What is a “Wet” Ball in Basketball?

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Basketball and slang go hand in hand. You may have probably heard someone quip something and asked yourself, “What does that mean?” Such is the case when the word “wet” in a basketball context. What is a “wet” ball in basketball, and how did that term come about? You’d be surprised that it’s got nothing to do with water or sweat, things that are commonplace in a basketball game.

What Does “Wet” Mean in Basketball_ What Does “Wet” Mean in Basketball? 

“Wet” is a basketball slang term used to describe a shot that makes a “swish” sound as it goes through the net. The player who made the shot often says ‘wet,’ as many NBA players do when successfully executing this maneuver. In short, “wet” simply means “splashing the net,” referring to a perfect shot in basketball that did not touch any part of the rim as it goes through the basket.

However, they are also other used for the term. For instance, the term could also refer to a successful shot made by the player. As a result, certain fans and spectators frequently use phrases or remarks such as, ‘he made a wet shot.’ Some basketball fans would also use the word ‘wet’ when a player goes on a shooting streak.

What is a Wet Jumper in BasketballWhat is a Wet Jumper in Basketball?

A “wet” jumper refers to a jump shot that goes into the hoop with nothing but the sound of the net. Imagine a small rock dropped in the middle of the calm lake. That’s the sound of a wet jumper– swish! It does not hit any part of the metal rim, so it doesn’t have that “clang” sound. And it’s described as wet, just like the water in a calm lake.

However, even if the ball touches the rim or backboard, some basketball players or supporters may continue to use the word “wet.” That’s because the ball may still produce that ‘swish’ sound as it passes through the hoop.

What is a Wet Jumper in Basketball

For many players, seeing that their jumper is “wet” gives them so much confidence. Basketball is not a game for the low self-esteem and confidence gets you a long way. Seeing a “wet” jumper go in will do that to a basketball player.

Other Strange Slang Basketball TermsOther Strange Slang Basketball Terms

Watching basketball long enough makes you in contact with a lot of basketball slang. Many of these are extremely creative and funny that some may wonder, “Where did that one come from?” Here are some slang basketball terms that you may find strange:

  • Dropping Dimes. A “dime” is the basketball slang term for “assist.” This term probably came from the idea of helping or assisting the police with valuable information. Police tips often come in through phone calls, and the coin needed to make a phone call is a “dime.”
  • Ankle-Breaker. An “ankle-breaker” is a slang term for the crossover dribble. A crossover dribble is a ballhandling maneuver where the offensive player fakes a man out by selling one direction but going the other way. The defender is often caught slipping or stumbling like his ankles are broken.
  • Stuffed. Getting “stuffed” or “denied” means to get your shot blocked.
  • Brick. A brick is a badly missed shot. For example, if a player attempts a corner three-pointer and hits the side of the backboard, that shot is called a “brick.”
  • Putting the defender on skates. If you make a move that leads to a blow-by, defenders often scramble through their own momentum. Sometimes, this makes the defender fall backwards as if he were skating. 
  • Dagger. A dagger is a shot, possibly in the closing moments, that basically puts the game out of reach. As an example, imagine this scenario: Team A leads Team B, 105-100, with 30 seconds remaining and A in possession of the ball. A player from Team A hits a three-pointer to make the score 108-100, effectively putting the icing on the cake. The icing on the cake is called the “dagger.”

Other Strange Slang Basketball Terms

  • Hops. Whenever you hear the term “hops” used in a basketball context, that refers to the jumping ability of a player. Ex.: Zach Lavine has got mad hops!
  • Making it Rain. “Making it rain” is often the term used when a team or a player is hitting shots from everywhere, perhaps from three-point territory.
  • Stole his Cookies. “Stealing cookies” in basketball refers to a specific type of steal. When an offensive player brings the ball from the backcourt, and the defender pokes it and steals it, it’s like “stealing cookies” from a child. 
  • Sauce. “Sauce” is a crossover term that originated from hip-hop artists but more or less has the same meaning when used in basketball. When someone says, “You got too much sauce,” it means the player mentioned has too much swag or is too cool. 
  • Cherry-picking. A basketball player is said to be “cherry-picking” when he hangs back on his own court and leaves the other four of his teammates to defend. That way, his teammates can quickly throw him an outlet pass in case of a miss.
  • Chucker. A “chucker” is a player who attempts many shots but with little to no success. That is not the reputation you’d want in basketball, and no one wants to play with a known “chucker.”
  • Heat Check. A “heat check” is applied when a player who made a few shots in a row tries more and more difficult shots to see if he can keep the streak going. 
  • Puts on a clinic. “Putting on a clinic” refers to how a player plays on such a high level that he is practically a man among boys. The performance may also be used to teach his opponents a thing or two; thus he is said to be “putting on a clinic.”

5 Splash Shots in the NBA5 Splash Shots in the NBA

The NBA is home to the best basketball players in the world. Therefore, it’s no surprise that you see the wettest jumpers here from a game-to-game basis. Here are some of the best splash shots we have seen in the NBA:

1. Damian Lillard Activates “Dame Time”

During the closing moments of a game, there is no one as good or as confident as Dame Lillard. Did you hear the “swish” all the way from your seats?


2. “Splash,” Brother!

It’s a nightly occurrence for Steph Curry but that doesn’t make this one less impressive.

3.  Trae Young over Ben Simmons

Game 7 of the 2021 Eastern Conference Semi Finals was the game in which Ben Simmons refused to dunk over Trae Young. Unfortunately, the feeling wasn’t mutual as Trae launched a three from 35 feet that splashed through net.


4. Almost Tore His Meniscus

You knew James Harden was in here somewhere, didn’t you? The Beard swished a wet three-pointer over Patrick Beverley (who almost tore his meniscus) and Paul George.

5. Dose of His Own Medicine

Steph Curry may be the greatest shooter ever, but that doesn’t mean he has an exclusive license to those swish shots. Monte Morris gave Curry a dose of his own medicine as he splashed the three to give the Nuggets the 117-116 win.

Wrapping Things Up: What is a “Wet” Ball in Basketball?

It’s not unusual to hear some strange basketball slang terms from out of nowhere. Basketball is practically played in every corner of the world, and every now and then, these street terms find their way to mainstream basketball.

Such is the case with the term “wet.” What does wet mean in basketball? It means the ball went through the net without hitting any metal part of the rim. No “clang,” just pure “swish” and “splash.” The sound it produces is exactly like the sound of a stone dropped in a calm lake. In short, a “wet” jumper is the perfect shot in basketball

We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.

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Hoops Addict

Hoops Addict was created to help basketball fans of all ages learn more about the sport and find the best basketball gear to improve their ability to hoop. He has been a huge basketball fan for decades, watching thousands of basketball games through the years to learn the ins and outs of the game.

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