Stability, pneumatic lift mechanism, tempered glass backboard, 4-inch square pole, 27″ overhang
Thin backboard, direct burial installation
The 90014 Competition is one of the top in-ground basketball systems sold by Lifetime. It’s suited for a 1-2 car driveway playing area. It features a 54″ tempered glass backboard, a 4-inch square pole, and a 27-inch offset. The height adjusts from 7.5 to 10 feet in infinite increments with the use of the Power Lift® pneumatic mechanism. The Slam-it Ultra rim is made of solid steel and has a wrap-around brace. The The 90014 is backed by a 5 year limited warranty. Dimensions: 58 x 36.5 x 7 inches; 125 pounds.
What To Like
- Stability. In-ground hoops are best for stability. The tempered glass backboard adds to this because it’s a heavier material compared to polycarbonate and acrylic. The square 4-inch pole helps reduce vibration.
- Infinite adjustment. You can raise or lower it to any height between 7.5 and 10 feet. Some mid-level hoops only adjust in increments of 6-inches.
- Power Lift® pneumatic mechanism. This is a gas assisted adjustment mechanism that makes it easier to lift and lower the hoop. You grab the handle and simply raise or lower it depending on what height you want. The downside is that it may start leaking gas a few years down the road, which can affect precision.
- Tempered glass backboard. Simply put, tempered glass is the best of the best. It’s used at the college and pro level. It’s heavier, more rigid, and durable compared to other materials. A huge plus.
- 4-inch thick square pole. Less expensive hoops typically have round poles that are between 3-3.5 inches thick. Certainly, this is an upgrade. The square shape is superior as far as sturdiness is concerned.
- Overhang. The thicker pole leads to a greater backboard offset, which is the distance it extends out from the pole. A 27″ offset is very impressive for a hoop in this price range. To put into perspective, the Mammoth 98856 is $200 more and has the same overhang. The benefit is more playing space under the basket so players are less likely to bump into the pole.
What Not To Like
- Thin backboard. 1/5-inches thick is below average for tempered glass, as most premium hoops have a 3/8 backboard. But, they also happen to be more expensive.
- Direct burial installation. While in-grounds do provide more stability than portable hoops, this type of installation does require time and effort. Plus, it can’t be removed. You can purchase a Lifetime ground sleeve for 4-inch square poles. The pole slides into the sleeve so it can still be removed if necessary. However, it’s still inferior to the anchor mount installation.
What’s most appealing about the the Lifetime 90014 Competition system is the tempered glass backboard. It’s truly the best for overall performance. You won’t find too many other hoops in this price range with tempered glass. The thick pole and 27″ offset are also positives. The backboard is a bit thin, so I would be careful about hanging on the rim and being rough with it. The installation will also require time and effort. Overall, it’s well worth the price.