Famous Basketball Quotes

Unleash Your Inner Champion: Iconic Basketball Quotes to Inspire Greatness


Famous Basketball Quotes.

Basketball has produced so many iconic figures who have left an lasting mark on the sport and beyond. Alongside their incredible achievements on the court, these basketball legends have shared their wisdom and inspiration through memorable quotes. From Michael Jordan's famous "I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying," to Kobe Bryant's powerful "The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do." these words resonate far beyond the boundaries of the game. Whether it's LeBron James urging us to "Strive for greatness" or Larry Bird reminding us that "The only person who can stop you is you," these basketball quotes capture the relentless pursuit of excellence, the power of determination, and the importance of self-belief. These famous basketball quotes serve as constant reminders that basketball is not just a sport, but a source of motivation, resilience, and inspiration for anyone striving to achieve greatness in their own lives.

Unleash Your Inner Champion: Iconic Basketball Quotes to Inspire Greatness

Basketball Quotes on Inspiration & Motivation

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

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

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

“When you’re not practicing, someone else is getting better.”- Allen Iverson

“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

“Shooting percentage is just as much about decision making as it is about technique”– Jeff Van Gundy

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

“Never let it rest until your good is better and your better is best.” – Tim Duncan

“A lot of late nights in the gym, a lot of early mornings, especially when your friends are going out, you’re going to the gym, those are the sacrifices that you have to make if you want to be an NBA basketball player.” – Jason Kidd

“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

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

“What you are as a person is far more important that what you are as a basketball player” – John Wooden

“I don’t know if I practiced more than anybody, but I sure practiced enough. I still wonder if somebody – somewhere – was practicing more than me” – Larry Bird

“I can’t relate to lazy people. We don’t speak the same language. I don’t understand you. I don’t want to understand you.” - Kobe Bryant

“There is a lot of pressure put on me, but I don’t put a lot of pressure on myself. I feel if I play my game, it will take care of itself.” - Lebron James

Bounce Back with Style:
Inspirational Basketball Quotes for Overcoming Adversity

Famous Basketball Quotes on Never Giving Up


Basketball has a history of great personalities.  Whether they are universally beloved (Michael Jordan) or controversial (Bobby Knight), great basketball minds have a way of putting the game of basketball in simple terms that we all can understand and relate to.  By reading these basketball quotes you can gain perspective and even learn how to look at basketball, and even life, in a new way.  We have compiled fifty basketball quotes that we feel are some of the best we’ve heard.

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

“Don’t be afraid of failure. This is the way to succeed.” – Lebron James

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

“If you are afraid of failure you don’t deserve to be successful!” – Charles Barkley

“If you’re afraid to fail, then you’re probably going to fail.” – Kobe Bryant

“Admit to and make yourself accountable for mistakes. How can you improve if you’re never wrong?” – Pat Summit

“I’m still waiting for perfection. In the meantime, I’ll settle for persistence” – Bo Ryan

“I have self-doubt. I have insecurity. I have a fear of failure. I have nights when I show up at the arena and I’m like, ‘My back hurts, my feet hurt, my knees hurt. I don’t have it. I just want to chill.’ We all have self-doubt. You don’t deny it, but you also don’t capitulate to it. You embrace it.” – Kobe Bryant

“You can’t win unless you learn how to lose.” – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

“The key to success is failure.” – Michael Jordan

“Failure is acceptable. but not trying is a whole different ball park.” – Michael Jordan

“It’s OK to make mistakes. That’s how we learn. When we compete, we make mistakes.” – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

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

“If it turns out that my best wasn’t good enough, at least I wont look back and say that I was afraid to try” – Michael Jordan

“Some say you have to use your five best players, but I found out you win with the five that fit together best as a team.” - Red Auerbach

“Bottom line, you’re either a risk taker, or your not, and if you don’t take risks, you’ll never win big.” - Geno Auriemma

“If you’re going to have to beg them to play, it’s not going to work.” - Chuck Daly

“Get the fundamentals down and the level of everything you do will rise” – Michael Jordan

“When I walked into the gym, I fell in love with the game. I didn’t fall in love with it just because it was me playing. I fell in love with it because I’ve got guys like this – like these guys every single day that push me to be the best that I can be.” - Kevin Durant

Master the Game, Master Your Life: Transformative Basketball Quotes to Live By

Famous Basketball Quotes on Teamwork


A great way to increase your motivation is to read some inspirational basketball quotes. These famous basketball quotes have a deep meaning and are powerful enough to produce the needed inspiration. Reading them is practically learning from basketball’s greatest players and coaches, absorbing their advice.

