87 Most Inspirational Basketball Quotes

Basketball Quotes

Jump to Quotes

The most inspirational, most motivational and most moving basketball quotes of all-time from the sports greats.

For diehard basketball fans, make sure not to miss these Michael Jordan quotes or these Kobe Bryant quotes.

Basketball Quotes

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

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

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

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

You may also like: The most inspirational sports quotes of all-time: https://brightdrops.com/inspirational-sports-quotes

Nothing is given. Everything is earned.

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

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

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

You can have fun playing by yourself or one-on-one with another person. Basketball is for everyone.

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

Related: Motivational Quotes for Athletes

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

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

When it gets down to it, basketball is basketball.

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

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

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

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

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

I treated it like every day was my last day with a basketball.

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

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

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

There’s so many young peoople who start to play basketball and never learn the fundamentals.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have no desire to coach basketball.

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

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

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

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

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

First master the fundamentals.

“First master the fundamentals.” – Larry Bird

Create unselfishness as the most important team attribute

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

If you are afraid of failure you don’t deserve to be successful!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

The game honors toughness.

“The game honors toughness.” – Brad Stevens

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

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

Success lies in a masterful consistency around the fundamentals.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How competitive can you be without losing your discipline?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The more your players have to think on the basketball court, the slower their feet get.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

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

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

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

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

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

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

The biggest thing is just routine. I think that’s the biggest correlation between golfers and basketball players.

“The biggest thing is just routine. I think that’s the biggest correlation between golfers and basketball players.” – Steph Curry

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

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

In practice, don’t just run basketball drills, teach the players how to play basketball.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Someday I might have to put down a basketball and have a regular 9-to-5 like everybody else.

“Someday I might have to put down a basketball and have a regular 9-to-5 like everybody else.” – Shaquille O’Neal

Morale and attitude are the fundamentals to success.

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

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

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

Create unselfishness as the most important team attribute.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I don’t discuss basketball. I dictate basketball. I’m not interested in philosophy classes.

“I don’t discuss basketball. I dictate basketball. I’m not interested in philosophy classes.” – Al McGuire

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

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

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

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

More Good Sports Quotes:

  • Baseball Quotes
  • Muhammad Ali Quotes
  • Ted Lasso Quotes
  • 0 Comments

    Submit a Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Send this to a friend