The NBA will begin using game balls that bear new commissioner Adam Silver's signature on Saturday.
Silver has officially assumed the league's top post after the retirement of former commissioner David Stern, who held the job for exactly 30 years. Stern announced in Oct. 2012 that he would recommend Silver, then his deputy commissioner, as his replacement.
Other than the new signature, there is no change to the game ball, and the assembly and testing processes are identical to those used in previous years. Teams have broken in the new balls by practicing with them over the last two months.
To produce the signature used on the ball, Silver signed two index cards last year. He then selected "the best and cleanest version," according to the league, which can now be seen in the picture above. Unlike Stern, whose signature bore his middle initial "J," Silver opted for first and last name only.
Stern handed over the reigns to Silver in an email message to media members on Friday.
"It is a source of great satisfaction to me that the NBA will now be led by Commissioner Adam Silver, for whom I have tremendous admiration, respect and expectations as he and his experienced and dedicated team take the NBA to successes that were unimaginable even a short while ago," he wrote.
The league's Twitter account posted a photograph of the succession on Saturday.
Silver joined the NBA in 1992 and was named deputy commissioner in 2006. He selected NBA executive vice president of global marketing partnerships Mark Tatum to replace him as deputy commissioner this week. Spalding has supplied the NBA's official game balls since the 1983-84 season. An official game ball retails for $139.