Best basketball Thrifter 2021
Control is one of the most important factors when it comes to purchasing a basketball. Directing the ball just where you want it to go is crucial to actually scoring points in the game, but not every ball is as easy to grip and control as the next. Durability and cover material are two other factors that can seriously affect how you're playing the game as well. If you're ready to bring your skills to the next level, this guide to the best basketballs is a good place to start.
- Best basketball: Spalding NBA Zi/O Indoor-Outdoor 29.5" Basketball
- NCAA Favorite: Wilson NCAA Killer Crossover Basketball
- Choose your color: Champion Sports Official Heavy Duty Rubber Cover Nylon Basketball
- Made for outdoor play: Spalding NBA Varsity Outdoor Basketball
- Widely used: Wilson Evolution Game Basketball
- In or out: AND1 Chaos Rubber Basketball
- NBA-approved: Spalding NBA Official Game Ball
Best basketball: Spalding NBA Zi/O Indoor-Outdoor 29.5" BasketballStaff Pick
Spalding's NBA Zi/O Basketball is the same size and weight as the basketballs used in official NBA games. It has a foam-backed design, is suitable for use indoors or outside, and has a soft and slightly tacky cover that makes it easy to palm. Plus, it's shipped already inflated so you can start playing right when it arrives.
NCAA Favorite: Wilson NCAA Killer Crossover Basketball
The Killer Crossover basketball has a sponge rubber cover and pebbled channels for increased grip and control on any surface. It's designed to help you change pace and direction as you're moving down the court, and it even features a pressure lock bladder to maintain optimal ball pressure.
Choose your color: Champion Sports Official Heavy Duty Rubber Cover Nylon Basketball
Fitted with composition rubber covers, these basketballs are available in multiple colors and several different sizes. Young ballers will especially love the smaller sizes. Champion's basketballs also feature a nylon-wound 2-ply butyl bladder for maximum air retention.
Made for outdoor play: Spalding NBA Varsity Outdoor Basketball
The Spalding NBA Varsity basketball is best suited for outdoor play thanks to its premium rubber cover. It's the same size and weight as the balls used in official NBA games, and there are even a few different colors to choose from.
Widely used: Wilson Evolution Game Basketball
Wilson's Evolution basketball is the preferred game ball in high schools around the United States. This indoor basketball has a cushion core carcass that makes it soft to the touch and easier to grip. Laid-in composite channels provide enhanced control while its premium Evo microfiber composite cover offers excellent durability.
In or out: AND1 Chaos Rubber Basketball
This full-size basketball by And1 is designed for use anywhere, whether indoors or outside. It's made from high-quality rubber material and has advanced deep channel construction for improved ball grip and control. Unlike many other options, this ball even comes with an air pump to keep it inflated.
NBA-approved: Spalding NBA Official Game Ball
While this certainly won't be the ball for everyone, it's hard to argue that there's a better basketball than this. This is the "gold standard" of basketballs and is the exact same ball used in official NBA games. It's constructed with full-grain leather, wide channels, and is intended for indoor use only.
When buying a basketball, it helps to remember that not every ball is made to be used everywhere. Certain balls like the Spalding NBA Official Game Ball are designed to be used on indoor courts only, while other basketballs like the And1 Chaos Rubber Basketball are suitable for play indoors or outside. Another important factor is size; if you're buying a basketball for a child for instance, you can purchase select balls in smaller sizes that will be a better fit in small hands.
The Spalding NBA Zi/O Basketball rose to the top of our list thanks to its versatility and ease of use. This ball is the same size and weight as those that are used in official NBA games. It has a foam-backed design allows for a solid bounce while the soft Zi/O Tournament composite cover makes the ball easy to palm. Best of all, this ball can be used inside or outdoors and is shipped already inflated.
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