Basketball Nets

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Basketball nets are commonly misused, abused, ripped, torn, and otherwise trashed, making them the bete noire of team managers and gym maintenance crews. Whereas floors are made from wood or asphalt, and backboards are fashioned from metal composites or glass, nets are merely nylon, making them ripe for destruction. So bad is this abuse in some neighborhoods, that clubs and parks have installed chain nets as a solution.

The standard length for basketball nets is either 15 or 18 inches, though this is of less importance than, say, the height and straightness of the rim. It is the net's duty to provide the punctuation on particularly "sweet" shots from the outside. Pure shooters have a multitude of vocal representations for the "swoosh" or "swish" sound that a basketball makes as it glides cleanly through its destination.

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A word of caution to any player or coach who's never won a championship: the true function of basketball nets is to provide players with something to cut down after their season-ending victory. No one can say with certainty where the custom of net-cutting began or whether it was, as is rumored, the forerunner of goalpost-felling. Nowadays, perennial losers in the football world rejoice after their rare victories by cutting down the actual uprights.

If you manage a gym that witnesses aggressive games on a regular basis, chain nets are a phenomenal investment. Even though nylon nets typically run only five to 10 dollars (if that), the cost of ongoing replacements can quickly add up. If your players are a bit gentler on their hoops, however, nylon is a much better way to go.

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