Saturday marks Adam Silver’s first day on the job as NBA Commissioner, and one minor but historic change that has been in the works for the past couple of months will take place beginning with the games of Feb. 1.
Beginning with the 1983-84 season, Spalding has been the provider of basketballs to the league, and with David Stern beginning his reign as Commissioner the very same season, his signature has appeared on official game balls ever since.
That changes Saturday night, so here are some fun facts about the new official game balls from a league release:
– It is the exact same ball as David Stern-signed ball – minus the signature change; made at same factories at same time as current balls.
– Every game ball is factory bounced 50 times and must meet standards for circumference, weight, out of round and rebound.
– Air pressure is checked before game and captains pick from three balls.
– The process for applying Adam’s signature to the official ball began in early 2013. Adam signed two index cards with a Sharpie and selected the best and cleanest version of his signature.
As for collectors seeking to cop a David Stern ball before they all disappear, there should still be some time. The official word on the retail front is that Spalding will manage its inventory down accordingly, which should mean that some will continue be available for a short while longer.