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Basketball quotes

Basketball quotesHere you’ll find many great basketball quotes from major NBA players and coaches. Among others: Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal and many more. Many of them give you advice that you should never give up, but keep on going until your dream comes true.

  • The game of basketball has been everything to me. My place of refuge, place I’ve always gone where I needed comfort and peace. It’s been the site of intense pain and the most intense feelings of joy and satisfaction. It’s a relationship that has evolved over time, given me the greatest respect and love for the game.
    – Michael Jordan
  • I liked the choreography, but I didn’t care for the costumes.
    – Author Unknown
  • 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
  • This year we plan to run and shoot. Next season we hope to run and score.
    – Billy Tubbs



  • 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.
    – LeBron James
  • I know the Virginia players are smart because you need a 1500 SAT to get in. I have to drop bread crumbs to get our players to and from class.
    – George Raveling
  • I started out as a football player. I liked to inflict pain. In basketball, it was the same thing.
    – Shaquille O’Neal
  • Any American boy can be a basketball star if he grows up, up, up.
    – Bill Vaughn
  • 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.
    – Michael Jordan
  • Read these great Basketball quotes

  • Habits are first cobwebs, then cables.
    – Author Unknown
  • There is no such thing as a perfect basketball player, and I don’t believe there is only one greatest player either.
    – Michael Jordan
  • Pain is nothing compared to what it feels like to quit.
    – Author Unknown
  • I’m not a role model… Just because I dunk a basketball doesn’t mean I should raise your kids.
    – Charles Barkley
  • It is not how big you are, it’s how big you play.
    – Author Unknown
  • I treated it like every day was my last day with a basketball.
    – LeBron James
  • The more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in battle.
    – Author Unknown
  • My father made me who I am. He gave me a basketball and told me to play with the ball, sleep with the ball, dream with the ball. Just don’t take it to school. I used it as a pillow, and it never gave me a stiff neck.
    – Shaquille O’Neal
  • When you’re through improving, you’re through.
    – Author Unknown
  • For a competitive junkie like me, golf is a great solution because it smacks you in the face every time you think you have accomplished something. That to me has taken over a lot of the energy and competitiveness for basketball.
    – Michael Jordan
  • Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass; it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.
    – Author Unknown
  • When I was young, I had to learn the fundamentals of basketball. You can have all the physical ability in the world, but you still have to know the fundamentals.
    – Michael Jordan
  • Losers quit when they’re tired. Winners quit when they’ve won.
    – Author Unknown
  • Don’t be afraid to ask dumb questions. They’re easier to take than dumb mistakes.
    – Author Unknown
  • The man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.
    – Author Unknown
  • Basketball doesn’t build character it reveals it.
    – Author Unknown
  • My responsibility is getting all my players playing for the name on the front of the jersey, not the one on the back.
    – Author Unknown
  • If you think small things don’t matter, think of the last game you lost by one point.
    – Author Unknown
  • One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.
    – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • The best way to forget ones self is to look at the world with attention and love.
    – Red Auerbach
  • 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.
    – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • Basketball is like war in that offensive weapons are developed first, and it always takes a while for the defense to catch up.
    – Red Auerbach
  • You have to be able to center yourself, to let all of your emotions go. Don’t ever forget that you play with your soul as well as your body.
    – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • We try to stress the little things because little things lead to big things.
    – Steve Alford



  • Natural abilities are like natural plants; they need pruning by study.
    – Red Auerbach
  • Coaching is easy. Winning is the hard part.
    – Elgin Baylor
  • Just do what you do best.
    – Red Auerbach
  • Huge list with Basketball quotes

