Basketball Quotes

Basketball is more than just a game; it’s a way of life. Famous basketball quotes help you discover the wisdom from legends and get a glimpse into the secrets behind their success. These powerful basketball quotes fuel your passion, change your perspective and give you a champion’s mindset! Get ready to be inspired by legendary basketball quotes that have the power to motivate and energize.

Best Basketball Quotes

Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there. John Wooden

The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team. Phil Jackson

The idea is not to block every shot. The idea is to make your opponent believe that you might block every shot. Bill Russell

To be successful you have to be selfish, or else you never achieve. And once you get to your highest level, then you have to be unselfish. Stay reachable. Stay in touch. Don’t isolate. Michael Jordan

Losing is part of the game. If you never lose, you are never truly tested, and never forced to grow. David Sirlin

Failure does not come from losing, but from not trying. Larry Brown

Nervous means you want to play. Scared means you don’t want to play. Sherman Alexie

My goal is to win the next game one possession at a time. That’s it. I don’t have any other goals. Brad Stevens

All at once, I couldn’t figure out why I was methodically tossing a spherical object through a toroidal object. It seemed like the stupidest thing I could possibly be doing. John Green

Discover your gift, develop your gift, and then give it away every day. Don Meyer

They say that nobody is perfect. Then they tell you practice makes perfect. I wish they’d make up their minds. Wilt Chamberlain

The two ingredients in success in basketball are playing hard and playing intelligently. Pete Carroll

Everyone has the fire, but the champions know when to ignite the spark. Amit Ray

Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts. John Wooden

I am more than just a Serious basketball fan. I am a life long Addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky. Hunter S. Thompson

You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good. Jerry West

You need to be more careful, or you could hurt yourself. Right. Thank you, Mrs. Detweiler. I never would have come to that conclusion by myself. I was planning on incorporating a backflip into my next walk across the classroom but on second thought. Janette Rallison

Nothing is given. Everything is earned. LeBron James

We learn to make a shell for ourselves when we are young and then spend the rest of our lives hoping for someone to reach inside and touch us. Just touch us anything more than that would be too much for us to bear. Bill Russell

Keep practicing. Never let anyone tell you’re too small or too slow. Chris Paul

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One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team. Kareem Abdul Jabbar

Create unselfishness as the most important team attribute. Bill Russell

My swag was phenomenal. Gilbert Arenas

Bad things do happen; how you respond to them defines your character and the quality of your life. You can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of your loss or you can choose to rise from the pain. Walter Anderson

Sometimes a player’s greatest challenge is coming to grips with his role on the team. Scottie Pippen

Basketball is a lifelong game. You continue to learn from the game day in and day out, and all along the way, you get better. Scottie Pippen

Your limits are somewhere up there, waiting for you to reach beyond infinity. Arnold Henry

You can have discipline and be demanding without being demeaning. Don Meyer

The first time I managed to pick up a basketball I knew I was destined to lead the UK to another National championship. Even now, so many years later, I still believe Kentucky will go undefeated in March win everything. Hunter S. Thompson

Not only is there more to life than basketball, there’s a lot more to basketball than basketball. Phil Jackson

But that’s the thing about basketball: you don’t play games on paper. Bill Simmons

Remember that basketball is a game of habits. If you make the other guy deviate from his habits, you’ve got him. Bill Russell

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It’s not about getting out of your comfort zone to reach your goal. It’s about widening your comfort zone so far that your goal fits comfortably inside. Once you do that, hitting your goals will be like hitting 3s for Steph Curry. Richie Norton

Get the fundamentals down and the level of everything you do will rise. Michael Jordan

The hardest skill to acquire in this sport is the one where you compete all out, give it all you have, and you are still getting beat no matter what you do. When you have the killer instinct to fight through that, it is very special. Eddie Reese

If all I’m remembered for is being a good basketball player, then I’ve done a bad job with the rest of my life. Isiah Thomas

Basketball is a beautiful game when the five players on the court play with one heartbeat. Dean Smith

We old athletes carry the disfigurements and markings of contests remembered only by us and no one else. Nothing is more lost than a forgotten game. Pat Conroy

Never give up, never give in, and when the upper hand is ours, may we have the ability to handle the win with the dignity with which we absorbed this loss. Doug Williams

Good thing in this business is that you just have to make one big shot and that’s enough to make you forget 9 other shots that you missed. Guy Zucker

