Basketball Quotes and Sayings!

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Below is a summary of the basketball quotes and sayings currently available on the site. Arranged in alphabetical order by author’s surname, these words are from coaches, current and former players covering topics about basketball and beyond. These basketball quotes are available in image and text form: 

  • Click on the basketball quotes to open the image.
  • ** For more generic quotes like “Basketball doesn’t build character, it reveals it” and “offense wins games, defense wins championships,” scroll to the bottom of the page under Miscellaneous Basketball Quotes. Click here to jump to that section.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes.

Carmelo Anthony Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. Nobody should expect more of you than you expect of yourself. 
  2. People look at me like I’m on my way out of the game. I’m just getting started.

Red Auerbach Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. I don’t believe in statistics. There are too many factors that can’t be measured. You can’t measure a ballplayer’s heart.
  2. The coach should be the absolute boss, but he still should maintain an open mind.
  3. Basketball is like war in that offensive weapons are developed first, and it always takes a while for the defense to catch up.

Charles Barkley Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. If you are afraid of failure you don’t deserve to be successful.
  2. I always laugh when people ask me about rebounding techniques. I’ve got a technique It’s called just go get the damn ball.

Larry Bird Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. It doesn’t matter who scores the points, it’s who can get the ball to the scorer. 
  2. 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. 

Larry Brown Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. Failure does not come from losing, but from not trying
  2. All the successful teams I’ve ever seen have 3 characteristics: They play unselfish, they play together, and they play hard

Kobe Bryant Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. When they stay with the shooters, it’s my responsibility to cook ‘em.
  2. What I’m doing right now, I’m chasing perfection.
  3. These young guys are playing checkers. I’m out there playing chess.

Wilt Chamberlain Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. They say that nobody is perfect. Then they tell you practice makes perfect. I wish they’d make up their minds.
  2. This is a team game and one man doesn’t win and one man doesn’t lose. In the end, the best team usually wins.

Stephen Curry Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. Every time I rise up, I have confidence that I’m going to make it.
  2. I’m not the guy who’s afraid of failure. I like to take risks, take the big shot and all that.

Anthony Davis Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. When people talk about the greatest ever, I want to be in that conversation. I’m nowhere close to it.. But it’s where I want to go.
  2. I’m a basketball player, and I’m still going to guard the rim whoever is out there. It doesn’t matter if I’m a power forward or a center. My job doesn’t change.

Tim Duncan Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. If we win, I’m happy. The rest of it is just stuff. 
  2. Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best.

Kevin Durant Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. I don’t know what I’m going to do tomorrow. I just know for sure I’m going to keep playing basketball.

Julius Erving Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. I think I started learning lessons about being a good person long before I ever knew what basketball was. And that starts in the home, it starts with the parental influence.
  2. Being a professional is doing the things you love to do, on the days you don’t feel like doing them

Paul George Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. The worst has happened, the best is next.
  2. I’ve never played the game with any hesitancy. That’s the reason I’m probably in this cast. I play my hardest, I give my all, I leave it all on the floor. Not one moment do I expect to get injured or feel limited on the court. Although I’m not looking at that right now I won’t be hesitant when I come back.

Kyrie Irving Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. 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.
  2. I get buckets..

Allen Iverson Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. When you are not practicing, someone else is getting better.
  2. Everybody wants you to be perfect, but not themselves.
  3. When you work hard, good things happen.

Phil Jackson Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. Good teams become great ones when the members trust each other enough to surrender the “me” for the “we.” 
  2. The ideal way to win a championship is step by step.
  3. Basketball is a simple game. Your goal is penetration, get the ball close to the basket, and there are three ways to do that. Pass, dribble and offensive rebound.

Magic Johnson Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. I’m proudest of my life off the court. There will always be great basketball players who bounce that little round ball, but my proudest moments are affecting people’s lives, effecting change, being a role model in the community.
  2. All kids need is a little help, a little hope and somebody who believes in them.

Michael Jordan Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
  2. I’ve always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come. I don’t do things half-heartedly. Because I know if I do, then I can expect half-hearted results. 
  3. If you quit ONCE it becomes a habit. Never quit!!
  4. I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying. 

Bobby Knight – Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. The key is not the ‘will to win’… everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important.
  2. In order to achieve to achieve positive results, one must work for them, not hope for them.
  3. Mental toughness is to physical as four is to one.

