1000+ Inspiring Basketball Quotes


“Although there is no progress without change, not all change is progress.”

“If we magnified blessings as much as we magnify disappointments, we would all be much happier.”

“Being a role model is the most powerful form of educating…too often fathers neglect it because they get so caught up in making a living they forget to make a life.”

“Never try to be better than someone else. Learn from others, and try to be the best you can be. Success is the byproduct of that preparation.”

Basketball Quotes

“Players with fight never lose a game, they just run out of time”

“It is the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”

“Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.”

“Seek opportunities to show you care. The smallest gestures often make the biggest difference.”

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

“The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”

“I was built up from my dad more than anyone else.”

“I talked to the players and tried to make them aware of what was good and bad, but I didn’t try to run their lives.”

“No one can really honestly be the very best, no one.”

“If there’s anything you could point out where I was a little different, it was the fact that I never mentioned winning.”

“I don’t believe in fate.”

“I think permitting the game to become too physical takes away a little bit of the beauty.”

“Love is the most important thing in the world. Hate, we should remove from the dictionary.”

“Be prepared and be honest.”

“I think that in any group activity – whether it be business, sports, or family – there has to be leadership or it won’t be successful.”

“Just do the best you can. No one can do more than that.”

“I don’t believe in praying to win.”

“Somebody asked me – you know, how come it took you so long to win a national championship? And I said, I’m a slow learner; but you notice when I learn something, I have it down pretty good.”


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

“The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.”

“Discipline yourself, and others won’t need to.”

1000+ Inspiring Basketball Quotes

“If I were a young coach today, I would be extremely careful in selecting assistants.”

“Defense is a definite part of the game, and a great part of defense is learning to play it without fouling.”

“Well, if you’re true to yourself you’re going to be true to everyone else.”

“I worry that business leaders are more interested in material gain than they are in having the patience to build up a strong organization, and a strong organization starts with caring for their people.”

“Consider the rights of others before your own feelings, and the feelings of others before your own rights.”

“Today is the only day. Yesterday is gone.”

“Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life.”


“Be true to yourself. Make each day a masterpiece. Help others. Drink deeply from good books. Make friendship a fine art. Build a shelter against a rainy day.”

“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”

“Never mistake activity for achievement.”

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

“You can lose when you outscore somebody in a game. And you can win when you’re outscored.”

Basketball Quotes

“There’s as much crookedness as you want to find. There was something Abraham Lincoln said – he’d rather trust and be disappointed than distrust and be miserable all the time. Maybe I trusted too much.”

“Adversity is the state in which man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then.”

“Friendship is two-sided. It isn’t a friend just because someone’s doing something nice for you. That’s a nice person. There’s friendship when you do for each other. It’s like marriage – it’s two-sided.”

“Passion is momentary; love is enduring.”

“Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.”

1000+ Inspiring Basketball Quotes

“The most important thing in the world is family and love.”

“A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.”

“In the end, it’s about the teaching, and what I always loved about coaching was the practices. Not the games, not the tournaments, not the alumni stuff. But teaching the players during practice was what coaching was all about to me.”


“Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.”

“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”

“Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”

“If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.”

“Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.”


“You are not a failure until you start blaming others for your mistakes”

“Tell the truth. That way you don’t have to remember a story.”

“Nothing will work unless you do.”

“Listen if you want to be heard”

“Happiness begins where selfishness ends.”


“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”

“It is amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit.”

“Never make excuses. Your friends don’t need them and your foes won’t believe them.”

“Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.”

“It takes time to create excellence. If it could be done quickly, more people would do it.”


“I like to spend time in the past, with the things that have been important to me.”

“Never lie, never cheat, never steal.”

“I’m no wizard, and I don’t like being thought of in that light at all. I think of a wizard as being some sort of magician or something, doing something on the sly or something, and I don’t want to be thought of in that way.”


“You can do more good by being good than any other way.”

“I don’t think I was a fine game coach. I’m trying to be honest. I think I was a good practice coach.”

“Earn the right to be proud and confident.”

“If I am through learning, I am through.”

“I’m not going to say I was opposed to the Vietnam War. I’m going to say I’m opposed to war. But I’m also opposed to protests that deny other people their rights.”

“It’s not so important who starts the game but who finishes it.”


“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”

“Ability is a poor man’s wealth.”

“When you hurry you’re more apt to make mistakes. But you have to be quick. If you’re not quick you can’t get things done.”

“Well, your greatest joy definitely comes from doing something for another, especially when it was done with no thought of something in return.”

“If a player’s not doing the things he should, put him on the bench. He’ll come around.”


“Teaching players during practices was what coaching was all about to me.”

“Don’t give up on your dreams, or your dreams will give up on you.”

“Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character.”

“I’d rather have a lot of talent and a little experience than a lot of experience and a little talent.”

“Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.”


“Material possessions, winning scores, and great reputations are meaningless in the eyes of the Lord, because He knows what we really are and that is all that matters.”

“All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low.”

“It isn’t what you do, but how you do it.”

“I think you have to be what you are. Don’t try to be somebody else. You have to be yourself at all times.”

“What you are as a person is far more important than what you are as a basketball player.”

1000+ Inspiring Basketball Quotes

“I think the teaching profession contributes more to the future of our society than any other single profession.”

“I am just a common man who is true to his beliefs.”

“Young people need models, not critics.”


“My eyesight is not nearly as good. My hearing is probably going away. My memory is slipping too. But I’m still around.”

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”

“You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.”

“The worst thing about new books is that they keep us from reading the old ones.”

“I had three rules for my players: No profanity. Don’t criticize a teammate. Never be late.”

“The best competition I have is against myself to become better.


“Just try to be the best you can be; never cease trying to be the best you can be. That’s in your power.”

“Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.”

“Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”

“There are many things that are essential to arriving at true peace of mind, and one of the most important is faith, which cannot be acquired without prayer.”

“Be true to yourself, help others, make each day your masterpiece, make friendship a fine art, drink deeply from good books – especially the Bible, build a shelter against a rainy day, give thanks for your blessings and pray for guidance every day.”

“Make each day your masterpiece“


“Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who’ll argue with you.”

Jimmy Valvano- Don’t give up


1000 Best Basketball Quotes


I can’t tell you what an honor it is, to even be mentioned in the same breath with Arthur Ashe. This is something I certainly will treasure forever.

Now I’m fighting cancer, everybody knows that. People ask me all the time about how you go through your life and how’s your day, and nothing is changed for me.

People think I have courage. The courage in my family are my wife Pam, my three daughters, here, Nicole, Jamie, LeeAnn, my mom, who’s right here too.

And I’m going to work as hard as I can… for cancer research and hopefully, maybe, we’ll have some cures and some breakthroughs. I’d like to think I’m going to fight my brains out to be back here again next year for the Arthur Ashe recipient. I want to give it next year!

How many people do you know who’ve had their dream come true? You’re looking at one.


I’ll also tell you that five hundred thousand people will die this year of cancer. And I’ll also tell you that one in every four will be afflicted with this disease, and yet, somehow, we seem to have put it in a little bit of the background.

I set out very calculatedly to become known. The only thing I maybe miscalculated was how easy it would be.

Time is very precious to me. I don’t know how much I have left and I have some things that I would like to say. Hopefully, at the end, I will have said something that will be important to other people too.


I asked a ref if he could give me a technical foul for thinking bad things about him. He said, of course not. I said, well, I think you stink. And he gave me a technical. You can’t trust em.


How do you go from where you are to where you wanna be? And I think you have to have an enthusiasm for life. You have to have a dream, a goal. And you have to be willing to work for it.

We need your help. I need your help. We need money for research. It may not save my life. It may save my children’s life. It may save someone you love. And it’s very important.

Now, I look at where I am now and I know what I wanna to do. What I would like to be able to do is to spend whatever time I have left and to give, and maybe some hope to others.

I’m not happy to be here. I’m just happy to be!


What enables us to achieve our greatness contains the seeds of our destruction.

Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul.

1000+ Inspiring Basketball Quotes

Be a dreamer. If you don’t know how to dream, you’re dead.

No matter what business you’re in, you can’t run in place or someone will pass you by. It doesn’t matter how many games you’ve won.

I just got one last thing, I urge all of you, all of you, to enjoy your life, the precious moments you have. To spend each day with some laughter and some thought, to get your emotions going.

And if you see me, smile and maybe give me a hug. That’s important to me too.

Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.


“Other people go to the office. I get to coach. I know I’ve been blessed”

“There are 86,400 seconds in a day. It’s up to you to decide what to do with them”

“A person really doesn’t become whole, until he becomes a part of something that’s bigger than himself”


“Be a dreamer. If you don’t know how to dream, you’re dead”

“If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special”

“To go from where you are to where you want to be: you have to have a dream, a goal, and you have to be willing to work for it”

“All really successful coaches have a system”

“Never give up. Failure and rejection are just the first steps to succeeding”



1000 Best Basketball Quotes


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


“I do believe in praising that which deserves to be praised.”

“Everyone on the bench stands for the man coming out of the game.”

“I would never recruit a player who yells at his teammates, disrespected his high school coach, or scores 33 points a game and his team goes 10-10.”

“The coach’s job is to be part servant in helping each player reach his goals within the team concept.”


“The most important thing in good leadership is truly caring.”

“Always have your players go and pick-up the guy who draws the charge.”

“The most important thing in good leadership is truly caring.”


“I wasn’t as critical during games as I was at practice. Players needed confidence during games more than criticism.”

“A lion never roars after a kill.”


“If you make every game a life and death proposition, you’re going to have problems. For one thing, you’ll be dead a lot.”

“I always mean what I say, but I don’t always say what I’m thinking.”

“What to do with a mistake–recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it.”


“A leader’s job is to develop committed followers. Bad leaders destroy their followers’ sense of commitment.”


Coach K- Communication



“Encourage members of your team to take the initiative and act on their own.”

“Leaders show respect for people by giving them time.”


“A leader has to be positive about all things that happen to his team. Look at nothing in the past as failure.”

“Erect no artificial walls that might limit potential, stifle creativity, or shackle innovation.”

“Two are better than one if two act as one.”


“You develop a team to achieve what one person cannot accomplish alone. All of us alone are weaker, by far, than if all of us are together.”

Goals should be realistic, attainable, and shared among all members of the team.”


“When a leader takes responsibility for his own actions and mistakes, he not only sets a good example, he shows a healthy respect for people on his team.”

“When you first assemble a group, it’s not a team right off the bat. It’s only a collection of individuals.”


“The truth is that many people set rules to keep from making decisions. Not me. I don’t want to be a manager or a dictator. I want to be a leader—and leadership is ongoing, adjustable, flexible, and dynamic. As such, leaders have to maintain a certain amount of discretion.”

“My love for Duke and this building and the people in it – I can’t love it more. And so to have my name on the court is great… and I’ll try to continue to honor that court in the way we have.”


“Every leader needs to remember that a healthy respect for authority takes time to develop. It’s like building trust. You don’t instantly have trust, it has to be earned.”

“In our program, the truth is the basis of all that we do. There is nothing more important than the truth because there’s nothing more powerful than the truth. Consequently, on our team, we always tell one another the truth. We must be honest with one another. There is no other way.”

“You have to work hard at staying in contact with your friends so that the relationships will continue and live on… Friendships, along with love, make life worth living.”


“When you cleanse yourself of a big victory, you may open yourself up to the opportunity for an even bigger victory.”

“During critical periods, a leader is not allowed to feel sorry for himself, to be down, to be angry, or to be weak. Leaders must beat back these emotions.”

