Contains commercial content
Sports Betting Sites / Top Funniest Basketball Terms Explained

Top Funniest Basketball Terms Explained

Publish Date: 03/15/2023
Fact checked by: Allan Howe

When a sport has been around for a while, it develops its own related language. Sports jargon eventually works its way into the day-to-day conversations sports fans have, and some terms are frankly hilarious.

Basketball is no exception to this trend. The sport is overflowing with funny terms that work on and off the court. Here are a few of the best and funniest basketball slang terms.

Dropping Dimes

You might assume most of basketball’s slang terms come from the big moments: massive dunks, defensive stops, that sort of thing. But our first term, “Dropping Dimes” comes from the underappreciated world of assists. A “dime” is an assist, in its simplest form, though the term has been co-opted to mean a particularly good assist.

The origins of “dropping dimes” are unknown. Some rumors say the term comes from the era of payphones when a caller would have to quite literally drop a dime to make a call and reach another person.

Dimes are the smallest piece of American currency, but their legacy looms large in the context of basketball. Plus, “dropping million-dollar bills” doesn’t have the same alliterative ring to it.

From Downtown

In this phrase, “downtown” means any area beyond the three-point arc. YOu’re most likely to hear this term uttered by a basketball game’s announcers when a player—let’s say Steph Curry, a fitting example—drains a three-pointer from a long distance. “From Downtown” is a term of praise for a long shot. In the age of Curry and top-tier three-point shooters, “From Downtown” is more likely to be heard ringing through basketball arenas than ever before.

But here’s the thing. Though “From Downtown” technically can mean any three-pointer, it’s typically reserved for baskets made from way behind the arc. A real shot from downtown can make a statement to the opposing team. Not gonna let us get in close? I’ll just make it from downtown.


“Brick” is another term for “air ball,” but it’s a heck of a lot funnier thanks to the image it conjures. Imagine a brick flying toward the basket, only to drop sharply well before it reaches the hoop. It’s a fitting insult for a well-intentioned but poorly executed attempt at a field goal.


You won’t see many pro ballers cherry-picking these days. The term is used to identify a player sticking back on their side of the court hoping to score. Sure, being a cherry-picker can lead to glory, but more often than not it leaves teammates shorthanded on defense.

The longevity of “Cherry-Picking” in basketball remains funny because of the sport’s origins. Basketball was originally played with baskets used to collect peaches. Nowadays, you won’t find any slang terms that reference the sport’s fruit of origin, but cherry-picking is still a standby designation for any player trying to earn an easy basket.

Swish/Nothing But Net

“Swish” and “Nothing But Net” aren’t all that funny, per se, but they’re so standard in basketball that they had to earn a place on this list.

“Swish” is the best the English language can do at reproducing the sound a basketball makes when it glides through the hoop without touching the rim, backboard, or any other part of the hoop apparatus. And it’s a darn good word. Even saying it out loud is fun.

“Nothing But Net” is the cousin of “Swish,” literally acknowledging the motion of the ball through the net.

Both terms were probably funny when they first surfaced. Now, they’re simply a core facet of any basketball fan’s vocabulary.

Alley Oop

We end our adventure through funny basketball terms with one of the most explosive plays in any sport: the Alley Oop.

One player launches the ball at the backboard while another, perfectly synced with the teammate’s toss, jumps up, nabs the ball from midair, and dunks it. It’s the basketball equivalent of football’s hail mary or baseball’s grand slam in terms of excitement. On top of it all, it’s incredibly fun to say.

Read Also
March Madness Betting Sites
March Madness college gambling is an experience unlike any other in sports. ...
Super Bowl Betting Sites
As the end of the NFL season approaches, it’s time to start ...
BetMGM Promo
NFL Betting Apps
Depending on your state, you may have so many NFL betting apps ...
NY Sports Betting
New York online sports betting came onto the scene in January 2022 ...
Reviews: Best Online Sportsbooks
Finding the best online sportsbook in your state can be a laborious ...
Provider of the month
BetMGM - Get your welcome offer now! Get your welcome offer now!
Latest News
March Madness Promo Code: NBA SGP Bet & Get
As this year’s edition of March Madness reaches ...
Will Xavier Make The Elite Eight?
This week’s Sweet Sixteen games include two match-ups ...
Can UConn Make It To The Final Four?
The stage is set. The Sweet Sixteen has ...
Will Michigan State Make The Elite Eight?
Hoo boy, it’s been a tough go for ...
UConn Favorite to Win NCAA Hoops Tourney After Rout of Gonzaga
The 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament has a ...
March Madness First: No #1 Seeds In The Elite Eight
Can an Elite Eight without a No. 1 ...
Can Florida Atlantic University Make The Elite Eight?
If you told me a week ago that ...
Predictions For Princeton To Make The Elite Eight
Now here’s a team nobody expected to make ...
March Madness: Predictions For UCLA To Make The Elite Eight
What a season it’s been for college basketball. ...
Latest Tweets
2023-03-27 19:06
This is great!
89 5
Read More
Betting Tips
03/27/2023 - 7:00 pm
Bet the Pacers to cover
03/24/2023 - 7:15 pm
T-Mobile Center
Bet Miami to Cover Spread
03/23/2023 - 9:45 pm
T- Mobile Arena
Bet UCLA to cover the spread
Our Team
Allan HoweRichard JanvrinDan TraceyDan HolmesCole Rush
Allan Howe
Allan Howe
Richard Janvrin
Richard Janvrin
Dan Tracey
Dan Tracey
Sports Writer
Dan Holmes
Dan Holmes
Sports Writer
Cole Rush
Cole Rush
Sports Writer
Mike Goodpaster
Mike Goodpaster

Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or

This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.

Move to Top
Your Bonus Code:
The bonus offer of was already opened in an additional window. If not, you can open it also by clicking the following link:
Visit Site