  • 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
  • Some say you have to use your five best players, but I found out you win with the five that fit together best as a team.
    – Red Auerbach
  • I don’t hire good coaches, I hire good people. If they turn out to be good coaches, too, that’s a plus.
    – Geno Auriemma
  • A winner is someone who recognizes his God- given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals.
    – Larry Bird
  • The only difference between a good shot and a bad shot is if it goes in or not.
    – Charles Barkley
  • If you are afraid of failure you don’t deserve to be successful!
    – Charles Barkley
  • When I was young, I never wanted to leave the court until I got things exactly correct. My dream was to become a pro.
    – Larry Bird
  • What you specifically teach is what your players will do best.
    – Dick Bennett
  • Practice to beat the best.
    – Dick Bennett
  • The trouble with officials is they just don’t care who wins.
    – Tommy Canterbury
  • 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.
    – Larry Bird
  • Push yourself again and again. Don’t give an inch until the final buzzer sounds.
    – Larry Bird
  • All the successful teams I’ve ever seen have three characteristics: They play unselfish, they play together, and they play hard.
    – Larry Brown
  • Criticize on defense and encourage on offense.
    – John Brady
  • If you want team play, you must stress defense. Defense makes players unselfish.
    – John Brady
  • Everybody pulls for David, nobody roots for Goliath.
    – Wilt Chamberlain
  • Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best.
    – Tim Duncan
  • The two ingredients in success in basketball are playing hard and playing intelligently.
    – Pete Carill
  • We have a great bunch of outside shooters. Unfortunately, all our games are played indoors.
    – Weldon Drew
  • Do your best when no one is looking. If you do that, then you can be successful in anything that you put your mind to.
    – Bob Cousy
  • Systems win! Believe in your system, and then sell it to your players.
    – Billy Donovan
  • I keep both eyes on my man. The basket hasn’t moved on me yet.
    – Julius Erving
  • Not only is there more to life than basketball, there’s a lot more to basketball than basketball.
    – Phil Jackson
  • To be great we need to win games we aren’t supposed to win.
    – Julius Erving
  • Basketball is like photography, if you don’t focus, all you have is the negative.
    – Dan Frisby
  • If you don’t do what’s best for your body, you’re the one who comes up on the short end.
    – Julius Erving
  • If you are going to take it to the bank, then you better cash it in.
    – Shannon Fish



  • 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.
    – LeBron James
  • The goal is to make practice more difficult, physically/mentally, than anything your players will face during a game.
    – Bobby Knight
  • Good teams become great ones when the members trust each other enough to surrender the Me for the We.
    – Phil Jackson
  • Ask not what your teammates can do for you. Ask what you can do for your teammates.
    – Magic Johnson
  • I like criticism. It makes you strong.
    – LeBron James
  • Sometimes, adrenaline flows into momentum.
    – Dennis Johnson
  • Passing is your best weapon against man to man. Dribble penetration is your best weapon against zone.
    – Bobby Knight
  • One day of practice is like one day of clean living. It doesn’t do you any good.
    – Abe Lemmons
  • Basketball is a full court game, so every drill must be done full court.
    – Bobby Knight
  • Prepare for every game like you just lost your last game.
    – Lon Kruger
  • You don’t play against opponents. You play against the game of basketball.
    – Bobby Knight
  • Believe that the loose ball that you are chasing has your name wirtten on it.
    – Mike Krzyzewski
  • I never thought I’d lead the NBA in rebounding, but I got a lot of help from my team-mates ‘ they did a lot of missing.
    – Moses Malone
  • Help one kid at a time. He’ll maybe go back and help a few more.
    – Al McGuire
  • You always have to give 100%,because if you don’t someone, somewhere will give 100% and they will beat you when you meet.
    – Ed Macauley
  • When I was losing, they called me nuts. When I was winning they called me eccentric.
    – Al McGuire
  • They don’t pay you a million dollars for two-hand chest passes.
    – Pete Maravich
  • 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.
    – Pete Maravich
  • To win, you’ve got to put the ball in the macramé.
    – Terry McGuire
  • Last 15 Basketball quotes

  • To be a team, you must be a family.
    – Don Meyer
  • I don’t discuss basketball. I dictate basketball. I’m not interested in philosophy classes.
    – Al McGuire
  • Successful programs consist of people working hard, working together, while never worrying about who gets the credit.
    – Don Meyer
  • Shout praise and whisper criticism.
    – Don Meyer
  • In practice, don’t just run basketball drills, teach the players how to play basketball.
    – Don Meyer
  • Sometimes a player’s greatest challenge is coming to grips with his role on the team.
    – Scottie Pippen
  • 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.
    – Dean Smith
  • I’m tired of hearing about money, money, money, money, money. I just want to play the game, drink Pepsi, wear Reebok.
    – Shaquille O’Neal
  • You’ve got to learn the footwork, the positioning, how to box out, how to pass, how to shoot your free throws. All these things are necessary, not to be the No. 1 player in the world, but maybe you can play against him.
    – Oscar Robertson



  • Teams that play together beat those with superior players who play more as individuals.
    – Jack Ramsay
  • Being a part of success is more important than being personally indispensable.
    – Pat Riley
  • My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.
    – Jim Valvano
  • The idea is not to block every shot. The idea is to make your opponent believe that you might block every shot.
    – Bill Russell
  • Fans never fall asleep at our games, because they’re afraid they might get hit by a pass.
    – George Raveling
  • When I went to Catholic high school in Philadelphia, we just had one coach for football and basketball. He took all of us who turned out and had us run through a forest. The ones who ran into the trees were on the football team.
    – George Raveling
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