“Confrontation simply means meeting the truth head-on.”


“We’re a part of this university in many respects. You can’t put a price tag on that. This has been the perfect place to coach and teach and learn… No matter how appealing another option was, to lead my Duke team with all my heart could only happen at this place.”

“When my relationship with Duke was put up against my relationship with a storied franchise, I found myself even more committed to what Duke has.”

“I don’t look at myself as a basketball coach. I look at myself as a leader who happens to coach basketball.”


“I define passion as extreme emotion.”

“Making shots counts, but not as much as the people who make them.”


“Effective teamwork begins and ends with communication.”

“Everyone’s ideas should be heard. It doesn’t matter who gets credit. As long as you’re working towards the same mission and shared purpose.”

“We’ve created a jealous-free zone. We look each other in the eye. We tell each other the truth and we trust each other.”


“I get a group of people who are talented to commit to excellence and to work together as one. That’s where it starts. Different talents, same commitment.”

“People want to be on a team. They want to be part of something bigger than themselves. They want to be in a situation where they feel that they are doing something for the greater good.”


“I believe God gave us crises for some reason—and it certainly wasn’t for us to say that everything about them is bad. A crisis can be a momentous time for a team to grow—if a leader handles it properly.”

“Courage and confidence are what decision making is all about.”


“Leaders should be reliable without being predictable. They should be consistent without being anticipated.”


Bobby Knight- Go to Practice



“You remember when you were a kid growing up, and believed in Santa Claus? There’s not much difference between Santa Claus and me today, you know. We’re two overweight lovable guys that kids really enjoy.”

“And I would be the first to admit that probably, in a lot of press conferences over the time that I have been in coaching, indulging my own sense of humor at press conferences has not been greatly to my benefit.”

“Everybody hears, but few listen.”


“I don’t have to wait until the next morning to regret something I did that was kinda dumb.”

“Son, my name isn’t Knight to you, it’s Coach Knight or it’s Mr. Knight. I don’t call people by their last name and neither should you.”


“Your biggest opponent isn’t the other guy. It’s human nature.”

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


“If I came in to recruit your son, I would tell you, your wife and your son that I will be the most demanding coach your son can play for.”

“People want national championship banners. People want to talk about Indiana being competitive. How do we get there? We don’t get there with milk and cookies.”

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


“Mental toughness is to physical as four is to one.”

“You play ball against yourself; your opponent is your potential.”

“Players must be able to carry out simple instructions from the bench to the court. If they can’t, then they can’t play”


“Do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done the best way it can be done, and do it that way every time.”

“We should not have to push you to work hard, you should work hard because you want to be a great player.”

“Perform drills that force your players to think”


“I’ve never felt my job was to win basketball games – rather, that the essence of my job as a coach was to do everything I could to give my players the background necessary to succeed in life.”

“Everybody wants to be on a championship team, but nobody wants to come to practice.”


“In order to achieve to achieve positive results, one must work for them, not hope for them”

“Offense is not equal opportunity”


Coach Cal – Working together



1000 Best Basketball Quotes


“If I walk in a home and a kid disrespects a woman, his mother or grandmother, then I am out… I won’t recruit them.”


“What do you do to help us win when you’re not scoring baskets?”

“What type of teammates do you want to play with? Be that teammate yourself.”

“Practice gotta be harder than the games and it never is unless you want it to be as a player. The coach can’t drive that.”

“I’m playing the guys who are going to fight. If you’re not into this, I’m going to someone else”


“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”

“You have to lose yourself in the team and you have to lose yourself in the game”

“When you bring in great players to play with other great players, there’s a multiplier effect, and they up better than they would have been individually.  They drive one another in practice.”

“Just because you’re a year older doesn’t automatically make you a year better.”


“When players combine elite athleticism and great determination, you don’t worry too much about position.”

“Honesty and its related quality, trust, are at the very core of my coaching philosophy.”

“If you need someone to be Superman at the end to win games, you’re going to lose games.”


“Do you want to read about history or make history?”

“Thinking about how you would try to beat your own team goes with the job of being a coach.”

“You must love the thought of pushing through your comfort level.”

“If I’m forced to choose between talent and experience, I’m taking talent every time.  You can gain experience and you can add skills, but what’s sometimes called God-given talent is just that.”


“I’m a collector of coaches, teachers, and mentors.  The ones from my younger days I keep in contact with and never let go.  And as I get older, I keep finding new ones.”

“The best players I’ve coached have a demeanor about them that never moves.  They have a calmness…Physiology-wise, rage and anger are related to fear.”

“If you’re a coach who truly respect the profession, you have to allow yourself to be coached.”


“Part of coaching is acting.  It’s true of any kind of leadership, whether you’re a CEO, an army general, or a father.  Part of the job is that you don’t reveal your own apprehensions.”

“I need people who look at adversity as a challenge and failure as a learning opportunity.”


“You’re going to make mistakes, just play through them.”

“The one thing no one on my staff can do is add stuff to my plate…If you’re piling more things on, I may have to let you go.”

“I had truly gone from the business of basketball to the business of helping families.”

“Classroom smarts and academic achievement relate to what we often call basketball IQ. I always want a kid who’s a good student.”


“During the season it’s about team.  From the moment our last game ends until the draft, it switches over to being about individual kids.”

“The quality I’m looking for in a kid is respect.”

“You don’t know if you will win or lose until you do.  I don’t give up on kids. I don’t give up on teams. I don’t give up on seasons.”

“My players have to have the intellect to absorb coaching and the emotional intelligence to be good teammates.”

“Nothing in my Players First philosophy says that I should protect kids from competition.  It’s just the opposite. I serve them by giving them competition.”

“Even when we won, I wasn’t fully satisfied, which is how you’re supposed to coach.  You’re happy, but you ask for more. You try to get up to the next level.”


“Recruiting is sales.  It’s persuasion. But a salesman who’s a fake isn’t a very good salesman – or at least he’s not good at selling to intelligent people.”

“Competition gets you out of bed in the morning.  It makes you alive and it makes you better. It reveals the best and the worst in us.  You learn whether you can stand up and respond to being challenged, or whether you back down.  When you start getting beaten, you either change or you fail.”

“A player who is looking for excuses doesn’t want you to put the responsibility on him.  It robs him of his best self-justification.”

“You want to know what delusional is?  I’ve had to say to kids, ‘You’re listening to your barber instead of listening to us.’”


“Institutions serve people, not the other way around.  So as a servant-leader, I measure my success by the success of those whom I’m serving.”

“Practice is where we work on our players’ weaknesses; games are where we show their strengths.”


“The art of coaching at this level is about convincing great athletes to change.  First we have to get them to accept what they’re not good at…Surrender to our instruction.  Surrender to physical conditioning.”

“As I became more secure, I liked that I could make my life about everyone but me.”

“I coach for the names on the backs of the jerseys – not just the front.  My players.”

“None of my players are as ready as they think they are for how we play at Kentucky – let alone ready for the pros – because they have rarely if ever been really pushed.”


“In almost all cases, their (the players) dream is to play in the NBA as soon as possible.  The more who achieve that goal, the more who want to come here. That’s the way it works. Success breeds more success.”

“I can’t hide you. There’s no hiding at Kentucky.”

“They knew we cared about them individually. I believe that gave them an even greater ability to care about each other—to be fully invested as teammates.”

“You can’t lead your players on the court if you don’t lead them off of it.”






“Attitude is a choice. What you think you can do, whether positive or negative, confidence or scared, will most likely happen.”

“The absolute heart of loyalty is to value those people who tell you the truth, not just those people who tell you what you want to hear. In fact, you should value them most. Because they have paid you the complement of leveling with you and assuming you can handle it.”

“Quit? Quit? We keep score in life because it matters. It counts. Too many people opt out and never discover their own abilities, because they fear failure. They don’t understand commitment. When you learn to keep fighting in the face of potential failure, it gives you a larger skill set to do what you want to do.”


When a player makes a mistake, you always want to put them back in quickly — you don’t just berate them and sit them down with no chance of redemption.”

“It’s harder to stay on top than it is to make the climb. Continue to seek new goals.”

“It is what it is. But, it will be what you make it.”

“It’s harder to stay on top than it is to make the climb. Continue to seek new goals.”


“Here’s how I’m going to beat you. I’m going to outwork you. That’s it. That’s all there is to it.”

“If you don’t want responsibility, don’t sit in the big chair. To be successful, you must accept full responsibility.”

“There is always someone better than you. Whatever it is that you do for a living, chances are, you will run into a situation in which you are not as talented as the person next to you. That’s when being a competitor can make a difference in your fortunes.”

God doesn’t take things away to be cruel. He takes things away to make room for other things. He takes things away to lighten us. He takes things away so we can fly.


I won 1,098 games, and eight national championships, and coached in four different decades. But what I see are not the numbers. I see their faces.

Attitude is a choice. Think positive thoughts daily. Believe in yourself.


No one feels strong when she examines her own weakness. But in facing weakness, you learn how much there is in you, and you find real strength.

Offense sells tickets, defense wins games, rebounding wins championships.



Rick Pitino – good players



1000 Best Basketball Quotes


“Nothing meaningful or lasting comes without working hard at it.”


“When love and discipline come together you have great chemistry.”

“Avoid cynical and negative people like the plague. They are killers of potential.”

“When you build bridges you can keep crossing them.”


“Working hard is not always fun – that’s why it is called work.”

“If you are not willing to work hard and establish discipline in your life, then all your dreams are merely pipe dreams.”

“It’s better to have a good player with the basketball in late game situations than to have plays.”


“Inferior guards play on the sidelines and great guards play in the middle. Isiah, Magic, Chris Paul, all get to the middle”

“Failure is good. It’s fertilizer. Everything I’ve learned about coaching I’ve learned from making mistakes.”

“The only way to get people to like working hard is to motivate them. Today, people must understand why they’re working hard. Every individual in an organization is motivated by something different.”

“Success is determined by your daily choices and habits.”


“Those who work the hardest are the last to surrender.”

“Learning what not to do is sometimes more important than learning what to do.”

“Those who work the hardest are the last to surrender.”

“When you have a problem, if you tell the truth, the problem becomes part of your past. If you lie, it becomes part of your future.”

“True motivation is not getting people to play to their potential. It’s getting people to play beyond their potential.’


““I just don’t deal with the negativity. I can’t get involved in that side of it. I don’t understand it, and you can’t let it take away from your life and what you are trying to do.”

“Excellence is the unlimited ability to improve the quality of what you have to offer.”

“True motivation is not getting people to play to their potential. It’s getting people to play beyond their potential”

“When you describe passion at any age, passion is derived from everything, from the people you work with to enjoying the last years.”



Rick Majerus- BBQ sauce



“One of the biggest reasons I like coaching college ball is the kids. I feel I can impact players’ lives.”


“If you want to have a lot of success, you need to have a lot of failure.”

“Most layups and two foot jump shots around the goal are missed by not putting the ball up high enough on the backboard.”

“My players on defense must have a hand-up on every shot. If not, they run sprints.”


“Switch if you have to! It’s not the mismatch that beats you, it’s the open shot!”

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

“To win the big games you must get to the free throw line, and then you must make them.”


“Blocking out is everyday, every drill, all the time. We run sprints every time someone does not blockout.”

“Some guys smoke. Some guys drink. Some guys chase women. I’m a big barbecue-sauce guy.”


“They talk about the economy this year. Hey, my hairline is in recession, my waistline is in inflation. Altogether, I’m in a depression.”

