[EXCLUSIVE] Wilson Basketballs: The Basketballs of Now

Starting in 2021, the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the United States announced that the official game ball has changed from Spalding to Wilson. Just for a bit of background, Wilson was the original official game ball when the NBA just formed and it was only in 1983 that the NBA switched to Spalding. Although the change back to Wilson did stir up some comments from certain NBA players, it seems that all is good now in 2023.

Change may not be just in the NBA. If you play basketball in Singapore, I believe that the go-to basketball in the past years has been Molten. Whether it’s the GG7, GG7X, BG4500 or the BG5000, I’m sure you would have owned one of these in your years in the game. However, with the GG line becoming obsolete and replaced by the BG line, some basketball players started to have issues with the ball.

Basketball players in Singapore are starting to find alternatives and that’s why I’m here to do a little comparison between two of the basketballs from Wilson so to help in your decision. The two models we will be looking at are the Wilson NBA Authentic Indoor Basketball and Wilson NBA Forge Pro Basketball.

NBA Authentic Indoor BasketballNBA Forge Pro Basketball

Materials:
Authentic Indoor: 4.5/5
Forge Pro: 4/5

If we look into the technical specifications of both these two basketballs on the Wilson website, it says that both feature a PureFeel Cover and are made up of composite leather. I would say that from the get go, they don’t really feel that similar. Both are a little on the firmer side but the composite leather on the Authentic Indoor feels much more premium whereas the Forge Pro seems to be a little on the rubbery side. 

Grip:
Authentic Indoor: 4/5
Forge Pro:4.5/5

It’s very close to be honest and if you ask me, both basketballs worked really well in the grip department. First of all, the grip pattern on both basketballs are still the traditional textured with tiny round and flat nubs across the whole ball. Some brands have opted to a fully leather surface without additional texture but honestly that doesn’t bode well with me, The difference comes when we look into the tackiness. The Forge Pro features the RealGrip Coating which could be the reason it feels a little rubbery but regardless makes the ball a little grippier than the Authentic Indoor. For those with sweaty palms, I would recommend the Forge Pro.

Bounce:
Authentic Indoor: 5/5
Forge Pro: 5/5

In the bounce department, I know it’s very subjective what kind of bounce a person might prefer but in general. The Authentic Indoor and the Forge Pro are more or less identical. Both feature Wilson’s Ever Bounce construction and both get the job done. The bounce is very consistent throughout the balls. Nothing else to say here

Durability:
Authentic Indoor: 4/5
Forge Pro: 4/5 

Now to the durability. So I would say that both balls are able  to handle both indoor and outdoor courts to a certain extent. Also, given that the similar materials used, the durability is pretty much the same. They are both relatively durable and it’s safe to take them outdoors, especially in Singapore where people predominantly play. That said, the Forge Pro does seem to be just a little bit more durable as there seems to be some chafe marks on the Authentic Indoor. The marks may be from the Coating that is on the Forge Pro or could be something to do with the slightly rubbery composite leather. 

Conclusion: 
Overall I would say that both the Wilson NBA Authentic Indoor Basketball and the Wilson NBA Forge Pro Basketball are solid performers and if you are someone who likes a ball that is not gimmicky and really gets the job done. If you like the premium leather feel in a ball and not a ball that sticks to your hands too much, then I would say the Authentic Indoor would be the ball for you. If you are someone who likes more grip, then go with the Forge Pro. Oh, and not to forget, both balls come with Wilson’s Air Retention Lining which means more time playing less time pumping! 

Wilson has also released two limited edition Wilson Alliance Series Commemorative NBA Autograph Basketballs: Gold & Platinum. 

Inspired by the Larry O’Brien Trophy, the Wilson Alliance Series Commemorative NBA Autograph Basketballs are actually versions of the Wilson NBA Authentic Indoor Basketballs but featuring an autograph-friendly surface material. This allows you to make the whole ball your canvas, whether it’s letting your favourite players or friends sign the ball, or creating a custom design! You will have free reign over how you want your ball to look, and that’s on top of that beautiful gold or platinum surface!