“It’s not just about working hard, it’s about working together. You have to care more about the team than you do about yourself.” – John Calipari

“When a gifted team dedicates itself to unselfish trust and combines instinct with boldness and effort–it is ready to climb“ - Pat Riley

“In developing teams, I don’t believe in rules. I believe in standards. Rules don’t promote teamwork, standards do” – Mike Krzyzewski

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

“There is no “I” in team but there is in win.” – Michael Jordan

Admit to and make yourself accountable for mistakes. How can you improve if you’re never wrong?” – Pat Summitt

“Bad shooters are always open” – Pete Carril

“All the successful teams I’ve ever seen have three characteristics: They play unselfish, they play together, and they play hard.“ - Larry Brown

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

“Ask not what your teammates can do for you. Ask what you can do for your teammates.” – Magic Johnson

“Great players are willing to give up their own personal achievement for the achievement of the group. It enhances everybody.” – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

“You have to earn your right to win the game with effort and togetherness.” – Brad Stevens

“Winning teams at the NBA level, the college level, and the high school level all play team basketball. Championship teams have five players on the same page at all times.“ - Hubie Brown

“When an elevator brings you upstairs, you better send it back down to bring others up.” – Dikembe Mutombo

“Good teams become great ones when the members trust each other enough to surrender the ME for the WE.” – Phil Jackson

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

“Teamwork is the beauty of our sport, where you have five acting as one.” – Mike Krzyzewski

Game-Changing Wisdom:
Legendary Basketball Quotes to Elevate Your Performance

Famous Basketball Quotes on the Will To Win


“I will not let anything get in the way of me and my competitive enthusiasm to win.“ - Michael Jordan

“Everyone is born with a certain potential. You may never achieve your full potential, but how close you come depends on how much you want to pay the price.“ - Red Auerbach

“Everything negative — pressure, challenges — are all an opportunity for me to rise.“ - Kobe Bryant

“A key basketball skill is imagery. The best players “see” situations before they happen so they can be prepared” – Dr. Jack Ramsay

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

“If you’re not talking, you’re not playing defense” – Doc Rivers

“Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best.“ – Tim Duncan

“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

“I have a plan of action, but the game is a game of adjustments” – Mike Krzyzewski

“You can’t always be the most talented or gifted person in the room, but you can be the most competitive.“ - Pat Summit

“The greatness of Michael Jordan is his competitive drive. The weakness of Michael Jordan is his competitive drive” – Phil Jackson

“I can’t stand a ballplayer who plays in fear. Any fellow who has a good shot has got to take it and keep taking it. So he misses – so what?” – Red Auerbach

“Those to whom defense is not important will have the best seat in the game” – Rick Majerus

“When you think you have done enough, do a little more, because someone out there is working harder than you.” – Larry Bird

“The key is not the ‘will to win’… everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important” – Bob Knight

Final Words

In conclusion, the world of basketball is enhanced with an abundance of famous quotes that go beyond the sport and become timeless expressions of motivation and inspiration. These words, these famous basketball quotes uttered by legendary players, coaches, and commentators, have the power to ignite a fire within us, to push beyond our limits, and to strive for greatness. Whether it's the expressiveness of Magic Johnson, the fierce determination of Kobe Bryant, or the relentless pursuit of perfection by Michael Jordan, these quotes serve as guiding examples, reminding us of the values that underpin success: hard work, resilience, teamwork, and self-belief. They inspire us to go after our dreams, overcome challenges, and leave our mark on the world, not just in the scope of basketball, but in every aspect of life. So, let us embrace these famous basketball quotes, carry their wisdom in our hearts, and use them as fuel to reach new heights and make our own unforgettable contributions to the game of life.

Bio's on these great personalities can be found at NBA.com/playerBios