“I have friends in Utah who care about me as a person, not for what I am. They’ll call to see how my heart is, how my blood pressure is. That’s important to me.”


“If you want to have a lot of success, you need to have a lot of failure.”

“All things move on, good and bad. Never get too high or too low..”

“Great shooters are one dribble guys.”

“It’s good to be in on the action.”

“Nobody thought I’d be a great coach. I’m the kind of guy you’d expect to be driving an 18-wheeler through town.”


“You must have a passion to coach.”


Al McGuire- Don’t call me son



“The best thing about freshmen is that they become sophomores.”

“You measure a player from the head up.”

“If winning weren’t important nobody would keep score.”


“Our guys took Shop and Advanced Shop. Shop is when you make a chair. Advanced Shop is when you paint it.”

“Don’t call me son unless you’re going to include me in your will. (When Adolph Rupp called him, “Son.”)


“There’s no one who’s dropped on top of the mountain. You’ve got to work your way to the top.”

“Winning is overrated. The only time it is really important is in surgery and war.”

“The nicest thing about coaching is that one day you feel like you can play handball against a curb, and on other days you feel like you can fly to the moon.”


“Don’t be just another guy going down the street and going nowhere.”

“A team should be an extension of a coach’s personality. My teams are arrogant and obnoxious.”

“Life is what you allow yourself not to see.”

“Every obnoxious fan has a wife at home that dominates him.”


“You can always tell the Catholic schools by the length of the cheerleaders’ skirts.”

“Remember, half the doctors in this country graduated in the bottom half of their class.”

“The only mystery in life is why the kamikaze pilots wore helmets.”


“My rule was I wouldn’t recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house. That’s not my world. My world has a cracked sidewalk.”

“I think everyone should go to college and get a degree and then spend six months as a bartender and six months as a cabdriver. Then they would really be educated.”

“Help one kid at a time. He’ll maybe go back and help a few more.”

“I think the world is run by C students.”

“When a guy takes off his coat, he’s not going to fight. When a guy takes off his wristwatch, watch out!”


“I had my moment on the stage. The trick in life is to know when to leave.”


Tom Izzo- coaches want the best



1000 Best Basketball Quotes


“I don’t like my players. I love them. I love their passion for the game.”


“Players play. Tough players win.”

“Everyone thinks that coaches are the bad guy. Coaches want what is best for the player.”

“Great players crave discipline.”


“I hate one-sport guys. I like multidimensional people because I think that have multidimensional skills.”

“We are a trophy generation. Give the kids a trophy for 23rd place. Just make the parents happy.”

“I haven’t always recruited for the best talent. I’ve taken a few guys who would fit for different reasons. Leadership and Toughness.”

“We want men here, not just players. Players are a dime a dozen.”


“Discipline is the highest form of love. If you really love someone, you have to give them the level of discipline they need.”

“Today’s society wants to skip the process. I hate that.”


“Championships are won in locker rooms.”

“Wimps go up for rebounds with one hand, not two.”

“I told them their most important job now is the locker room, the dorm room, the hotel room. What they spread, what kind of message they spread, might be as critical as anything.”

“I’m sitting here crying about the officiating, that’s not what totally cost us the game.”

“What I keep telling our guys is, ‘No matter what your personality is, no matter where you’re from, no matter what color, size or age you are, there is still a right way and wrong way to do things. Usually the right way helps you become more successful than the wrong way.’ I really believe that. I really, really believe that.”

“If you play hard, good things happen to you.”


“If you don’t totally respect your opponents, then you better be damn talented yourself.”

“I despise Twitter. I compare it to getting drunk — and I don’t drink. But it’s like getting drunk. There’s 10 negatives for the one or two positives. That to me is our social media world.”


“When you push guys so hard, sometimes you kind of feel sorry for them. Thank God I didn’t let that get to me too much.”

“You don’t beat Duke, unless you beat Duke. They’re not going to beat themselves. It’s the first thing I said to my team. ‘You’d better saddle up because there will be nothing given.’”

“Discipline is the highest form of love. If you really love someone, you have to give them the level of discipline they need. “



Adolph Rupp- controlleth



“I believe that good defense embodies seven cardinal principle: reduce the number of your opponent’s shots; force your opponent into low percentage shots; control everything within 18 feet; eliminate second shots; no easy baskets; point the ball on all long shots; and prevent the ball from going into the pivot man.”


“If they don’t let me coach, they might as well take me to the Lexington cemetery.”

“He who controlleth the backboard, controlleth the game.”

“I wouldn’t give one iota to make a trip from the cradle to the grave unless I could live in a competitive world.”

“Success is the best builder of character.”


“ Your defense will save you on the nights that your offense isn’t working. “

“ We feel that every boy that puts on a Kentucky uniform just plays a little better than he would in one of another color “

“ I know I have plenty of enemies, but I’d rather be the most hated winning coach in the country than the most popular losing one.”


“ If a Coach is determined to stay in the coaching profession, he will develop from year to year. This much is true, no coach has a monopoly on the knowledge of basketball. There are no secrets in the game. The only secrets, if there are any, are good teaching of sound fundamentals, intelligent handling of men, a sound system of play, and the ability to instill in the boys a desire to win.”

“We’re never as good as we think we are, nor as bad as we think we are.”



Larry Brown – lottery picks



“As long as I feel like I’m helping kids get better, I don’t see why I should stop.”


“I’d rather be involved and somebody say, ‘Hey, coach, here’s what I need you to do. Go down to the D-League and work with guys’… I want the D-League coach to learn how to be a head coach.”

“Everyone wants to psychoanalyze me. I don’t know why.”


“Why would you want to do something and not be special and want the best?”

“I never left a team in worse shape than I got it. Not once.”


“I’ve been coaching how many years? A long time.”

“I don’t know why you play a team sport and not be concerned about making your teammates better and helping your team win games. That’s the only thing that really matters, and if you’re the best player, surely you’re going to have some effect on the game’s outcome.”

“I can’t walk in an airport, walk into a gym, where the kids in the gym don’t come to me and ask me about Allen and tell me he’s their favorite player of all time. And everywhere I go in airports, people look at me, and they, ‘You’re Allen’s coach.’”


“I would hope the NBA Players Association would say that people like LeBron could come out early because he’s so gifted, but if you stay, you stay three years. Your skill level will be greater, and the chances of you going to the NBA are much greater.”

“You look at the NBA: there’s all these young kids that are drafted on potential. They go to bad teams, they’re in bad locker rooms, and now we got this analytics stuff that doesn’t teach kids how to play. We’ve got these workout coaches that don’t teach kids how to play basketball.”

“I think, with every kid I coach, I’m trying to get them to do the right thing all the time. I always feel like you should raise the bar. There needs to be expectations.”


“I want every kid to go to college and be like a normal student. I want them to be able to go to a movie, go to a concert. I want them to be able to have that opportunity. But if you’re paying kids, are you going to pay a lineman less than you’re paying a quarterback? I don’t know how to explain that stuff.”

“I don’t think there’s any difference in my passion than when I was a young coach. I hope somebody in some way realizes I could be an asset, but we’ll just wait and see.”

“I want to teach. I’ve got to figure a way to continue doing this in some capacity.”


“I almost took a job in Italy. It was really a great opportunity, but they didn’t think I had enough international experience.”

“You’ve got to try to guard, make an effort to defend to the best of your ability. You have to rebound the ball, which was an area that was so critical. And they wanted you to play smart and have fun. I’ve kind of tried to let our people understand those are the most important things that I could possibly tell them.”

“I’ve grown up playing for some incredible coaches, and I don’t think anybody’s ever been as fortunate as I have in terms of the people I’ve been allowed to play under, coach under, or be involved with.”

“I think it’s an unbelievable responsibility to our sport, coaching in New York, because the fans are probably the most knowledgeable, or as knowledgeable as any team in the League.”


“If you see the NBA now, a lot of it is in transition. Most people now try to get an easy shot off in six or eight seconds before the defense gets set.”

“I can’t figure out how you can draft players for a coach that you know coaches a certain a style, and was successful doing that style, and get him to play a style that you feel comfortable with.”

“I can’t figure out how you can hire a coach and tell him how you want him to play.”

“My whole thing is being a coach, a GM, and a president: you all got to be attached at the hip. There’s got to be no separation between you. The players got to know it’s one voice: we’re all in this together; we’re going to do this right.”


“I struggled in school. Math and science were difficult for me. But I can watch 10 guys play, and I can tell you what everybody did. It might be a curse because when you see everything, sometimes you don’t let your kids play.”

“College kids want to be coached. They want to be taught. They might resist it a little bit early on, but the more you give, the more you get back.”


“The bottom line is, I want us to rebound, defend, share the ball, play hard. That’s all. Now if you can’t do that, if that’s not important enough to you, it’s not on me.”

“When I was 26, I got offered the Connecticut job, but the ABA started, and I thought I could still play.”

“When you’re bad in the NBA, you’re in the lottery. When you’re great in college, you get multiple lottery picks.”


“You always care about your teammates, and you care about the game.”

“I want to do anything where people feel I can help make their franchise better and make a contribution.”


“When you’re losing game after game after game it’s tough. It’s hard to keep them up. It’s hard to get guys to keep competing. It’s really tough on the young kids. But you can’t stop coaching and trying to get better. You hope you have something positive to talk about.”


phil jackson



“The strength of the team lies within the individual. And the strength of the individual lies within the team.”


“Good teams become great ones when the members trust each other enough to surrender the Me for the We.”

“You can’t force your will on people. If you want them to act differently, you need to inspire them to change themselves”

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

“I won’t coach this team next year if he is still here. He won’t listen to anyone. I’ve had it with this kid.”


“Like life, basketball is messy and unpredictable. It has its way with you, no matter how hard you try to control it. The trick is to experience each moment with a clear mind and open heart. When you do that, the game – and life – will take care of itself.”

“The most we can hope for is to create the best possible conditions for success, then let go of the outcome. The ride is a lot more fun that way.”

“Before a vision can become a reality, it must be owned by every member of the group.”


“Leadership is not about forcing your will on others. It’s about mastering the art of letting go.”

“No one plays this or any game perfectly. It’s the guy who recovers from his mistakes who wins.”

“The sign of a great player is how much he elevates his colleagues’ performance.”

“Coaching is about, “How do I get people to play at their peak level?” It is a spiritual quest. And if it’s not that, you don’t have a challenge, you don’t have a mission. Forming a brotherhood and trying to move it forward – that’s what coaching is.”


“Winning is important to me, but what brings me real joy is the experience of being fully engaged in whatever I’m doing.”

“Once you’ve done the mental work, there comes a point you have to throw yourself into the action and put your heart on the line. That means not only being brave, but being compassionate towards yourself, your teammates and your opponents.”

“Wisdom is always an overmatch for strength.”


“And yet as a coach, I know that being fixated on winning or more likely, not losing is counterproductive, especially when it causes you to lose control of your emotions. What’s more, obsessing about winning is a loser’s game: The most we can hope for is to create the best possible conditions for success, then let go of the outcome. The ride is a lot more fun that way.”

“If you have a clear mind . . . you won’t have to search for direction. Direction will come to you.”


“My dad always had this little sign on his desk: ‘The bigger your head is, the easier your shoes are to fill’. He really drilled that in.”

“The real value in everything you do is in the details. I just like that quote. A very similar way to say the same thing. If you’re washing dishes you pay attention to washing dishes. If you’re driving a car, you’re paying attention to driving the car.”


“Always keep an open mind and a compassionate heart.”