I really get motivated when I have doubters. Shaquille O’Neal

If basketball was going to enable Bradley to make friends, to prove that a banker’s son is as good as the next fellow, to prove that he could do without being the greatest end ever at Missouri, to prove that he was not chicken, and to live up to his mother’s championship standards, and if he was going to have some moments left over to savor his delight in the game, he obviously needed considerable practice, so he borrowed keys to the gym and set a schedule for himself that he adhereded to for four full years in the school year, three and a half hours every day after school, nine to five on Saturday, one thirty to five on Sunday, and, in the summer, about three hours a day. John McPhee

The game honors toughness. Brad Stevens

Someone created the box score, and he should be shot. Daryl Morey

There is a lot of basketball beyond our control, but a player should never let anyone try harder than he does. Dean Smith

We’d taken up our positions on the benches between the school hall and a newly installed outdoor basketball court. Being hip hoppers, we were obliged to be obsessed with basketball. None of us had a ball. Nikesh Shukla

Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play. Mike Singletary

If you really want to be great at something you have to truly care about it. If you want to be great in a particular area, you have to obsess over it. Kobe Bryant

What distinguishes a great player is his presence. When he goes on to the court, his presence dominates the atmosphere. Bill Russell

Good coaches tell you where the fish are, great coaches teach you how to find them. Kobe Bryant

Plays are not as important as players, and players are not as important as teammates. Don Meyer

If you want to be a better player, you have to prepare, prepare, and prepare some more. Kobe Bryant

Passing is your best weapon against man to man. Dribble penetration is your best weapon against zone. Bob Knight

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From the beginning, I wanted to be the best. I had a constant craving, a yearning, to improve and be the best. I never needed any external forces to motivate me. Kobe Bryant

The highest level of achievement is attained by the teams with the best conditioned players. Dr. Jack Ramsay

She lays her hand along my jaw and kisses me like she means it, and I am breathless and weightless and dizzy at the very fact of her. Lips and tongue and teeth, her hair and her skin and her perfume, and more than anything, her very essence, her fire and her flaws and that steely determination to be better, to always be better. Kelly Quindlen

Commitment separates those who live their dreams from those who live their lives regretting the opportunities they have squandered. Bill Russell

If you want to look good in front of thousands then you have to outwork thousands in front of nobody. Damian Lillard

We believe in people executing their role and caring about the team more than anything individually. Gregg Popovich

Try to swish the ball in the net, even if it hits the backboard, it still went in. Lauren Borman

But I’d never, like, actually danced at one. I was usually one of the guys playing basketball in the corner. Rick Riordan

Nervous means you want to play. Scared means you don’t want to play. Sherman Alexie

One billion b balls dribbling simultaneously throughout the galaxy. One trillion b balls being slam dunked through a hoop throughout the cosmos. I can feel every single b ball that has ever existed at my fingertips, I can feel their collective knowledge channeling through my veins. Every jumpshot, every rebound and three pointer, every layup, dunk, and free throw. I am there. Charles Barkley

Being a professional is doing the things you love to do, on the days you don’t feel like doing them. Julius Erving

When you’re a coach or athlete and you win a championship, you realize that the championship was really a work in progress. What you went through during the pre season, in the regular season and then during the post season enabled you to win a title. I treated the stages of my cancer treatment as the phases of a championship season, and it kept me on track to accomplishing my ultimate goal. Joe Marelle

Losing is only temporary and not all encompassing. You must simply study it, learn from it, and try hard not to lose the same way again. Then you must have the self control to forget about it. John Wooden

In my case, the stats that were being quoted to me were not about me personally. I’m not a stat, I’m a person. I considered myself a stat breaker. Joe Marelle

Sometimes a player’s greatest challenge is coming to grips with his role on the team. Scottie Pippen

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To many white fans, the Attucks players were like the Harlem Globetrotters, entertainers who had come to play an exhibition. But the games meant something quite different to Principal Lane. He viewed each backwoods gym as a showcase for progress and each Attucks player a goodwill ambassador. A game at a rural schoolhouse was a chance to demonstrate to white fans, some of whom doubtless still had robes and hoods stashed in their closets, that black and white Hoosiers could compete without violence or incident. If Hoosiers could observe racial harmony while their sons competed in a packed gym, Lane thought, they would later come to believe in its possibility in schools and neighborhoods. Phillip Hoose

Everyone has the fire, but the champions know when to ignite the spark. Amit Ray

We had watched the Sacramento Kings, my favorite NBA team, playing the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers had won but it was still fun, especially since we had tickets for the third row. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Vlade Divac and Predrag Stojakovic, two Serbs playing in the Kings, waving at me and saying hello. They recognized the jersey of Divac’s former team from Belgrade that I had been wearing. Savo Heleta

