There is no doubt that indoor basketball is almost always better than playing outside. But I think playing outdoors is still something every complete basketball player should be doing. Basketball originated outdoors, and some of the most famous basketball is played outside (see: Rucker Park). There is just something special about hooping on concrete that seemingly gives back to basketball history. Here, I will reason out why outdoor basketball is essential and why ballplayers everywhere shouldn’t restrict themselves to only indoor hoop sessions.
The straightforward reason here is that it’s free. Hoop at any outdoor basketball court and as long as you have your equipment (basketball made for concrete courts, basketball shoes, etc.), you are all set to play. There are no gym membership fees or anything like that. It’s just you and the court. I am stating the obvious here but playing outside is so convenient for the average man.
There is bliss in having a court all to yourself.
Street basketball is cheaper overall too if we subtract gym or rec centre fees (like the YMCA). Basketball shoes for outdoor courts are usually on the more competitive side since most rubber soles have similarly excellent traction outside. You wouldn’t — or shouldn’t — be wearing expensive Kobe’s outdoors when more affordable shoes, like the Dame 4, do the same job at a much lower retail price. Outdoor basketballs (buying guide linked above) are also far cheaper than indoor basketballs are. These ranges anywhere from $10 to $30. Meanwhile, basketballs for indoor courts range from $25 to $60.
Back when I was younger, I didn’t have a whole lot of money, being a student and all. The local rec park was my go-to, a place where I could develop my game without really having to pay for anything. That leads me to my next point.
Sense of community
I refuse to go heartfelt in this article, but there is something special in being a part of a local community of like-minded hoopers. Again, I always used to go to the rec park near my house to shoot around and sometimes get picked up for a game. I used to see a lot of the same people and then a few newer ones now and then. Meeting new friends is one of the better benefits of street basketball since you will almost certainly see them again. I had some fun winning together with people I met, as well as trash-talking some of the regulars in good fun.
If I haven’t mentioned convenience yet, here it is again. Playing outside doesn’t even necessarily mean recreation parks. You can have an outdoor hoop right in front of your house or in your backyard. There is no telling how convenient it is to have that ability to shoot around whenever you feel like it. I have a decent court set up in my backyard, and it has almost entirely replaced video games as my hobby. The reason for that is just how convenient it is to take my ball, walk into my backyard, and shoot. It is how I got far better at shooting the ball because I was able to put in many reps over a small period from the convenience of the hoop at my house.
— If you’re thinking about setting up your home court, definitely invest in a rebounding system. They are pretty damn cheap and increase efficiency if you’re shooting by yourself —
I’d say outdoor basketball isn’t even restricted to playing the game. Have you ever just walked to the store or park while dribbling your ball? That is outdoor hooping to me. You are still technically honing your dribbling skills without even realizing it. The grip on an outdoor ball is inferior to an indoor ball 99% of the time, so if you can handle the slipperiness well, you are already getting better.