“It takes a number of critical factors to win an NBA championship, including the right mix of talent, creativity, intelligence, toughness, and of course, luck. But if a team doesn’t have the most essential ingredient – love – none of those other factors matter.”

“A coach’s main job is to reawaken a spirit in which the players can blend together effortlessly.”

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


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

“In basketball — as in life — true joy comes from being fully present in each and every moment, not just when things are going your way”


“Basketball is a sport that involves the subtle interweaving of players at full speed to the point where they are thinking and moving as one”

“Maturity begins to grow when you can sense your concern for others out-weighing your concern for yourself”

“Always keep an open mind and a compassionate heart”


“I thrive on challenges, and there is no more imposing challenge for someone in my profession than winning an NBA title”

“I think the most rewarding part of the job, and I think most coaches would say it, is practice. If you have it, a very good practice in which you have 12 guys participate, and they can really get something out of it, lose themselves in practice.”


tom thibodeau



“You have to have a mentality. This is a business. This ain’t hanging out having a good time”


“You learn from everybody. You learn from the players. You learn from great coaches. You learn from great teams”

“You’re a sum of all your experiences.”


“You have to have core values. What do you believe in? Do you believe in hard work? Do you believe in discipline? Do you believe in conditioning? Because those are the things I know that do work.”

“In all my years one thing has never changed; You win with serious, tough-minded players. That never changes”


“The challenge is not to get caught up in the hoopla. To understand what goes into winning – stay focused, you’ve got to be prepared, you need an edge. If you get lost in all the other stuff you’re not going to be prepared to play well.”

“There are no shortcuts. If you want to do something special, there’s a serious price to pay. There’s no way around it.”


“Practice is important. The regular season is important. Your meetings are important. Your walk-through is important. Everything is important. You want to be a championship team, there’s a price to pay. And that’s what you have to do. There’s no shortcuts. You can’t shortcut your way to success.”

“People always talk about going on offensive runs. But you can go on defensive runs too”


“The guys who take shortcuts, who aren’t ready, they fail when their opportunity comes”


Red Auerbach- acre or performance



1000 Best Basketball Quotes


“You handle animals. You deal with people.”

“All records are made to be broken.”


“An acre of performance is worth a whole world of promise.”

“You’ve got to avoid overcoaching. You’ve got to avoid talking too much. You’ve got to avoid showing players that you’re the boss every time. You don’t have to do that. They know you’re in charge.”

“Basketball is like war in that offensive weapons are developed first, and it always takes a while for the defense to catch up.”


“I’ve turned down a lot of trades where I might have gotten a better player, but I wasn’t totally sure of the chemistry of that new player coming in. Even though he might possess golden ability, his personality and the way he gets along with teammates might be things you just don’t want to cope with.”

“Look after your people.”

“Strategy is something anyone can learn. But not all coaches take the time to understand a man’s personality.”


“It’s not what you tell your players that counts. It’s what they hear.”

“I can’t stand a ballplayer who plays in fear.”

“Just do what you do best.”


“The best way to forget oneself is to look at the world with attention and love.”

“Winners train, losers complain. Give me twelve players that want to win and they will find a way to win.”


“Many, many times, the kids with the less talent become the better athletes because they’re more dedicated to achieving their full potential.”

“Stand up for your players. Show them you care-on and off the court. Very important-it’s not ‘how’ or ‘what’ you say but what they absorb.”

“To be a successful coach you should be and look prepared. You must be a man of integrity. Never break your word. Don’t have two sets of standards.”

“The only correct actions are those that demand no explanation and no apology.”

“I don’t believe in statistics. There are too many factors that can’t be measured. You can’t measure a ballplayer’s heart.”


“The Boston Celtics are not a basketball team, they are a way of life.”

“You don’t win games as a coach during games. You win games as a coach before games. Players win during games, not coaches”

“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.”

“If you want to be a Champion, you’ve got to feel like one, you’ve got to act like one, you’ve got to look like one.”


“They said you have to use your five best players but I found you win with the five who fit together the best.”

“Take pride in what you do. The kind of pride I’m talking about is not the arrogant puffed-up kind; it’s just the whole idea of caring – fiercely caring”

“The most important thing in coaching is communication. It’s not what you say as much as what they absorb.”



Chuck Daly- good players



“A lot of guys go through their whole careers and don’t win a championship, but are still great coaches.”

“Defense can’t guard two things in a row.”


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

“It’s discouraging to make a mistake, but it’s humiliating when you find out you’re so unimportant that nobody noticed it.”

“The first shot does not beat you.”

“Offense is spacing and spacing is offense.”


“Defense doesn’t break down on the help, it breaks down on the recovery.”

“Athletes that can’t listen, can condition.”


“Players have to buy into your system and be willing to accept the role, you, as the coach, have assigned to them””

“The less determined and the less motivated weed themselves out.”


“I’m a lot better coach when I have really good players”

“If one of our players gets his second foul in the first half, then he must come out of the game and not re-enter until the second half. To play defense and not foul is an art that must be mastered if you are going to be successful.”

“Coaching is like flying an airplane, there is going to be a lot of turbulence, but your job is to land the plane safely.”


“There’s nothing like being involved with a team that can go that distance.”


Brad Stevens- accountability



1000 Best Basketball Quotes


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

“The game honors toughness”


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

“We’re building a culture of accountability, trust, and togetherness. Entitlement will not be tolerated”

“How good can we expect to be if our best player is not our best teammate”


“The difference between a good defensive team and a bad defensive team is as little as three possessions”

“The key is to maintain an evenness. Try to play one possession at a time, regardless of what happened on the last possession”

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


“As a coach I think that’s one of the things we have to exude: the ability to move on regardless of the result.”

“If you don’t have accountability, you will not improve.”



Dr Jack Ramsay- good defense



“I believe you win games by what you do from your first practice until your first game”

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


“Players draw confidence from a poised, alert coach who anticipates changing in game conditions”

“Winning is more related to good defense than good offense”


“The highest level of achievement is attained by the teams with the best conditioned players”

“Teams that play together beat those teams with superior players who play more as individuals”


“Basketball, like all sports, is predicated on the execution of fundamentals. The coach is a teacher. His subject: fundamentals”

“Even the greatest players accept coaching and value the need for discipline and the order that it brings to the team”

“Well-coached teams are never surprised; they can adapt to anything they see.”


“A star can win any game; a team can win every game.”


Hubie Brown- slide by



“If something works for another school, use it. Don’t act like you are too good to use other ideas.”


“The greatest sin a coach can commit is to allow kids to slide by. This goes for the classroom as well as the court.”

“Winning teams at the NBA level, the college level, and the high school level all play team basketball. Championship teams have 5 players on the same page at all times”

“Use different basketball offensive alignments to cause confusion for the other team.”


“Talent and work ethic, the most important and rare combination.”

“You always want to be able to convey items of interest, items that make the fan see what’s happening, help them in their conversations of comparing teams or players and then be able to back it up to open his eyes to the history of the league.”

“In planning any type of offense, when a player leaves a spot always replace him with another offensive player.”


“Don’t try to imitate other coaches. Be your own person with your own style and do your own thing.”

“No matter how good you are, at top of your game, always remember that you’re a half a step away from the street.”


“If your team isn’t with you it doesn’t matter what you draw up. The team must respect what the coach is asking them to do”

“No one is bigger than the team. You’re going to be on time, you’re going play hard, you’re going to know your job and you’re going to know when to pass and shoot. If you can’t do those four things you’re not getting time here and we don’t care who you are.”



Pat Riley- great players



“Whatever it takes to win.”

“There’s no such thing as coulda, shoulda, or woulda. If you shoulda and coulda, you woulda done it.”


“From nobody to upstart. From upstart to contender. From contender to winner. From winner to champion. From champion to Dynasty.”

“Giving yourself permission to lose guarantees a loss.”

“Great players crave instruction on their weaknesses.”


“In every contest, there comes a moment that separates winning from losing. The true warrior understands and seizes that moment.”

“All I did from day-to-day is coach. That’s what my job was, that’s what my passion was, and the fact that now it’s something I’m being considered for is just mind-blowing to me, that I would ever be in that kind of company.”

“Great teamwork is the only way we create the breakthroughs that define our careers.”


“If you get tough mentally, you can get tough physically and overcome fatigue.”

“Management must speak with one voice. When it doesn’t management itself becomes a peripheral opponent to the team’s mission.”

“Each Warrior wants to leave the mark of his will, his signature, on important acts he touches. This is not the voice of ego but of the human spirit, rising up and declaring that it has something to contribute to the solution of the hardest problems, no matter how vexing!”


“Effort is what ultimately separates journeyman players from impact players. Knowing how well a player executes all these little things is the key to unlocking career-best performances.”

“Anytime you stop striving to get better, you’re bound to get worse.”


“The most difficult thing for individuals to do when they become part of a team is to sacrifice, it is much easier to be selfish.”

“When you’re playing against a stacked deck, compete even harder. Show the world how much you’ll fight for the winners circle. If you do, someday the cellophane will crackle off a fresh pack, one that belongs to you, and the cards will be stacked in your favor.”

“A lucky few are born into situations in which positive messages abound. Others grow up hearing messages of fear and failure, which they must block out so the positive can be heard. But the positive and courageous voice will always emerge, somewhere, sometime, for all of us. Listen for it, and your breakthroughs will come.”


“Don’t let other people tell you what you want.”

“Am I a control freak? No. Do I believe in organization? You bet. In discipline? In being on time and making sure everything at the hotel is ready and right? Definitely. I don’t control players. I try to control the environment around the players so they can flourish.”

“Any team can be a miracle team. The catch is that you have got to go out and work for your miracles. Effort is what ultimately separates great teams from ordinary teams.”

Basketball Quotes

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

“The key to teamwork is to learn a role, accept a role, and strive to become excellent playing it.”

Basketball Quotes

“Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.”

“Excellence happens when you try each day to both do and be, a little better than you were yesterday.”

“If you have a positive attitude and constantly strive to give your best effort, eventually you will overcome your immediate problems and find you are ready for greater challenges.”

“There are only two options regarding commitment; you’re either in or you’re out.”



Doug Collins- teachers


Basketball Quotes

1000 Best Basketball Quotes


“I think every time you coach a certain team, when you leave that franchise, I think you continue to grow. You take a look at the things that you did, the things you wish you had done better. You analyze your strengths and your weaknesses, and then when you move to your next job, you continue to do the same thing.”

“I was taught by teachers, and if it’s one thing I have it’s a basketball mind and I try to pass it on and pay it forward.”

Basketball Quotes

“I’m a numbers guy, and I think numbers sometimes tell stories and sometimes they don’t. When you look at the NBA, when teams shoot 45% or better from the floor, what is their record? And if they shoot under that what is their record?”

“As I look back on the day I signed my professional contract in 1973, I’ve never gone to sleep wondering if I could pay the bills or take care of my family. That’s what basketball has done for me. It’s given me the greatest of thrills from high school to college to the Olympics to coaching to broadcasting.”

“The one thing about players today is that they’re very sensitive, and very fragile. They didn’t grow up with tough coaches.”

Basketball Quotes

“You don’t want to be down 2-0 in a series. It’s always important to try and get one on the opponent’s home court. It makes your job at home easier.”

“I’ve always said you have to go through a lot of heartache in life to feel joy.”

“Work as hard as you can to become as good an individual player as you can to help your team win”

Basketball Quotes


Roy Williams -mailman



“I love playing road games. I love that atmosphere. I encourage my players to treat games away from home as a wonderful challenge. I like to tell my team, “Let’s go into their living room and steal their brownies.”