One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team. Kareem Abdul Jabbar

Kobe was hell bent on surpassing Jordan as the greatest player in the game. His obsession with Michael was striking. Not only had he mastered many of Jordan’s moves, but he affected many of M.J.’s mannerisms as well. When we played in Chicago that season, I orchestrated a meeting between the two stars, thinking that Michael might help shift Kobe’s attitude towards selfless teamwork. After they shook hands, the first words out of Kobe’s mouth were You know I can kick your ass one on one. Phil Jackson

Basketball is a game with winners and losers, but if you play this game with your heart, you’re always a winner. C.M.

If the USA had as many people concerned with their government as are concerned with sports this country would not be in the bad shape it is today. James Thomas Kesterson Jr.

Practice hard, train hard, work hard and play harder. Alcurtis Turner

You see this circle? The size of this circle represents everything that I know about basketball. But the size of this ball represents everything about the game that has never been discovered. Pete Maravich

I am more than just a Serious basketball fan. I am a life long Addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky. Hunter S. Thompson

But how many people lighted the path for me? That’s the evolution of basketball. There’s no way I could have played the way I played if I didn’t watch David Thompson and guys prior to me. There’s no way Kobe could have played the way he’s played without watching me play. So, you know, that’s the evolution of basketball. You cannot change that. Michael Jordan

But that’s the thing about basketball you don’t play games on paper. Bill Simmons

But always, since age three and a half, he Malik Flowers had known he wanted to ball, every minute of every day. Because hoops had it all architecture, poetry, drama. Hoops was a dance, and a battle, and a story all at the same time. Jonathan Evison

Good thing in this business is that you just have to make one big shot and that’s enough to make you forget 9 other shots that you missed. Guy Zucker

I still suffer hate and pain in my heart every time I see the word Duke on a TV screen, and that rotten Thing happened nine years ago when that Swine Christian Laettner hit that impossible last second shot against Kentucky. I still have a Memory Block about it but as I recall it was in the East Regional final that is still known as the Best basketball game ever played. Geez, it Was and remains the Worst Shock I’ve experienced in my Life. Hunter S. Thompson

Good coaches tell you where the fish are, great coaches teach you how to find them. Kobe Bryant

Champions never sleep, the eternal spirit keep them alert and awake. Amit Ray

Coaches shouldn’t have to push you to work hard, you should push yourself to work hard because you want to be a great player. Bob Knight

The problem is politics is made a sport, almost as much a sport as football or baseball. When it comes to politics, adults and politicians do more finger pointing and play more games than children ever do. Too often are we rooting for the pride of a team rather than the good of the nation. Criss Jami

You have a choice to make when you’re not playing. Either you’re invested and a great teammate, or your not. Brad Stevens

It is not over. Champions extend their limits and make things happen. Amit Ray

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How competitive can you be without losing your discipline? Doc Rivers

What is love? Love is playing every game like it’s your last. Micheal Jordan

Players draw confidence from a poised, alert coach who anticipates changing in game conditions. Dr. Jack Ramsay

To be a professional you have to act like one as well. Alcurtis Turner

No one is bigger than the team. If you can’t do things our way, you’re not getting time here and we don’t care who you are. Gregg Popovich

She played the game the way that it was meant to be played as if her life depended on it. And she seemed driven by some need, or struggle, or fundamental resolve, that preceded the basketball and made it possible. Nina Revoyr

I really don’t do much. I play basketball. Brandon Ingram

The real, many veiled answer to the question of just what goes through a great player’s mind as he stands at the center of hostile crowd noise and lines up the free throw that will decide the game might well be nothing at all. David Foster Wallace

You need to possess more than a little nastiness to play basketball at the highest level. Jerry West

Elders of the Creedish church made celibacy sound as easy as choosing not to play basketball. Just say no. Chuck Palahniuk

As a kid, my favorite subject was recess. Why? Because I could go play basketball. Donovan Mitchell

I tried to teach them his sons that about the importance of self discipline, and that the culture of yes is built on a foundation of no. Bill Walton

I just go out there and play basketball. I’m not worried about missing. I just got to be thinking about the next shot. Jamal Murray

The only difference between a good shot and a bad shot is if it goes in or not. Charles Barkley

I might go my whole life stealing money. I got paid to play basketball, which is a scam. I get paid to watch basketball, which is a scam. Charles Barkley

