Jeff Koons is one of those artist people can't stop talking about. He has a lot of haters and lovers. And he feeds of that, he loves provocation. In my birthyear 1985 his inspiration apparently was basketballs.
His piece Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank (Two Dr J Silver Series, Spalding NBA Tip-Off) is a ready-made that Koons interprets as a metaphor for the human condition. The basketball, like a person, needs air to maintain its full capacity. He has placed the ball in a womb-like context, surrounded by distilled water. The basketballs are meant to be in perfect 50/50 equilibrium at all times (when a ball begins to deflate, it is replaced).
He also made other installations with multiple and single basketballs and also a bronze scuplture. For more on one of the most famous artists of his time and his basketballs: