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After playing basketball for over 30 plus years, it is safe to say I have used many kinds of basketball.  From outdoor rubber, flexible composite to genuine leather, I have sampled just about every ball out there.

In this article I put 4 of the top selling basketballs to the test to see which is the best of the best.

The Contenders

  1. Wilson Evolution
  2. Wilson Evo NXT
  3. Spalding Precision TF-1000
  4. Molten BG5000

The Testing Criteria

To compare the balls, I used a combination of subjective and objective test to determine the winner.

The test areas were:

  1. Weight
  2. Actual Size
  3. Dribble Feel
  4. Shooting Percentage
  5. Air Retention


The standard weight for an NBA basketball is roughly 1.4 pounds for balls with a pressure between 7.-8.5 psi for this test I used my bathroom scale to weigh each ball involved in the test. After weighing the basketballs, a precise measurement was not attainable as my scale only displayed half pounds. I assume it was rounding the weight to either a pound or a half pound. A full score is given to balls that come within .1 pounds of the standard weight, 3 for .3 pounds from standard, 2 .5 pounds and 1 for 1 pound variance.

Actual Size

This test provided the most surprises. While the official size for a men’s basketball is 29.5,” measuring the balls produced different results. I aired all the balls to the same 8psi to get an independent variable and then whipped out my soft tape measure to determine the size. A full score is given to balls that come within .1 inch of the standard size, 3 for .3 inches from standard, 2 .5 inches and 1 for 1+ inch variance.

Dribble Feel

This test was a strictly subjective test where I went through a dribble warm-up that included between the legs, spin moves and in/out crossovers to see what ball gave the most confidence. I then ranked the balls from best to worst with 4 being the most points.

Shooting Percentage

This was a simple shooting drill in which I shot from the extended 3 and performed around the world. I used the app Homecourt to track my shooting percentage as I made 2 in a row at each spot to progress to the next. Once I completed the test with all 4 balls, I ranked each based on my shooting percentage.

Air Retention

This last test was boring but useful. Over the years I have had basketballs that always needed to be aired up after not playing with them for a while. This test revealed that certain manufactures have better build quality than others. A seeping basketball requires attention before you can enjoy it and can hinder your experience if you do not always have an air pump nrea by. Like the earlier tests, once air pressure was measured on the basketballs, a ranking wasassigned to reflect which balls held its air the best.

Contender #1

Buy the Wilson Evolution

Wilson Evolution

Weight (lbs) 4 – 1.3

Size (inches) 4 – 29 3/4

Dribble Feel – 2

Shooting Percentage 2– 55%

Air Retention – 1

Total Score: 13 4th place

Contender #2

Buy the Spalding Precision TF-1000

Spalding Precision TF-1000

Weight (lbs) 4 – 1.3

Size (inches) 4 – 29 3/4

Dribble Feel – 1

Shooting Percentage 1 – 54%

Air Retention – 4

Total Score: 14 3rd place

Contender #3

Buy the Molten BG5000

Molten BG5000

Weight (lbs) 3 – 1.25

Size (inches) 4  – 29 3/4

Dribble Feel – 4

Shooting Percentage 3 – 59%

Air Retention – 3

Total Score: 17 2nd place

Contender #4

Buy the Wilson EVO NXT

Wilson EVO NXT

Weight (lbs) 4 – 1.3

Size (inches) 3- 29 7/8

Dribble Feel – 3

Shooting Percentage 4 – 92%

Air Retention – 4

Total Score: 18 1st place