken in, I am not talking about 3 months of hooping. I mean the dirty brown Spalding that has wear and tear on its body. The Spalding has at least 5-7 years of mileage and thousands upon thousands of shots accredited to it. THAT Spalding is giving any basketball a run for its money. Including the final basketball on this list.
The Wilson is beloved by many and hated by few. Wilson is such a great basketball brand due to its wide range and variety along with its feel and comfort. Almost every version of a Wilson is perfect in its own way. The 'Evo' Wilson used at the high school level is top tier. The Evolution Wilson is in a world of its own with feel and popularity. You can walk into a gym on any given day and you might see 4 different people with evolution basketballs. The NCAA Wilson's in college is one of my personal favorites due to the leather and grip. I have never played with an NBA Wilson but I can just assume that it can do no wrong after it's broken in. Wilsons at every level is amazing and that speaks volumes to their basketball brand.
While many different hoopers will have many different opinions on the best basketball to hoop with, it will be hard to find a hooper who does not have one of these brands at least in their top two. Right now I think Wilson's are in my number one spot for the best basketball to hoop with due to their versatility and reliability. Which basketball is your all-time favorite when it comes to getting buckets?