In any game, the game itself is the prize, no matter who wins, ultimately both lose the game. Amit Kalantri

I play basketball to win a championship. That championship is everything to me. And that’s what gets people to buy in to your brand  being a winner. Chris Paul

She gave value to something that no one saw value in. Christine A. Baker

When you want to play basketball and you get paid for playing basketball, you want to do it every single day. So I don’t think I’ll get tired of doing it. Brandon Ingram

Where the concrete kept his pain at bay, the page gave his pain a place to go. Daniel Abbott

I was born to play basketball. There’s no question about it. That’s it. And I’m saying this in my humblest opinion, I do feel that I was born to play this game. I breathe it, I live it. Jamal Crawford

It was never a gift; it was refuge. It was his hole. A coffin he crawled into. And now it’s like the world wants to crawl in it with him. The same world he is trying to hide from. Daniel Abbott

Charles and I go back since college. None of us thought this would happen, we just wanted to play basketball. This is the highest honor that can ever be paid, and it’s mind blowing. Dominique Wilkins

I can appect failure, but I cannot accept not trying. Michael Jordan

Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it. Michael Jordan

In middle school I played against you once. And lost. I was so frustrated that I continued practicing even after I retired. And then when I entered high school, hell yeah, I laughed. The guy I vowed to defeat no matter what was standing right in front of me as one of my own teammates. But now it’s pointless to hold a grudge. Rather, I wanted to make you recognize me. Tadatoshi Fujimaki

We can have no progress without change, whether it be basketball or anything else. John Wooden

No alaram clock needed. My passion wakes me up! Kyrie Irving

I started playing basketball so late, it just means that anything is possible. Joel Embiid

Basketball is a game with winners and losers, but if you play this game with your heart, you’re always a winner. C.M.

I believe the only muscles you need in basketball are the ones in your brain. Nikola Jokic

Basketball allowed me to revere my father without him knowing what I was up to. I took up basketball as a form of homage and mimicry. Pat Conroy

When it gets down to it, basketball is basketball. Larry Bird

His ability to evoke Celtic pride was incredible. He would always talk about how all the old players called him up after an embarrasing performance and wanted to disassociate themselves from the Celtics. They wanted to mail in their championship rings, wanted their numbers removed from the rafters, and by this point there would be tears rolling down our cheeks and we’d want to kill. Bill Walton

If you quit once it becomes a habit. Never quit! Michael Jordan

All great athletes essentially come to a fork in the road where they have to change their approach to succeed. It’s a sign of intelligence and character. My college coach, Jack Hartman, made me play only defense for a full year in practice when I became academically ineligible for my junior year at Southern Illinois. Embarrassed, I thought at first about arguing with Coach Hartman over what I felt was a tremendous slight. But instead I started lifting weights and working so hard on my defense that my teammates hated to see me match up against them in practice. That was the turning point of my life, on and off the court. Walt Frazier

I tell kids to pursue their basketball dreams, but I tell them to not let that be their only dream. Kareem Abdul Jabbar

Practice hard,Train hard,work hard and Play harder. Alcurtis Turner

I know how hard it is to shoot the basketball, so I’ve got great appreciation for it. Reggie Jackson

We looked like a team at both ends of the court. Mike Dunlap

I’ve been playing basketball since I was five. C.J. McCollum

The star player must slay his ego and learn teamwork and communication skills before he can achieve the ultimate in sport. Walt Frazier

I have no desire to coach basketball. Kevin Johnson

Who could better motivate Bill Russell than Bill Russell? Red Auerbach

I didn’t play against the toughest competition in high school, but one reason I was able to do well in college was that I mastered the fundamentals. You’ve got to have them down before you can even think about playing. Larry Bird

It is most difficult in my mind, to seperate success, whether it be in your profession, your family, or as in my case, in basketball, from religion. John Wooden

You can have all the physical ability in the world, but you still have to know the fundamentals. Michael Jordan

Athletes, we were supposed to just be there, and in class I made it a point that I was prepared for every exam, that I got on that Dean’s List. Because I wanted them to see that there was a black person on the Dean’s List who was an athlete. I accepted the challenge, because I want you to know that we bleed just like you do. We have feelings just like you do. Let us read the same books and we’ll understand it just like you do! Lenny Wilkens

You can practice shooting eight hours a day, but if your technique is wrong, then all you become is very good at shooting the wrong way. Get the fundamentals down and the level of everything you do will rise. Michael Jordan