Basketball Quotes

“I tell every prospect I recruit that I’m going to try to outwork every other coach… I like to ask prospects, “Who is recruiting you the hardest?” If they don’t say me, I’m mad and I’ll go back to my staff and tell them we’ve got to do more.”

“It’s all about having the confidence and attitude that I can beat your butt anytime, anywhere, anyplace, anyhow… The bottom line is that I want my players to understand that at some point in every game, somebody’s going to give in, and I don’t ever want it to be us. We want to be the last team standing.”

“If the mailman stopped to kick every dog that barked at him, he’d never deliver the mail.”

Basketball Quotes


Bo Ryan- persistence



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

Basketball Quotes

“I recruit hungry kids who love the game and want to get better and feel they have more questions than answers”

“Shot fakes and ball fakes work. No one uses more than Wisconsin. It’s amazing how many people don’t use them”

Basketball Quotes

“I didn’t get into teaching and coaching for the number of wins or the money. It was a passion for trying to help young people”

“You measure a person by what it takes to discourage them.”



Jordan – No I in Team



1000 Best Basketball Quotes


“You can practice shooting 8 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.”


“Heart is what separates the good from the great.”

“I realized that if I was going to achieve anything in life I had to be aggressive. I had to get out there and go for it.”

“It’s heavy duty to try to do everything and please everybody. My job was to go out there and play the game of basketball as best I can. People may not agree with that. I can’t live with what everyone’s impression of what I should or what I shouldn’t do.”


“The game is my wife. It demands loyalty and responsibility, and it gives me back fulfillment and peace.”

“I’m not out there sweating for three hours every day just to find out what it feels like to sweat.”


“I never looked at the consequences of missing a big shot… When you think about the consequences you will always think of the negative result.”

“Every time I feel tired while I am exercising and training, I close my eyes to see that picture, to see that list with my name. This usually motivates me to work again.”

“I play to win, whether during practice or a real game.”


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

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


“The minute you get away from fundamentals – whether it’s proper technique, work ethic or mental preparation – the bottom can fall out of your game, your schoolwork, your job, whatever you’re doing.”

“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”


“Make it happen”

“Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.”

“Everybody has talent, but ability takes hard work.”

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


“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.”

“My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.”

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.”

“It’s absolutely wrong that I don’t want guys to challenge me. And the people who say that aren’t in the room.”


“Even when I’m old and gray, I won’t be able to play it, but I’ll still love the game.”

“I want to be perceived as a guy who played his best in all facets, not just scoring. A guy who love challenges.”


“My challenge when I came back was to face the young talent, to dissect their games, and show them maybe that they needed to learn more about the game than just the money aspect.”

“In any investment, you expect to have fun and make money.”

“My heroes are and were my parents. I can’t see having anyone else as my heroes.”

“In reality, I never want to grow up.”

“I hope the millions of people I’ve touched have the optimism and desire to share their goals and hard work and perseverance with a positive attitude.”


“I want to be the bridge to the next generation.”

“Being Michael Jordan means acting the same as I always have.”

“I believe greatness is an evolutionary process that changes and evolves era to era.”


“I want to wake up every day and do whatever comes in my mind, and not feel pressure or obligations to do anything else in my life.”

“Winning isn’t always championships.”

“Sometimes, things may not go your way, but the effort should be there every single night.”

“You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.”

“If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome.”


“The game has its ups and downs, but you can never lose focus of your individual goals and you can’t let yourself be beat because of lack of effort.”

“I would tell players to relax and never think about what’s at stake. Just think about the basketball game. If you start to think about who is going to win the championship, you’ve lost your focus.”

“Be true to the game, because the game will be true to you. If you try to shortcut the game, then the game will shortcut you. If you put forth the effort, good things will be bestowed upon you. That’s truly about the game, and in some ways that’s about life too.”


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

“I know fear is an obstacle for some people, but it is an illusion to me. Failure always made me try harder the next time.”

“My body could stand the crutches but my mind couldn’t stand the sideline.”

“I’ve never lost a game I just ran out of time.”


“The best come from the worst.”

“You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.”

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

“Learning’s a gift, even when pain is your teacher.”


“The key to success is failure.”

“Once I made a decision, I never thought about it again.”

“If you do the work you get rewarded. There are no shortcuts in life.”

“Don’t let them drag you down by rumors just go with what you believe in.”

“To learn to succeed, you must first learn to fail.”


“Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.”

“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.”

“You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them.”


“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”

“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.”

“Live the moment for the moment.”


“I know the signs of scaredness.”

“I built my talents on the shoulders of someone else’s talent.”

“Do I need my number retired throughout the course of the league to acknowledge what I’ve done? No.”

“For a competitive junkie like me, golf is a great solution because it smacks you in the face every time you think you’ve accomplished something. That to me has taken over a lot of the energy and competitiveness for basketball.”


“In college I never realized the opportunities available to a pro athlete. I’ve been given the chance to meet all kinds of people, to travel and expand my financial capabilities, to get ideas and learn about life, to create a world apart from basketball.”

“How many times have your parents told you not to do things, and the next thing you know, you go do it? And you realized you shouldn’t have done it.”

“Sometimes, things may not go your way, but the effort should be there every single night.”


“When I will 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.”

“My father used to say that it’s never too late to do anything you wanted to do. And he said you never know what you can accomplish until you try.”

“If I had been playing for money I would have complained a long time ago that I was underpaid.”


“Enjoy every minute of life. Never second-guess life.”

“Sometimes you need to get hit in the head to realize that you’re in a fight.”

“Best evaluation I can make of a player is to look in his eyes and see how scared they are.”

“I mean we all fly. Once you leave the ground, you fly. Some people fly longer than others.”


“You have competition every day because you set such high standards for yourself that you have to go out every day and live up to that.”

“There is no such thing as a perfect basketball player, & I don’t believe there is only one greatest player either.”

“I own the guy guarding me.”

“Being afraid on the court means you’re not confident of your skills”


“Limits, like fears, are often just an illusion”


Lebron – succeed



“I’m going to use all my tools, my God-given ability, and make the best life I can with it.”


“Sometimes your best effort just isn’t good enough.”

“Something just doesn’t pop under your nose; you have to work for it.”

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


“This is a job and we want to have fun. But it’s a job and we should look like we’re going to work.”

“I’m just a little kid from Akron.”

“But ever since I was a kid, I was always the winner.”


“Warren Buffett told me once and he said always follow your gut. When you have that gut feeling, you have to go with don’t go back on it.”

“I make impact plays. I make game-changing plays.”

“Volleyball, I could be pretty good. After a few practices I could be that striker, or whatever they call it.”

“Basketball is my passion, I love it. But my family and friends mean everything to me. That’s what’s important. I need my phone so I can keep in contact with them at all times.”


“I hate letting my teammates down. I know I’m not going to make every shot. Sometimes I try to make the right play, and if it results in a loss, I feel awful. I don’t feel awful because I have to answer questions about it. I feel awful in that locker room because I could have done something more to help my teammates win.”

“But now, being a parent, I go home and see my son and I forget about any mistake I ever made or the reason I’m upset. I get home and my son is smiling or he comes running to me. It has just made me grow as an individual and grow as a man.”


“My mom and I have always been there for each other. We had some tough times, but she was always there for me.”

“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.”

“Maybe the ones burning my jersey were never LeBron fans anyway.”


“But sports carried me away from being in a gang, or being associated with drugs. Sports was my way out.”

“To all the positions, I just bring the determination to win. Me being an unselfish player, I think that can carry on to my teammates. When you have one of the best players on the court being unselfish, I think that transfers to the other players.”

“I always say, decisions I make, I live with them. There’s always ways you can correct them or ways you can do them better. At the end of the day, I live with them.”


“Every night on the court I give my all, and if I’m not giving 100 percent, I criticize myself.”

“Once you get on the playing field it’s not about whether you’re liked or not liked. All that matters is to play at a high level and do whatever it takes to help your team win. That’s what it’s about.”

“As a professional athlete a lot is going to be said about you – but I just try to move forward and try to achieve my goals.”


“When you have that respect from your teammates, it makes it a lot more comfortable.”

“I have short goals – to get better every day, to help my teammates every day – but my only ultimate goal is to win an NBA championship. It’s all that matters. I dream about it. I dream about it all the time, how it would look, how it would feel. It would be so amazing.”

“I don’t know how tall I am or how much I weigh. Because I don’t want anybody to know my identity. I’m like a superhero. Call me Basketball Man.”

“My father wasn’t around when I was a kid, and I used to always say, ‘Why me? Why don’t I have a father? Why isn’t he around? Why did he leave my mother?’ But as I got older I looked deeper and thought, ‘I don’t know what my father was going through, but if he was around all the time, would I be who I am today?’”

“I think, team first. It allows me to succeed, it allows my team to succeed.”


“You can’t be afraid to fail. It’s the only way you succeed – you’re not gonna succeed all the time, and I know that.”

“I like criticism. It makes you strong.”


“Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.”

“I don’t need too much. Glamour and all that stuff don’t excite me. I’m just glad I have the game of basketball in my life.”


Larry Bird- fundamentals



1000 Best Basketball Quotes


“Strength is not nearly as important as desire. I don’t think you can teach anyone desire. I think it’s a gift. I don’t know why I have it, but I do.”

“Michael Jordan is God disguised as a basketball player.”


“When I go to the line I’m thinking ‘All net.’ When I don’t think that, I’m likely to miss.”

“First master the fundamentals.”


“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.”

“I don’t think that once you get to one level, you can relax. You’ve got to keep pushing.”

“As far as playing, I didn’t care who guarded me – red, yellow, black. I just didn’t want a white guy guarding me, because it’s disrespect to my game.”


“It makes me sick when I see a guy just stare at a loose ball and watch it go out of bounds.”

“It doesn’t matter who scores the points, it’s who can get the ball to the scorer.”


“Leadership is getting players to believe in you. If you tell a teammate you’re ready to play as tough as you’re able to, you’d better go out there and do it. Players will see right through a phony. And they can tell when you’re not giving it all you’ve got.”

“I hate to lose more than I like to win.”


“You’re all playin’ for second place.”

“You never make any of the shots you never take. 87% of the ones you do take, you’ll miss too. I make 110% of my shots.”

“There are many times when you are better off practicing than playing; but most people just don’t understand that”

“You can make all the excuses you want, but if you’re not mentally tough and you’re not prepared to play every night, you’re not going to win.”


“I wasn’t real quick, and I wasn’t real strong. Some guys will just take off and it’s like, whoa. So I beat them with my mind and my fundamentals.”

“Practice habits were crucial to my development in basketball. 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.”

“My coach told me, “Larry, no matter how much you work at it, there’s always someone out there who’s working just a little harder – if you take 150 practice shots, he’s taking 200.” And that drove me.”


“Leadership is diving for a loose ball, getting the crowd involved, getting other players involved. It’s being able to take it as well as dish it out. That’s the only way you’re going to get respect from the players.”

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


Magic Johnson -assists



“If you’re a competitive person, that stays with you. You don’t stop. You always look over your shoulder.”

“I love coming to work. I never have a bad day.”

“I’m at peace with myself. The main thing is not letting people dictate what I do or what I am.”


“My father was a great example of a strong and good man and Christian man, and my mother taught all my six sisters how to be young ladies and mothers and how to take care of your family. And so I think they were – they still are – great examples for all of us to their kids and to the world, too.”

“When you face a crisis, you know who your true friends are.”

“If somebody says no to you, or if you get cut, Michael Jordan was cut his first year, but he came back and he was the best ever. That is what you have to have. The attitude that I’m going to show everybody, I’m going to work hard to get better and better.”

