i believe this is a posed shot? as such IMHO a way to improve this shot would be to request the person to jump off at an earlier point, so that he doesn't 'get into' the net. technically this will show a fuller body of the subject (and probably showcase more completely the action) as he will be further on the left. this will also effectively isolate the person, the net and the shadow, rather than 'cluttering' the person and the net altogether, which IMO allow for a clearer reading.
2nd shot definitely works better. can almost feel the next moment. the ball turned over nicely for the shot as well, that's very lucky. in terms of composition, there's more 'blank' space (which is probably why the crop is so for #1) i'm just wondering, if this isn't a posed shot how come there's no other players around? (they can fill up that 'blank' to improve the composition) is it a practice session? if it's a practice session maybe you can request for a posed shot since this is for your editorial?
I like #2 better. The lines, circles, semicircles and intersections are not broken as abruptly as in #1. The details on the basketball in #2 is more interesting than #1 which is sorta 'broken' also. The shadow of the board in #1 is sort of monotonous. The face and eye in #1 are flaws.
as a jordan fan... I like #1 because the shadow looks like.. u know The lines on the court are much simpler and almost look as if somebody drew them in.
If the face in both pics were important to the picture then I would say both have failed because of the direction of the sun.
But if the pic is just meant to be interesting, then I applaud ya for putting the hoop in the centre & all the other stuff just happen to fall in around it =)
Flash would help with the shadows but that might blind the player =(