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Almost every young dreamer who has imagined him or herself sinking a 15-foot jumper at the buzzer to win the Final Four or NBA/WNBA Championship began playing basketball at an early age.
There are basketball games in gym class, pickup games at the park, and for some lucky youngsters, basketball camp during the summer.
If the talent and desire are there, what follows is formal five-on-five contests as part of a club, school team, or maybe even the pros.
Being good at basketball takes practice.
Lots of practice!
And while there are plenty of lessons to be learned at the schoolyard, nothing tops having your own basketball hoop in your driveway or backyard.
There it is, 10 feet off the ground: the rim, the net, the backboard, and the imaginary game-ending buzzer in your head that guides you through swish after swish as you carry your team to victory.
At BestReviews, we review products and make recommendations to help guide your consumer experiences.
We do our best to remain impartial and unbiased. To accomplish this, we never accept freebies from manufacturers, and we spend hours research our product categories to gain expertise on the topic.
If you’re ready to purchase a basketball hoop, please take a minute to look at the above matrix where we highlight our top five picks.
If you want more insight into the category of basketball hoops, please continue reading this shopping guide.
Product in Depth
Product in Depth
Silverback In-Ground System
When it comes to built-in goals, you would expect something that looks substantial, and the Silverback SB-60 In-Ground Basketball Hoop doesn't disappoint. The main support is a purposeful 4 x 4 inch square, and the 60-inch, aluminum-framed backboard is made of 8mm tempered glass. There's a 7.5 to 10 feet height adjustment with a winder that allows you to set the hoop precisely where you want it. Powder or zinc coating covers the Silverback’s steel parts in order to protect them from the elements, and buyers enjoy a seven-year warranty.
Although most rims are regulation size and can be raised to 10 feet when required, backboards vary widely. There are also different materials for the frame and base, each having a significant impact on rigidity and durability.
While most in-ground hoops have a steel frame and support, when it comes to the backboard, there are many options: wood, molded plastic, and tempered glass, to name a few.
Far and away the best material for a backboard, tempered glass is the choice of the NBA. The material is glass that has been strengthened through a thermal and chemical process. As the one the pros use, it is the most expensive option available.
If you’re looking to replicate the experience that the pros have on the court, consider a basketball hoop with a tempered glass backboard.
A highly regarded backboard material known for its true rebounding effect and durability, this synthetic polymer is on the expensive side.
Backboards made of this material have many of the same qualities as backboards made of acrylic fiber, but they’re even more durable than other synthetic materials. Priced approximately the same as acrylic backboards, polycarbonate provides the truest rebound and is suited for highly competitive (and combative) games.
The last thing you want in a basketball hoop and backboard is shattered glass or wood chunks when a superstar decides to slam dunk. If you’re into high competition, consider a basketball hoop with a polycarbonate backboard; these provide excellent rebound.
Wooden backboards are inexpensive and relatively durable. Wood is also a good choice for games that might get extremely physical. In addition to not offering a consistent rebound, one major con is that, since wood is opaque, those seated behind the basket will miss some of the action.
Ease of installation and a lower price make molded plastic a good backboard material choice. However, this material is less durable than some other options.
Product in Depth
Product in Depth
Silverback In-Ground System
With its 60-inch tempered glass backboard and precise rebounding, the Silverback SB-60 In-Ground Basketball Hoop approximates a professional game feel better than many of its competitors. The backboard is mounted well in front of the supporting pole, allowing you to get right under the breakaway rim. There's even a safety pad for the pole, just in case things get a bit competitive. The winder makes height adjustment a breeze, and many owners are impressed with the overall stability of the unit. It will move a little, but overall, it’s one of the most stable products we’ve reviewed. It's not quite a "pro" basketball setup, but it comes close.
Let’s not forget the basketball net — the rope-like feature that hangs down from the rim.
Without a net, players would never hear that wonderful “swish” sound!
The official NBA net, which also is used by the NCAA, is made of 100% polyester with polypropylene in the tips for extra strength.
Nets also can be made of chain-link metal or a braided cotton/nylon material.
Madison, WI has the largest number public basketball hoops in the U.S. with 10.5 hoops per 10,000 people. Some of the most famous basketball courts are Rucker Park in New York City, Venice Beach Courts in Los Angeles, and 16th and Susquehanna in Philadelphia.
When shopping for a basketball hoop, ask yourself what you’re truly hoping for. Do you just want a bit of backyard fun, or are you looking to create a nearly professional experience for yourself or your young star?
We encourage potential buyers to give this decision a lot of thought!
The purchase of a basketball hoop, as well as its installation, can be costly. You undoubtedly want a hoop that will last you many years. And if the player’s talent grows and develops, you will want something that can grow with him or her.
In 2014, the number of participants (aged six years and older) enrolled in some sort of basketball activity amounted to approximately 23 million. In 2016, wholesale sales of basketball backboards amounted to about $182.6 million.
Assembling a basketball hoop is a daunting job. If you’re unsure how to go about it or just don’t want the hassle, you needn’t worry. There are plenty of for-hire installation technicians who would be happy to assist you.
If you decide to assemble your basketball hoop without the aid of a professional installer, follow these tips:
Because of the hoop’s size and weight, it’s best to have at least two adults on hand to help with assembly.
Assemble the unit either outside or in a garage. The area you choose will need at least 11 feet of overhead clearance so you can get the system completely upright.
Read the instructions for each step carefully.
Before you begin a step, figure out which pieces you need, and have a game plan for how you’ll tackle the work.