“I really want people to know that I’ve worked hard, very hard, to get to where I am today.. this didn’t just happen overnight. I started in business over 25 years ago and have found a way to build on what I’ve learned through every partnership and opportunity.”


“I am a businessman. This is what I do each and every day. I love it. I love coming to work. I never have a bad day.”

“I was able to see what I wanted to do, I could see the opportunity, even when others could not, and I stay committed to doing it and doing it well, no matter what.”

“Assists is what Earvin is all about. That’s what my whole life has been, assisting others.”


“I’m a big believer in dreaming. If you don’t dream it, you can’t become it.”

“Everyone thought I was going to die like a year later, they didn’t know. So I helped educate sports, and then the world, that a man living with HIV can play basketball. He’s not going to give it to anybody by playing basketball.”

“I think you just have to keep knocking down doors, you have to keep being aggressive, and even if somebody says ‘No’, then you have to knock on the next door.”

“I’m a big believer in dreaming. If you don’t dream it, you can’t become it.”


“When I’m under the gun and I’ve got pressure on me, I don’t panic. I look for the right solution, and then I go for it.”

“For me, it always goes back to something I learned in basketball. There’s winning and there’s losing, and in life you have to know they both will happen. But what’s never been acceptable to me is quitting.”

“Just celebrate the life you had, not the life you could’ve had.”


“I motivate others by making sure that they understand to go after their dreams and don’t let anyone tell you you can’t. If you are motivated enough and put the work in that you can achieve anything in life that you set your mind to.”

“Because if you’re going to lose, lose. I’m serious.”

“You’re the only one who can make the difference. Whatever your dream is, go for it.”


“All kids need is a little help, a little hope and somebody who believes in them.”

“‘I grew up poor, but I didn’t have poor dreams”

“When you are a successful business person, you are only as good as your team. No one can do every deal alone.”

‘Talent is never enough. With few exceptions the best players are the hardest workers.”

“In life, winning and losing will both happen. What is never acceptable is quitting.”


“You can’t get AIDS from a hug or a handshake or a meal with a friend.”

“Life doesn’t stop because something happens to yo”

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

“I’m not cured, but the HIV is asleep deep in my body.”

“Magic is crazy. He is that crazy wild guy on the basketball court that is very intense and very serious. He is the guy who lives and eats and breathes basketball. Magic is a guy who would stand for nothing but winning and really prepared himself as well as he prepared his team. Earvin is the complete opposite.”



Shaq – winning



“I’m tired of hearing about money, money, money, money, money. I just want to play the game, drink Pepsi, wear Reebok.”

“Generals don’t panic; then the troops never panic.”


“I knew I was dog meat. Luckily, I’m the high-priced dog meat that everybody wants. I’m the good-quality dog meat. I’m the Alpo of the NBA.”

“As a youngster, my mother and father always drilled into my head having something to fall back on. My father was kind of funny. I’d score 40 points. I’d come home and say, ‘Look dad, I scored 40.’ He’d never have a smile on his face. He’d be like, ‘I saw that move you did. What if you’d hurt your knee?’”

“Look up the word role in the dictionary and you’ll see it means playing a part. That’s why I call myself a real model.”

“I want to be known as ‘The Big Shakespeare.’ It was Shakespeare that said, ‘Some men are born great, some achieve greatness, some have greatness thrust upon them.”

“I’m a mama’s boy above all.”


“When you’re in championships, it’s never about what you do. It’s always about what other people do.”

“I’m a weird big guy. Doing rapping, doing movies. Do a lot of stuff. But always do things the right way.”

“Nobody’s going to tell me how to be different, so stop asking me. Stop asking me what two-plus-two is. Everybody knows two-plus-two is five.”

“When you’re righteous, you don’t have to tell people that you’re righteous.”


“I never worry about the problem. I worry about the solution.”

“I am the number one Ninja and I have killed all the Shoguns in front of me.”

“For all my friends in the media who like quotes, mark this quote down. From this day on I’d like to be known as ‘The Big Aristotle’ because Aristotle once said, ‘Excellence is not a singular act; it’s a habit. You are what you repeatedly do.”

“The Hack-A-Shaq is just a way of telling me that you can’t stop me. Thank you. I appreciate it.”


“So to me, shooting 40 percent at the foul line is just God’s way of saying that nobody’s perfect. If I shot 90 percent from the line, it just wouldn’t be right.”


“I weigh 330,000 pounds…I’m the NBA’s best NFL player, and I’ve always been the sexiest 7-footer in the NBA–for 12 years running.”

“As a general, and as a leader of this team, whatever I’ve got to do get my guys going I’ll do it every time. If I have to be the bad guy sometime, I’ll guess I’ll take that.”

“My personal opinion is, how, if you never hung out with somebody, do you know them so well? I never hung out with that dude because the dude is a weirdo.”


“Or ‘The Big Havlicek,’ which is what I called myself after making a bunch of foul shots one night.”

“I guess people think the taller you are the more dominant you have to be.”

“The day I stopped worrying about stats is the day I started winning.”


“I don’t believe that I personally have been changed by the money. The bad thing is people assume you’ve changed because now you have money.”

“I really get motivated when I have doubters.”


charles barkley- train



“He’s got to bring something stronger than that. That’s like bringing milk to a bar, it’s not strong enough”


“I can be bought. If they paid me enough, I’d work for the Klan.”

“Man, everything gets blamed on the Clintons, every single thing in this world. I think Bill Clinton shot JFK, too.”

“”I know why his name is DMX. Because his real name is Earl. Imagine if his name was Earl the rapper.”

“If you go out with a girl and they say she has a great personality, she’s ugly. If they tell you a guy works hard, he can’t play a lick. Same thing.”

“I’m not a role model… Just because I dunk a basketball doesn’t mean I should raise your kids.”


“My initial response was to sue her for defamation of character, but then I realized that I had no character.”

“I don’t care what people think. people are stupid.”


“I truly believe that building bridges, not building walls and not giving into fear, will make our communities better.”

“For some reason, we’re brainwashed to think if you’re not a thug or an idiot, you’re not black enough. If you go to school, make good grades, speak intelligent, and don’t break the law, you’re not a good black person.”

“My idea of religion is we are supposed to bring people together. We are not supposed to judge other people.”

“There’s no such thing as a vegetarian.”


“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.”

“’War Eagle’ is like ‘I love you.’

“I live in Arizona. I think the Hispanic people are amazing. I think when people talk about illegal immigration, it does them a disservice.”

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

“I got some cash from agents. I’ve talked to the NCAA. I think that should be legal. I want some money, too; everybody else is making money. I want to go on dates. I want to go buy myself some new suits. I want to buy myself some new sneakers, and I paid the agents back.”

“The main thing to do is relax and let your talent do the work.”


“At some point, I don’t want to have any obligation. And just chill out.”

“Sometimes that light at the end of the tunnel is a train.”


Bill Russell – do anything



1000 Best Basketball Quotes


“Create unselfishness as the most important team attribute.”


“If you can take something to levels that very few other people can reach, then what you’re doing becomes art.”

“A rebounder, or a shot-blocker for that matter, is always at a disadvantage if he tells himself the only way he can succeed is by out jumping the guy next to him. Sometimes he will have to, but most of the time he will not. Most of my rebounds came from positioning, where I was able to get the ball while in heavy traffic.”

“Friendship is a full-time job.”


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

“Heart in champions has to do with the depth of our motivation and how well your mind and body react to pressure – that is, being able to do what you do best under maximum pain and stress.”

“If Shakespeare can compare all of life to a stage, maybe it’s not odd to believe that part of the play can take place on a basketball court.”

“My most prized possession was my library card from the Oakland Public Library.”

“Most people have a harder time letting themselves love than finding someone to love them.”


“Concentration and mental toughness are the margins of victory.”

“You got to have the killer instinct. If you do not have it, forget about basketball and go into social psychology or something. If you sometimes wonder if you’ve got it, you ain’t got it. No pussycats, please.”

“To me, the most important part of winning is joy. You can win without joy, but winning that’s joyless is like eating in a four-star restaurant when you’re not hungry. Joy is a current of energy in your body, like chlorophyll or sunlight, that fills you up and makes you naturally want to do your best.”

“I hope I epitomize the American dream. For I came against long odds, from the ghetto to the very top of my profession. I was not immediately good at basketball. It did not come easy. It came as the result of a lot of hard work and self-sacrifice. The rewards, where they worth it? One thousand times over.”

“You can do anything you want to do if you want it bad enough”

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


“If a guy pays you five dollars, you give him seven dollars worth of work.”

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

“To love someone is nothing, to be loved by someone is something, to love someone who loves you is everything.”


“If you really have integrity, there are very few people who can insult you, or honor you.”

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

“Learning is a daily experience and a lifetime mission. I truly believe in the saying “We work to become, not to acquire.”

“The most important measure of how good a game I played was how much better I’d made my teammates play.”

“Success is a result of consistent practice of winning skills and actions. There is nothing miraculous about the process. There is no luck involved.”


Kareem – Dreams



“Some stuff can be fixed, some stuff can’t be. Deciding which is which is part of maturing.”


“When I was at UCLA, the Harlem Globetrotters offered me a million dollars to come play for them. I turned it down because my education was just as important as playing ball.”

“I can do something else besides stuff a ball through a hoop. My biggest resource is my mind.”


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

“If they took the idea that they could escape poverty through education, I think it would make a more basic and long-lasting change in the way things happen. What we need are positive, realistic goals and the willingness to work. Hard work and practical goals”

“A lot of players think the game is all about individual performances when it’s really all about a team game.’


‘I think race has been a burden for black Americans. Being Muslim has also been a challenge because so many people do not understand Islam.”

“The saying, “Those that don’t learn from history are condemned to repeat it” doesn’t just apply to politicians and world leaders, it applies to all of us on a daily basis.”

“I try to do the right thing at the right time. They may just be little things, but usually they make the difference between winning and losing.”


“I don’t get a big charge out of being the leading scorer. The object of competing is winning. I just try to do what has to be done for us to win. That might be anything at the time – defense, rebounding, passing. I get great satisfaction out of being a team player.”

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

“You play with your soul as well as your body.”


“Good thoughts are no better than good dreams, unless they are executed.”

“Fundamental preparation is always effective. Work on those parts of your game that are fundamentally weak.”

“I think that the good and the great are only separated by the willingness to sacrifice.”

“Five guys on the court working together can achieve more than five talented individuals who come and go as individuals.”

“You can’t win unless you learn how to lose.”


“What we need are positive, realistic goals and the willingness to work. Hard work and practical goals.”

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


“My mother had to send me to the movies with my birth certificate, so that I wouldn’t have to pay the extra fifty cents that the adults had to pay.”

“I felt that a number of people might have questioned my loyalty, but I continue to be a patriotic American.”


“Michael Jordan and Magic and myself all learned how to play the game in college programs that emphasized the team.”

“When the line started to blur between the fans and the players, sometimes things can get ugly.”


Pete Maravich – show



“They don’t pay you a million dollars for two-hand chest passes.”

“I lived my life one way for 35 years, for me. And then the focus came in on what I really was.”

“It’s hard when your father’s the coach. Sometimes you don’t know where one leaves off and the other begins.”


“I don’t want to play 10 years and then die of a heart attack when I’m 40.”

“If I have a choice whether to do the show or throw a straight pass, and we’re going to get the basket either way, I’m going to do the show.”

