What Does “Wet” Mean In Basketball? Explained

Do you often hear basketball players saying ‘wet?’ No, it doesn’t mean that athletes have sweat dripping all over their bodies. Wet is a basketball slang that means something completely different.

Wet in basketball is a figure of speech or slang. It’s when a player shoots a basketball into the hoop and makes the ‘swish’ sound. The player making the shot will say ‘wet,’ which many NBA players often mouth off upon successfully making this move.

The term can also mean that the player made a good shot. Therefore, some fans and spectators would often use phrases or statements like, ‘he made a wet shot.’ Some basketball enthusiasts would also use ‘wet’ when a player makes a shooting streak.

The Meaning of Wet in Basketball

wet in basketball

Think of an image of a small rock being thrown in the middle of a calm lake. Hear that tiny ‘sploosh’ sound it makes and how the audio somehow emanates through every fiber of your being. That’s a similar way to what ‘wet’ means in basketball.

If the basketball goes through the hoop without touching the rim, it makes a ‘swish’ sound. There’s an absence of that audible ‘clang’ from the metal rim or the ‘bonk’ from the backboard. In turn, it’s like making the ‘perfect’ shot.

Basketball players will mouth off, or even yell ‘Wet’ because of different reasons. For example, yelling the slang means the player is feeling the shot since the ball went through without going through obstructions. Another reason is that saying the word can help build confidence while in the court. After all, many basketball players know that confidence is a vital element during matches.

However, some people, basketball players or fans, can still use the wet slang even if the ball hits the rim or backboard. It’s because the ball still made that ‘swish’ sound when going through the hoop.

As mentioned previously, some people would also like to use wet to announce certain achievements. For example, a player made several successful shots in a row in one period. At that moment, spectators can say that the player is wet.

What are the Strangest Slang Terms in Basketball?

basketball slang

Aside from wet, the basketball world is rife with strange slang terms. Here are some of those words.

Serving Up a Facial

Also called facial, it means to do a slam-dunk while another player is underneath the dunking athlete. It was basketball broadcaster Marv Albert who first coined the phrase. Now, many people, including basketball fans, use it when this event happens in matches.


To nutmeg a player means dribbling or passing the ball between a defending player’s legs. It exists in other sports besides basketball, particularly in soccer.

It’s unclear where the term originated. However, some people refer to it as such because the ‘nuts’ or testicles of the defending player are exposed during that instance.

Throwing a Brick

Otherwise known as brick or bricklayer, this slang means to attempt at shooting the ball but misses badly. It was Los Angeles Lakers broadcaster Chick Hearn who used the term the first time. Today, many basketball players and enthusiasts use the term whenever athletes miss shooting by a mile.

Final Words

Wet, like other basketball terms, is slang used to explain a player’s achievement of a ball making the ‘swoosh’ or ‘swish’ sound when going through the hoop. It can also mean a burst of confidence or to provide praise for certain achievements to basketball players.

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