When I was younger my hoops dreams were very much alive and well. My friends and I would do anything from yelling “kobeeeeee!” while hitting fadeaways to yelling “sorrrrrrry!” at the passing cars that altered their path to avoid the fatal accident of a rolling ball. Not to say my hoop dreams don’t exist anymore, they do. But they follow the sleeping pattern of your everyday working adult and they play for the Lakers… Though time management skills need to change as we get older, kids and adults can all agree that there are certain “must-haves” to a Spalding NBA portable basketball hoop.

Support Poles

spalding 50 inch portable basketball system

As a kid in the Instagram world of basketball trainers, it might seem impractical to get your own rebounds. Luckily one of the great features of portable hoops is a rebounding mechanism. Companies would actually refer to this as an angled support pole but as a kid, it is most commonly seen as “rebounder”. The use of an angled support pole/platform is to give you more room than the common straight up and down poles that too often get in the way of those who play. They make it so the portable hoop can lean against something and give players more room to bash it out in the post without flaring elbows needing frequent doctor visits. The original use of an angled support pole is well-intended and keeps the hoop from falling over but it does a great job with a few other things. One of the biggest problems for anyone playing on a portable hoop is the location. It is the whole reason for buying such a hoop. Driveways slant and neighbors across the way are frequent to hear the denting sound a basketball hitting their garage after a less than ideal bounce. I personally have had hoops with a support pole platform and more times the net or wind pushes the ball into the angled surface like a pass back to me instead of a bullet coming right at the garage of the neighbor who works night shifts. This is a win-win situation in the world of adults vs kids in that younger people get more space to play and if you are lucky those around will not have as many complaints.

How Portable?

The next feature is Portability. Not all home courts are created equal, some come equipped with wheels. This is self-explanatory and important when it comes to the definition of portability. Just because a basketball hoop has “portable” in its title does not mean it is easy to move around. The best basketball hoops also have an adjustable height and one that is easy to consistently change. These existed when I used to shoot hundreds of shots a day but sometimes needed a broom. They are pretty simple now in that they just have levers to do all the magic. This makes your purchase a versatile investment that can grow with a child or serve as the progressional steps to a professional dunk career. Kids love being able to slam it down when their bodies won’t allow it just yet on a regulation hoop. This leads me to the idea that a breakaway rim is ideal when a hoop is getting dunked on more than intended. Chances are as people get older it just becomes the place to work on the NBA Dunk Contest after the show.

Polycarbonate/Glass Backboard.

The key to having a portable basketball hoop for skills and actually translate them is a polycarbonate or glass backboard. These give the most realistic bounce or rebounds as opposed to a plastic or wood backboard, so much so that if you practice backboard shots on plastic backings and try to show off the new skills inside a gym you might actually end up being worse. Plastic and wood backboards are notorious for dead spots and have no give. It can be psychologically scarring to get better at something for months and not have it translate. These are the things that can ruin confidence and as an adult making a purchase for your child or a professional mastering your craft, just know that confidence is everything.

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