ᐅ143+ Famous Basketball Quotes of All-Time

“Basketball is like photography, if you don’t focus, all you have is the negative.

“Basketball is like photography, if you don’t focus, all you have is the negative.” ― Dan Frisby

“I started out as a football player. I liked to inflict pain. In basketball, it was the same thing.” ― Shaquille O’Neal

“Basketball is the MTV of sports.” ― Sara Levinson

“You can have fun playing by yourself or one-on-one with another person. Basketball is for everyone.” ― Red Auerbach

“The more your players have to think on the basketball court, the slower their feet get.” ― Jerry Tarkanian

“In practice, don’t just run basketball drills, teach the players how to play basketball.” ― Don Meyer

“Morale and attitude are the fundamentals to success.” – Bud Wilkinson

“First master the fundamentals.” – Larry Bird

“The fundamentals of the game are the same wherever you go: pass, dribble, shoot, defend

“The fundamentals of the game are the same wherever you go: pass, dribble, shoot, defend, rebound, screen, play hard and together.” – Terry Stotts

“Success lies in a masterful consistency around the fundamentals.” – Robin Sharma

“There’s so many young peoople who start to play basketball and never learn the fundamentals.” – Oscar Robertson

“Basketball isn’t a game; It’s an art form. You master the fundamentals so you can forget ’em, so you can improvise and just concentrate on what really matters: getting buckets.” – Kyrie Irving

“Have fun doing whatever it is that you desire to accomplish. Learn it one step at a time

“Have fun doing whatever it is that you desire to accomplish. Learn it one step at a time, emphasizing the fundamentals, and do it because you love it, not because it’s work.” – Paul Westphal

“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

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

“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

“I have no desire to coach basketball.” – Kevin Johnson

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

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

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

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

“When it gets down to it, basketball is basketball.” – Larry Bird

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

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

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

“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

“I’m not really a big X’s and O’s guy, but if you want to go there, I’m more of a space-the-floor type of coach: Five out, zero in, and that’s the way we play basketball, screen and roll here and there, pocket passes everywhere; it’s what it’s about.” — Kyrie Irving

“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 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

“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

“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

“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

“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

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

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

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

“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

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

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

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

“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

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

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

“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

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

“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

“Practice hard, train hard, work hard and play harder.” – Alcurtis Turner

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

“One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.”

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

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

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

“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

“Being a professional is doing the things you love to do, on the days you don’t feel like doing

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

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

“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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“The game honors toughness.” – Brad Stevens

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

“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

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

“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

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

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

“You can have discipline and be demanding without being demeaning” – Don Meyer

“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

“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

“Create unselfishness as the most important team attribute” – Bill Russell

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

“Nothing is given. Everything is earned.” – LeBron James

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

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

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

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

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

“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

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

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

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

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

“Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.” – Kevin Durant

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

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

“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” – Michael Jordan

“Push yourself again and again. Don’t give an inch until the final buzzer sounds.” – Larry Bird

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

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

“Once you are labeled the best you want to stay up there, and you can’t do it by loafing around. If I don’t keep changing, I’m history.” – Larry Bird

“I treated it like every day was my last day with a basketball.” – LeBron James

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 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

“I don’t complain about playing time. My job is to play so well that my coach can’t sit me.”

“I don’t complain about playing time. My job is to play so well that my coach can’t sit me.” – Shane Battier

“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 no choices about how you lose, but you do have a choice about how you come back and prepare to win again.” – Pat Riley

“I know that I’m never as good or bad as any single performance. I’ve never believed my critics or my worshippers, and I’ve always been able to leave the game at the arena.” – Charles Barkley

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

“When I lose the sense of motivation and the sense to prove something as a basketball player, it’s time for me to move away from the game.” – Michael Jordan

“One player’s selfish attitude can poison the locker room and make it hard, if not impossible, to establish teamwork” – Dean Smith

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

“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

“Basketball is a team game. But that doesn’t mean all five players should have the same amount of shots.” – Dean Smith

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

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

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

“Create unselfishness as the most important team attribute.”– Bill Russell

“Michael Jordan may have been the best basketball player in history, but he couldn’t have won six NBA titles without a team.” – Mark E. Hyman

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

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

“A basketball team is like the five fingers on your hand. If you can get them all together, you have a fist. That’s how I want you to play.” – Mike Krzyzewski

“I think, team first. It allows me to succeed, it allows my team to succeed.“- Lebron James

I know that I’m never as good or bad as any single performance. I’ve never believed my critics or my worshippers, and I’ve always been able to leave the game at the arena” – Charles Barkley

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

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

Those to whom defense is not important will have the best seat in the game”

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

“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

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

“Not only is there more to life than basketball, there’s a lot more to basketball than basketball”

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

“Bad shooters are always open” – Pete Carril

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

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

“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

“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

“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

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

“I think, team first. It allows me to succeed, it allows my team to succeed.“-Lebron James

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

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

“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

“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

“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

“There is a direct correlation between the number of ball reversals and defensive breakdowns” – Kevin Eastman

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

“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

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

“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” –Ann Landers

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

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

“You don’t play against opponents, you play against the game of basketball.”

“You don’t play against opponents, you play against the game of basketball.”—Bobby Knight

“Be led by your dreams not by your problems.” – Roy Williams

“The one thing I learned about myself going back and watching tapes of all the losses that we’ve had is that I’m physically capable of doing this and dominating the game, but the mental part was not there. I don’t know if it comes with age, but I had to learn to be mentally tough.” – Lisa Leslie

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

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

“I’ve got a theory that if you give 100 percent all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end.“-Larry Bird

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

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

“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

“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

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

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 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

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

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

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

“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

“Winners are not people who do not fail, but people who never quit“-Anonymous

“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

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

“Young men need more models, not critics”– John Wooden

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

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

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

“You’ve got to stay ready, especially around here. That’s what we preach, you’ll get your opportunity whether it comes at the beginning or in the middle or in the end whenever it may be. When your time comes, you need to be ready to go because you’re going to earn your minutes” – Tim Duncan

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