“I played six to 10 hours a day, every day, 90 days during the summer, and I’d do incredible things. I would dribble blindfolded in the house. I would take my basketball to bed with me, I’d lay there after my mother kissed and tucked me in, and I’d shoot the ball up in the air and say, ‘Fingertip control, backspin, follow through.”


“Character never quits; and with patience and persistence; Dreams do come true!”

“There is nothing wrong with dedication and goals, but if you focus on yourself, all the lights fade away and you become a fleeting moment in life.”


Rick Barry – flawed techniques



1000 Best Basketball Quotes


“People who don’t know me have opinions about me. That’s the part that’s very hurtful. Because how do you form an opinion about somebody if you’ve never met them or spent any time with them? So it’s all based upon hearsay or things that they’ve read.”


“When you think about what the odds are to have four boys to not only be able to follow in the footsteps in a basketball career but to also be good in the secondary career as far as the broadcasting, it’s pretty remarkable.”

“They have so fundamentally flawed techniques it’s ridiculous. They shoot the ball flat. They all stand upright, there’s just so many things they do incorrectly.”

“I fantasize about LeBron’s ability. He is the best player I have ever seen at this age.”


“I was taught to play the game from a total team concept-to be able to do everything reasonably well and some things extraordinarily well. If I’m not shooting well, I’ll try to be an asset in other ways-like defense, passing, rebounding, and hustle.”

“Success in anything is about focus and concentration. When I coached, I’d say to the players, ‘Yes, I know you played hard, but that’s not good enough. You’ve got to stay focused on the task at hand the entire game.”


“In life it wasn’t what you know, but who you know. I had people who were trying to buy teams and had they bought the teams, I would have gotten to coach because they wanted me to coach. But the people who have the teams hire their friends.”

“Success in anything is about focus and concentration. When I coached, I’d say to the players, ‘Yes, I know you played hard, but that’s not good enough. You’ve got to stay focused on the task at hand the entire game.”


Kobe Bryant- historic things



“If you see me in a fight with a bear, pray for the bear.”


“You always have to be on edge. You always have to take every practice, every game, like it is your last.”

“I’m reflective only in the sense that I learn to move forward. I reflect with a purpose.”

“Can I jump over two or three guys like I used to? No. Am I as fast as I used to be? No, but I still have the fundamentals and smarts. That’s what enables me to still be a dominant player. As a kid growing up, I never skipped steps. I always worked on fundamentals because I know athleticism is fleeting.”


“When you love something, you’ll always come back to it. You’ll always keep asking questions, and finding answers.”

“Love me or hate me. It’s one or the other. Always has been. Hate my game, my swagger. Hate my fadeaway, my hunger. Hate that I’m a veteran, a champion. Hate that. Hate it with all your heart. And hate that I’m loved for the exact same reasons.”

“You can’t be held captive by the fear of failure or the fear of what people may say.”


“Listen to how everyone is talking about you. You have to use it as fuel for motivation.”

“I enjoy playing at the heart of it is just a kid who really loves playing the game of basketball.”

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

“There is power in understanding the journey of others to help create your own”


“I’m extremely willful to win, and I respond to challenges. Scoring titles and stuff like that… it sounds, well, I don’t care how it sounds – to me, scoring comes easy. It’s not a challenge to me to win the scoring title, because I know I can.”

“The most important thing, the thing that unites all of us, is that we can inspire and challenge one another to get better..”


“You just stay patient, that’s all.”

“Once you know what it is in life that you want to do, then the world basically becomes your library. Everything you view, you can view from that perspective, which makes everything a learning asset for you.”

“I’ve known for a long time that they’re a bunch of idiots.”

“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.”


“These young guys are playing checkers. I’m out there playing chess.”

“If you want to make history, you have to do historic things”

“Heroes come and go, but legends are forever.”


“It’s not about the number of hours you practice, it’s about the number of hours your mind is present during the practice”

“Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise.”

“Great things come from hard work and perseverance. No excuses.”


Allen Iverson -talent



“I never took the game for granted as far as not having to work on what I needed to do to accomplish all of the things that I wanted to accomplish.”

“Life is short. I’m gonna be happy with mine.”


“We talkin’ about practice?”


“One of the things you have to learn is that you don’t have to have the ball all the time to be effective.”

“I just try to look into the mirror, and work on the things that I wasn’t doing, and I made a promise to myself that after the season, I will look at the same mirror, and say that you did everything you could”

“My whole thing is, if you love me, then love me. If you don’t, then believe what you hear and run with that.”


“I don’t put pressure on myself. I just compete.”

“I went through what I went through because God said go through it”

“I don’t even have money for a cheeseburger!”

“When I was young, everyone laughed at me when I said that I wanted to be a professional basketball player…now it’s my turn to laugh.”


“When you work hard, good things happen”

“I made a lot of mistakes, a lot of things I’m not proud of. But it’s only for other people to learn from.”

“If you’re struggling with your shooting, then do other things on the basketball court. Get steals, get assists, get rebounds-do anything on the court to help the team win.”

“If I can’t practice, I can’t practice. It is as simple as that. I ain’t about that at all. It’s easy to sum it up if you’re just talking about practice. We’re sitting here, and I’m supposed to be the franchise player, and we’re talking about practice. I mean listen, we’re sitting here talking about practice, not a game, not a game, not a game, but we’re talking about practice. Not the game that I go out there and die for and play every game like it’s my last, but we’re talking about practice man. How silly is that?”


“I’d rather have more heart than talent any day.”

“Mistakes happen. But after a while you’ve got to stop making them happen twice.”

“A jump shot can get you a shoe deal, a big house, a supermodel, fancy cars, a bunch of yes men, a Swiss bank account. But none of these things can get you a jump shot”

“I play every game like it’s my last game. All that matters is that you go out there and play every game as if it was your last.”

“I’m not perfect. But I am trying every day to concentrate on being better.”


“You have to go through good times and bad times to get where you’re trying to go.”

“I don’t want to be another Jordan, Magic, or Isiah. When my career is over, I want to be able to look in the mirror and say ‘I did it my way.”



Tim Duncan- emotions



1000 Best Basketball Quotes


“I am who I am because of the people who I grew up with and where I’m from.”


“The time when there is no one there to feel sorry for you or to cheer for you is when a player is made.”

“Basketball’s so much like life: if something’s going great, you wait a minute, it will change. If something’s going bad, you wait a minute, it will change. So I try to play things on such an even keel, knowing that things are going to change.”

“Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best.”


“I don’t try to change myself to impress anybody. I’m just who I am.”

“I’m still learning. Hopefully I can keep getting better, and not stop where I am now.”

“I enjoy jokes, smiling, and making people smile. I may be a little different, but that’s OK, who wants to be normal anyway?”


“It always feels good to win, it’s always tough to lose.”

“I’m not going anywhere. You can print that wherever you want to. I’m here and I’m a Spur for life.”

“Competition is great for everyone. Sports can teach you so much at an early age, including camaraderie and sportsmanship. Competition aspect is something I’ve always been big on – I always wanted to compete in something.”

“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”


“I’m surrounded by nothing but great people. I’ve been blessed with that, so really, I’ve got no choice but to be an all-around good person.”

“I’m just somebody that isn’t that impressed by Michael Jordan. There really isn’t anybody in the world I’m impressed with.”

“I don’t usually set personal goals.”


“They say I have no emotions, but I’m excited even if you can’t see it.”

“I just hope to make a difference.”

“We are unselfish and we trust each other”


“When our assists lead to baskets, that’s us playing our best, and we begin knocking down shots.”

“The only nickname I’ve ever had is Merlin, like the magician. I don’t know why.”

“I’m just going to play whatever game is in front of me.”


“When I’m away from basketball, I’m the biggest kid. I do a good job of keeping myself sane. But on the other hand, I’m more of a solitary guy, glad to be left alone.”

“I know I’m the guy others will lean on.”


“I’m attacking the basket more. Because I’m more comfortable on the line, that’s an area I want to get to.”


Jeff Van Gundy- shooting percentage



“You need your best players to play their best when their best is needed”

“Your best players have to unite and inspire the group… otherwise, they’ll divide the group.”


“Your best player has to set a tone of intolerance for anything that gets in the way of winning”

“The best teams play for each other, not with each other”

“Don’t worry about being cool. Worry about being the best”


“I think coaches sometimes foul their own players out of game by benching them too long when in foul trouble”

“Shooting percentage is just as much about decision making as it is about technique”

“Just concentrate on what you’re supposed to do”

“Your decisions reveal your priorities”


“Your best players have to unite and inspire the group, otherwise, they’ll divide the group”


Doc Rivers- defense



“Good players want to be coached… Great players want to be told the truth”


“Do you want to choose winning over standing out? It’s a choice every player on every championship team has to do.”

“Encourage ‘random’ picks on the ball because they cannot be scouted”


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

“If you’re not talking, you’re not playing defense”

“I’m looking for activity. I put players in and take them out based on effort and defense, not making or missing shots”

“Sometimes you will hate me because I will tell you the truth about your game. And the truth can hurt and humble you”


“You only have a number for one day. After that, it is all up to you.”

“I just think a guy that knows how to play when you put him on a good team, he can be really good.”

“Winning is like deodorant – it comes up and a lot of things don’t stink.”

“I love the NBA playoffs. It’s just a great mental test for each team.

When it’s really close, usually one team pulls together, and the other team comes apart.”

“This team is one execution away from being a very good basketball team.”

“Everybody likes each other until things get tough. Then you will find out what kind of team you have.”


“If you’re a great defensive player, you’re a great defensive player 100% of the time. You can’t be a great defensive player half of the time because you didn’t get the ball once or twice. That can’t sidetrack you. It’s got to be ‘I live for my defense, and my offense I’ll get. But I can’t let it affect my defense. Nothing affects my defense.”

“If you want to go quickly, go by yourself – if you want to go farther, go in a group.”


Steph Curry- shooting



1000 Best Basketball Quotes


“We’re going to have to work. We’re going to have to play well. Nothing will be given to us.”


“Whatever that means, however you got on that mountain, why not try to climb it? And do it in your own way.”

“The biggest thing is just routine. I think that’s the biggest correlation between golfers and basketball players.”

“I’m 6’3″ and 185 pounds on a good day, so I probably relate more to the casual fan who watches the game and is not super athletic, not this crazy monster of physical stature.”


“When I step forward on the floor, I have the confidence that I’m the best player playing that night and that I am the most prepared at what I need to be doing.”

“I always have an optimistic view, no matter what it is.”


“I can’t jump the highest. I’m obviously not the biggest, not the strongest.”

“Shooting the ball is a part of the game. Everybody can shoot in their own way. Not everybody can make. But everybody can shoot.”


“The vibe in our locker room is real energetic and fun and real personable, I think from Day 1. That gets you through a lot of tough times, where in hard times, it might be common nature for guys to do their own thing and split up and become silent.”

“To excel at the highest level – or any level, really – you need to believe in yourself, and hands down, one of the biggest contributors to my self-confidence has been private coaching.”


“I want to thank God, obviously for the health, for the talent He’s given me, for my family who supports me, for the things that basketball’s taught me on and off the court. For the people that I’ve been able to meet through the game of basketball.”

“It doesn’t matter where you come from, what you have or don’t have, what you lack, or what you have too much of. But all you need to have is faith in God, an undying passion for what you do and what you choose to do in this life, and a relentless drive and the will to do whatever it takes to be successful in whatever you put your mind to.”

“I’ve always believed that success for anyone is all about drive, dedication, and desire, but for me, it’s also been about confidence and faith.”