Product in Depth
Product in Depth
Lifetime Pro Court
The Lifetime 1221 Pro Court Basketball Hoop is a budget model designed for children and general family fun. It's relatively light, and the base has wheels, so it's not too difficult to tuck out of the way when not in use. While the adjustable height is definitely useful, it's much easier with two people: one to support the backboard while the other disconnects and reconnects it. The backboard itself, made out of polyethylene, will not give a realistic rebound, and the rim is not the "breakaway" type. But then, this basketball hoop is aimed at casual players, so that shouldn’t really be a problem.
So how much does a professional basketball hoop installation cost, you ask? Installation of an in-ground system could cost $450 or more. This includes several visits from your technician, labor, and materials.
Certain factors can impact your total bill when hiring a professional installer.
If the technician must use a jackhammer to break down existing concrete, this can increase the price.
If the technician must take down an existing hoop, this can increase the price.
From the cold of a Minnesota winter to the blasting heat of a Phoenix summer, it’s rare to see a driveway basketball court without players banging against the backboard.
If you go the DIY route, one of your largest costs will be the price of concrete. The instructional manual will tell you how much concrete you need. Tools needed for DIY hoop installation include the following:
A post hole digger
Two adjustable wrenches
Lots of consumers opt to have their basketball hoop professionally assembled and installed.
Squeaking in at under $100, you’ll find portable basketball hoops with sand- or water-filled stability bases.
The rims of these low-cost hoops are generally made of steel, and the backboard is typically a composite material of decent durability.
Product in Depth
Product in Depth
Spalding NBA Hercules
The Spalding NBA Hercules Portable Basketball Hoop has a plastic fillable base. Adjustments are made via a levered system called ExactaHeight. The steel-framed, 50-inch backboard is acrylic, while the main support is more substantial and angled towards the court area to withstand impact better. A clever rebounder is built into the base, which many owners really appreciate.
This is the entry point for in-ground basketball hoops that require professional or expert DIY installation.
Hoops in this range will vary in the size of the shatterproof backboard (48 or 50 inches in diameter) and feature easily adjustable height up to regulation 10 feet.
Portable basketball hoops with sand- or water-filled bases are great for casual players and for those who may want to move their hoop to different locations for different events.
In this upper pricing tier, you will find options that are as close as you can get to an NBA or college setup.
These high-end models feature larger pro-style backboards, rust-proof steel poles, and a safety pad to protect players when they run into the pole that holds up the hoop.
Q. How do I maintain my basketball hoop?
A. In order to prevent rusting, keep lawn trimmings and other unnecessary materials away from the in-ground pole. Occasionally clean the backboard with a damp cloth (cotton preferred) or, if the backboard is clear, with a glass cleaner. If rust begins to form on any of the parts, carefully sand that area and paint it with outdoor gloss paint.
Q. What was the most points scored in an NBA game?
A. Wilt Chamberlain of the then Philadelphia (now Golden State) Warriors scored 100 points on March 2, 1962 against the New York Knicks during a game played in Hershey, PA.
At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.
In a typical basketball game, a coach yelling at the referee about a foul call is as common as the sound of sneakers screeching on the hardwood. Arguing with the ref seems like a completely futile effort - often hurting the team in the form of a technical foul or even an ejection.
But could there be a rational reason for getting on the officials? After all, referees are human beings, and if you berate them enough, they may eventually find a way to make it up to you.
So we set out to answer this question:
We reviewed all of the games in the 2013-14 NBA season in which technical fouls were assessed against basketball coaches for arguing with the referee. We recorded the foul difference (fouls against vs. fouls for) before and after the technical foul was assessed. The results were simply shocking.
There were 95 technical fouls called against coaches in the 2013-14 NBA regular season. In those games, the team whose coach got called for a technical foul enjoyed an aggregate advantage of 184 foul calls after the technical was assessed. In other words, after a coach was cited for arguing with the referee, his team on average was called for 2 fouls less than his opponent during the rest of the game.
These numbers are especially striking considering this statistic: before the coach was T’ed up, the foul disparity went in the opposite direction - his team had 48 more fouls called against them.
It gets even more interesting when we look at exactly when the foul advantage occurs. Out of the 184 fouls that were called in favor of the arguing coach, 130 of them (more than 70%) were called in the quarter directly after the technical foul was assessed.
It would thus appear that the referees took immediate action in favoring the team whose coach got in their face, and this advantage seemed to wear off as the game progressed.
In the NBA, there are mediocre basketball coaches, there are good basketball coaches, and there are superstar basketball coaches. We wanted to know if there are particular coaches that were specifically good at working the referees in order to help their teams win games.
We narrowed down our study to some of the usual contenders - Larry Brown, Phil Jackson, Doc Rivers, Jerry Sloan, and Don Nelson. It turns out, however, that none of these future Hall of Fame coaches have stats that stood out significantly from the aggregate.
But there was one coach that seems to have systematically mastered the art of working the referee: Gregg Popovich, the 5 time NBA World Champion, coach of the San Antonio Spurs.
Out of the 37 games in which a technical foul was assessed against Gregg Popovich since the 2005-2006 season, Popovich’s Spurs had a positive foul-difference of 80 after his getting T’ed. During these 37 games, the Spurs had more fouls called against them in the quarter after Popovich’s technical only 3 times (8%), while enjoying a positive or neutral foul advantage 92% of the time.
So do these trends actually translate to wins? It turns out that they do.
There were 9 games during which the Spurs were losing at the time that Popovich got called for a technical but then went on to win the game.
To put it another way, the Spurs come from behind to win 39% of the time after Popovich gets a technical.
Here are the raw stats.