i think you went about making the net correctly(alpha maps and textures) modeling that would be... just too much.
Ide say lighten up the scene, add a simple basketball placed on the ground, and do an "Upshot" of the hoop to show its size. The upshot will show a weird angle of the net so it will be harder to dee it, and the upshot will show its hight, while giving it more of a feel IMO.
Rememebr basketball nets arent straight cylinders, they tapper at the bottom(to slow th eball down after going through), sometimes they tapper in the middle and go back out at the very bottom.
Catch me if i'm on. Always up for a chat.