Kevin Durant- keep playing basketball



“My time is now.”

“I learned how to pass when I was real young. That’s one thing I always knew how to do was find the open man.”

“I would describe my style as off the wall. I like stuff that doesn’t match. I just like to stand out.”


“I feel good doing it. It’s not like guys are stripping me at half-court or I’m just losing the ball dribbling. I think I’m handling the ball pretty well, just trying to make good passes, man.”

“I always want to win because I never want to sit out on the sidelines outside.”

“I look at my jersey and see the NBA logo, I’m like, ‘I didn’t think I’d be here.’”


“You know, I think more people should watch women’s basketball. It’d do so much for the game.”

“With everything I do, I just try to be myself.”

“My style has changed and evolved mainly because I’ve grown to have more confidence in myself.”


“I don’t know what I’m going to do tomorrow. I just know for sure I’m going to keep playing basketball.”

“You hear all these stories about, ‘There’s one in a million guys that make it to the NBA and stay there.’ To see people cheering for me and when they say my name, it’s just crazy. It’s still crazy to me.”

“The clothes are not making me… If I like it, that’s all that matters…It’s not about the clothes. It’s about how I am as a person and how confident I am.”


“I’ve heard a few times, in three or four years, this league is going to be yours. I don’t like that. Because I think I’m established now.”

“I can score the basketball, but I think I can pass pretty well or I can make the correct pass. I’m not the type of guy who’s just going to throw the ball in-bounds to a guy who’s wide open. I can make the right pass.”

“Everything has been such a whirlwind ever since I stepped foot in the league and everything has been like a dream, so I’m just blessed to be in this position.”

“I’m not a guy that’s going to brag or feel like I’m better than the group.”


“You know, I don’t want to stand out too much.”

“When people are used to you doing something, they want you to stay in that lane.”

“I was just a big fan of tattoos always growing up, and I wanted something cool that symbolizes what I’ve been through in my life, and everything on my chest and my back is like a collage.”


“I’ve got a long way to go to being the ultimate best, but I think my time is now. And I’m starting to enter my prime.”

“I’m just trying to grow. That’s one thing I told myself is, ‘Don’t worry about who people say is the best player.’”

“I like something simple and traditional, like dinner and a movie. The best way to get to know someone is to have a conversation over dinner. And steak houses have a nice atmosphere – the lights are dim, and they usually have a band playing.”

“I just loved being in the gym. It was tough at times. Sometimes I wanted to quit, but I’m glad I stuck with it.”


“I’m a basketball player. That’s what I do and what I love but that’s just not all who I am. I’m talented in a lot of different areas.”

“Every memory I had growing up was involving a basketball. I didn’t go to the prom and stuff like that. It was always basketball for me.”

“I’ve just got to let my teammates know in practice, without even telling them, that I don’t think I’m ahead of anybody.”

“People always think women meet us in the hotel lobby, but it’s the opposite. The majority of the time, you go out to eat with your teammates, then rest for the next day’s game. It’s not a vacation – most guys view the road as a business trip.”

“Whoever want my spot can play me one-on-one for it.”


“It’s hard to play well, but it’s easy to work hard.”

“I just want to grow spiritually with the Lord. I’m keeping strong at it, just trying to make my walk with faith a little better.”

“I like what I like, I am who I am, I know what I want to do, you know what I’m saying?”

“I’m going to be me at the end of the day. And I think my family appreciates that. They’re happy for me that I’m finding out who I am, and I’m content with that.”

“I’m always hungry. I want to be the best.”


“I know that the hard work got me here. And the day I stop working hard, this can all go away.”

“My dream was to become a rec league coach. I love basketball so much, I love playing it, I just never thought I’d make it to college, NBA, or be standing up here today. It is a surreal feeling. So many people doubted me and motivated me. I failed so many times and got back up. I got through the toughest times with my family, but I’m still standing.”

Basketball is just a platform for me to inspire people.”


“I want to be one of the best players in the game.”

“In the game of basketball, I play first off because I love it. I love to have fun. I love to run up and down the court.”

“When you got people behind you, you can do whatever.”

“I want to show people who I really am, especially aspiring basketball players who want to be at this level. That’s what I’m about.”



Chris Paul – winner



1000 Best Basketball Quotes


“One of the things you learn when you go overseas is how much a lot of the countries overseas really just like to enjoy life.”


“We showed why road games have been tough for us throughout this year. That’s where we’ve got to get better. It’s a learning experience.”

“Family was real important in putting me on my path. I’m so blessed to come from a home with a mother and a father.”

“Whatever I have to do to help us win, I’ll do.”


“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.”

“People have said I have a Napoleon complex. But I’ve always had to fight for everything that I have.”

“For me, it’s all about who you are. Some athletes may feel a responsibility. Some may not. One thing I’ve talked with my family and team about is doing more. Trying to make an impact.”

“I always have said that the most valuable thing I have isn’t money; it’s my time.”

“Being close ain’t good enough.”

“I hate losing more than I like winning”


“I’m not the greatest long-distance shooter, I know that. But I know if I can get around that free-throw line area, a lot of times you’ve just got to hope I miss.”

“Keep practicing. Never let someone tell you you’re too small or too slow.”

“I trust my wife more than I trust myself.”


“If my son is happy, then I am happy.”


“Even today a lot of people know me because of my grandfather.”

“For me, hip-hop culture is involved in everything – it’s in me, in who I am, in how I dress, how I talk. It’s in my son and my wife.”

“No matter where you put me, I don’t care if it is North Carolina, Florida, California, New York City; I’m going to be who I am.”

“It’s a business now. But you still have little butterflies in your stomach before every game.”

“Obviously I want the fragrance to smell good. I tell people all the time that when you see someone there can obviously be a physical attraction, but scent is something that stays with you. It’s something that you remember about a person.”


“I’ve been fortunate to be short my entire life. There’s only one position I’ve ever had to play, and that’s point guard. So I’ve always had to be that leader. And that was my job: you know, to talk.”

“You can replace houses. You can’t replace people. I mean, it’s left me speechless. I was talking to P.J. (Brown) about it. When the storm hit, I just kept it on CNN and watched the whole thing. Just seeing Canal Street, knowing I was there just a few days before storm and seeing all those stores I went in being under water. Unbelievable.”

“Exercise and good nutrition helped make me what I am today and are critical in allowing me stay on top of my game.”


“You only get a chance to live your dream once, and I’m living mine right now.”

“Every now and then you’re going to get beaten, but we work hard.”

“I try to penetrate the lane like Steve Nash, pass like Jason Kidd, and handle the ball like Allen Iverson. Remember, I said ‘try to’.”


Russell Westbrook – fear



“In college I didn’t dress up every day, for class or stuff like that, but when it came time to do certain things I’d dress up for sure.”

“I actually have a closet that’s all shoes, maybe 700 pairs.”

“My Mom and I shopped all the time, she shops all the time, and I was always into fashion. I’ve been blessed to be in a situation where I can now buy some of the things that look good.”


“Magic Johnson was my favorite player growing up.”

“Shoes make an outfit. You can throw on a crazy shirt and crazy pants but you add those shoes – done.”

“I’m confident in some of the things that I wear, regardless of what other people are wearing.”

“If I get to know somebody, I’ll open up, but other than that I like to sit back and observe things.”


“Messy stuff irritates me. I don’t like messiness. If you leave something around my house, I’ll tell you to move it back, clean it up, throw it in the trash – don’t matter, just get rid of it. I need stuff neat, organized. And once I start cleaning stuff, I don’t stop until it’s done. Otherwise I’m irritated all day.”

“I say, ‘Why not’ to everything.”


“Every day when I get on the floor I give it my all and play because you never know what tomorrow holds.”

“I have fears, but I do not fear anything or anybody on the court.”


“I’ve always had to prove myself to people growing up. I had to show them that I could do this and I could do that and paying no mind to what the critics said.”

“I’m never satisfied. I’m always trying to get better and learn from my mistakes.”

“Russell Westbrook is a guy that impacts the game maybe like no other player in this league.”

“I have a certain taste, and I might be like, ‘I like this,’ when other people are like, ‘I can’t wear that.’ And in basketball, I might be able to do things other guys might not.”

“I enjoy different designers for different seasons and what they bring to it each and every season.”

“My childhood, I wouldn’t say it was bad. It helped me grow up. I stayed out of trouble. My parents taught me what’s wrong and right, and knowing that I had a little brother following me, I had to make sure I was doing the right thing so he knows what’s right, too. I was in the house nine days out of 10. There wasn’t nothing good outside for me.”


“The game will tell you what to do on the floor, and that’s what I try to do.”

“I don’t shop just high-end, honestly. I shop at Zara, I shop at Topshop, I shop at H&M. I shop everywhere.”

“Once you put in all the work pre-practice and post-practice and see it in a game and see it in play, that’s a great feeling.”

Be yourself. It’s the most important part of anything that you do. It’s not fashion. It can be whatever you want to do.”

“That’s my motto. That’s what I stand by. That’s what I believe in. Just continue to tell yourself ‘why not?’ Continue to strive and make the right play to help your team win.”

“Be yourself and true to yourself. You can do different things in the world.”


“There’s no reason to hold yourself back and say you can’t do something in life unless you go for it and try to do it.”


carmelo anthony – pressure



“I just want to get on the court.”


“It bothers me to hear people talk about things they know nothing about.”

“At this point in my career I’m not concerned about the money, it’s about winning. Nothing else even matters.”

“I want to be a free agent. I think everybody in the NBA dreams to be a free agent at least one time in their career. It’s like you have an evaluation period. It’s like if I’m in the gym and I have all the coaches, all the owners, all the GMs come into the gym and just evaluate everything I do. So yes, I want that experience.”


“When I was young, I was sold on winning. I was always serious on the court. As I got older, I realized that it was just a basketball game. Just go out there and have fun.”

“Play hard, learn as much as I can and do what I do best. The rest will take care of itself I think.”


“I don’t think there could ever be more pressure to succeed than the pressure I place on myself.”

“To go out there and play and have fun and hopefully win a championship. That’s my goal.”

“People tend to grow fearful, when they taste failure, face a daunting challenge or fall ill. Yet, that is precisely the time to become even bolder. Those who are victors at heart are the greatest of all champions.”


“Allen Version is a ball hog. You will never win a championship with him on your team.”

“You’ve got to have fun on the court. If you ain’t having fun, then basketball ain’t fun.”

“I believe that you should put the right people around you, people that will not let anything go wrong.”

“If you laugh, think, and cry; that’s a full day.”


“I told my mom I would graduate. I owe that much to her and myself.”

“Man, I’m not trying to be important; I just go out and play.”

“People need to see the authentic people that are still out there, the genuine people that really care.”

“A lot of people I meet say, ‘You remind me so much of Magic Johnson.”

“You just gotta believe, i have never been a quitter in my life or in my career.”

“I think I’m the most underrated superstar that’s out there, but that doesn’t matter to me.”


“Success is the result of psychologically preparing for it, prior to achieving it.”

“When I step on that basketball court, I’m thinking about basketball, I’m thinking about winning – but there’s so much that goes into thought about how I’m going to open this game up to others. It’s so much more than just basketball.”

“As long as you stay true to yourself and to who you are, you ain’t in nobody’s way.”

Always stay true to yourself. Some people will like it, some people won’t. Life goes on.”

“Nobody should expect more of you than you expect of yourself.”

“Every Morning You Have Two Choices: Continue To Sleep With Your Dreams, Or Wake Up and Chase Them.”

Basketball Wikipedia Family Quotes


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