Finding a top of the line portable basketball system that’s made from high-quality materials and equipped with a tempered glass backboard for under one thousand dollars isn’t easy, but somehow, this latest model by Spalding hits all these important marks and more.
While it can’t compete with traditional in-ground basketball hoops, it does come close.
This Spalding NBA portable basketball system features a fifty-four-inch backboard made out of tempered glass, a large capacity base that allows the hoop system to easily handle dunking and rough use, and the Arena Slam heavy-duty solid steel breakaway rim.
This is a portable basketball system that’s more designed for older teens and adults than it is for kids, however, considering it’s height adjustable, this model can also be a great choice for large b-ball playing families.
Overview and Features
Many portable basketball hoops produced by Spalding offer a more authentic b-ball playing experience, and we’re happy to report that this model offers the same type of feel you normally enjoy when you’re playing some ball at your local gym or b-ball court.
Our first step in reviewing this model began with checking out the hoop’s massive fifty-four-inch-wide tempered glass backboard. You won’t find this type of backboard on lower priced models. It’s definitely NBA quality and the perfect match for your next dunking competition.
The backboard comes in at just a quarter of an inch thick, which is very thin compared to what you’ll find on competing models that use backboards made out of acrylic or polycarbonate. Typically, an acrylic or polycarbonate backboard is around one inch thick. If you’d prefer a portable basketball hoop with an acrylic backboard, we recommend the NXT Silverback, which is also a great option for the avid dunker.
Considering how thin the backboard is, heavier players will need to take it easy when dunking.
The width of the backboard works well for a one or two-car driveway.
This model comes with a thick backboard pad which can prevent the backboard from shattering and can also help to safeguard players against any potential injury.
The three-piece support pole measures in at four inches thick, and it’s probably the biggest flaw in the hoop’s design. A three-piece pole design often compromises the integrity of a portable basketball system, with one or two-piece systems being the ideal choice. However, for the price, we felt that this three-piece pole was a solid choice. Additionally, the pole structure features metal struts that mount from the base. These struts provide added pole support, working to reduce movement and vibration, even when the ball makes solid contact with the backboard.
The four-inch square pole is thicker than average, and it’s designed to accommodate the heavier tempered glass backboard. The square shape of the pole also helps to minimize vibration. Most lower priced models use a round three-inch support pole. This square pole is the best choice for improved performance.
The base has a forty-gallon capacity. It can be filled with sand or water. The size of the base is a big plus and one of the reasons this basketball hoop is perfect for adult use. Lighter bases simply can’t handle the weight of an adult dunking without causing the system to tip over.
Attached to the base are two large wheels that make it easy to put the hoop away in the garage at night or move it from place to place. The wheels are placed at the front bottom of the base, which makes it easier to move when the base is filled up.
We’ve heard some reports from consumers who stated that the base began to leak water after six months of use. This is often a common problem with portable basketball systems. If you run into this issue we recommend contacting Spalding customer support to request a replacement.
The heavy-duty breakaway rim features a compression spring which helps to protect the backboard due to its shock absorption power. The compression spring design also makes it feel as though you’re playing on an arena-style rim.
The hoop’s two-foot overhang provides just enough space for a player to feel comfortable when they’re right under the hoop.
Rim height is adjustable using the screw jack lift system. At the lowest setting the rim measures in at seven and a half feet, with a max height of ten feet, which is the regulation height for the NBA.
Since the height adjustment feature uses a crank mechanism it will take more work to lower or raise the rim, but the crank adjust mechanism is considered the most durable type available. It’s also the best choice for more precise height adjustment. While most models only allow you to adjust the height using six-inch increments, this model allows you to choose any height between seven and a half and ten feet.
This is a massive portable hoop system, so assembly is definitely a two-man job. On average, the assembly process will take about two hours.
- Easy to move and transport
- Height can be adjusted using one-inch increments
- Tempered glass backboard
- Backboard padding
- Large base capacity
- This model features a three-piece support pole design
- Backboard measures in at just a quarter of an inch thick
- There have been some reports that the base can leak