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Here's my take on you cropping question....the only reason to leave the net or the rim is to give some perspective of where the player is -- RELATIVE TO THE BASKET. Meaning, if the bottom of the net is showing, you can tell how high off the floor s/he is. It their hand is a foot over the rim, same thing. The corner of the backboard and bottom of the net provide that reference point in photo 2.
As for number three, I would crop it even tighter. Here's why. If I had to guess, this photo was taken during warm-ups, right? Couple of dead giveaways. 1) "Offensive rebounder" looks like a backup player still wearing warm-ups & 2) fans are completely disinterested in what should be an exciting moment. So with that being said, get rid of those distractions by cropping them out of the photo. Keep in mind, the amount that you can crop is based on the resolution of the image you start with -- and the sharpness of that image based on equuipment, technique, lights, etc. But with that being said, number 3 could be a very nice photo by tightening it up by losing the player on the left and the dead space at the bottom.