 Mike Krzyzewski – Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. Don’t do anything as an individual that will make you stand out from your teammates.
  2. I love practice. It is when a coach exercises the most control over the improvement of his or her team.
  3. If what you have done yesterday still looks big to you, you haven’t done much today.

Damian Lillard Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. So what world are we referring to that would “let you be great”? I mean LET you be anything? This life is the grind.. Seek and u shall find.
  2. Whenever I’m on the court, I feel like I’m making a statement and a case that I belong.

Jeremy Lin Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. I get scared of a lot of attention. I get scared of the spotlight; and I’m not talking about on the basketball court.
  2. I’m not playing for other people; if I start thinking in those terms I would put too much pressure on myself. I play basketball because that is what I love to do.

Dirk Nowitzki Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. Money isn’t something I play for. I want to compete. I want to win.
  2. I never looked at basketball as work. I always enjoyed it as my hobby. I loved it. Once that love is gone, and I’m tired of working out every day and doing all the stuff to get me ready for games, and I’m tired of lifting and conditioning and doing all that other stuff around it, and I’d rather stay in bed, then it’s time to go.

Hakeem Olajuwon Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. If I go to a mosque – and I’m a basketball player with money and prestige – if I go to a mosque and see an imam, I feel inferior. He’s better than me. It’s about knowledge. 
  2. I always keep a ball in the car. You never know. 

Gregg Popovich Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. 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.
  2. It’s not about any one person. You’ve got to get over yourself and realize that it takes a group to get this thing done.

Pat Riley Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. Great players and great teams want to be driven. They want to be pushed to the edge. They don’t want to be cheated. Ordinary players and average teams want it to be easy.
  2. Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.
  3. No rebounds – no rings.

Bill Russell Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. What these young bloods have to understand is that this game, has always been, and will always be about BUCKETS.
  2. Commitment separates those who live their dreams from those who live their lives regretting the opportunities they have squandered.
  3. The only important statistic is the final score.

Dean Smith Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. What do you do with a mistake: recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it.
  2. There is a lot of basketball beyond our control, but a player should never let anyone try harder than he does.
  3. 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.

Pat Summitt Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of her quotes

  1. Admit to and make yourself accountable for mistakes. How can you improve if you’re never wrong?
  2. Sometimes you learn more from losing than winning. Losing forces you to re-examine.

Dwyane Wade Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. As long as you put on a jersey, no matter what kind of jersey it is, as long as you’re supporting the game of basketball, I enjoy it.
  2. My belief is stronger than your doubt.

Chris Webber Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. Basketball talent is basketball talent, no matter if it comes from the suburbs or the city. Take the time to know and understand me before you judge me. Only God can do that. Roses do grow from concrete! 
  2. I played in the playoffs with teams that were known for flopping and you do not get respect.
  3. You’re guilty until proven innocent. Perception is reality, that’s the way that it is in this world.

Russell Westbrook Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. It’s not about me. It’s about our team. I can’t win games by myself. I can’t do anything by myself.
  2. Every day when I get on the floor I give it my all and play because you never know what tomorrow holds.

John Wooden Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of his quotes

  1. Reverse the ball one time for a good shot, two times for a great shot, three times for a layup. 
  2. What you are as a person is far more important than what you are as a basketball player.
  3. Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.

Funny Basketball Quotes <~~ Click to see more of these quotes

These are some funny basketball quotes by personalities such as Charles Barkley. If you wish to see this entire library, click Funny Basketball Quotes above

  1.  Basketball is the second most exciting indoor sport , and the other one shouldn’t have spectators. - Dick Vertlieb.
  2. The secret is to have eight great players and four others who will cheer like crazy. - Jerry Tarkanian
  3. I always laugh when people ask me about rebounding techniques. I’ve got a technique It’s called just go get the damn ball - Charles Barkley
  4. I think that the team that wins game five will win the series. Unless we lose game five. - Charles Barkley

Miscellaneous Basketball Quotes

Random basketball quotes from individuals without a large library or not as famous.

  1. Basketball doesn’t build character. It reveals it. - Unknown
  2. We try to stress the little things because little things lead to big things. - Steve Alford
  3. People Remember Champions. That’s the Way it is. - Joakim Noah
  4. The star player must slay his ego and learn teamwork and communication skills before he can achieve the ultimate in sport. – Walt Frazier
  5. The secret is to have eight great players and four others who will cheer like crazy. - Jerry Tarkanian
  6. If all I′m remembered for is being a good basketball player, then I′ve done a bad job with the rest of my life. - Isiah Thomas
  7. When you’re tired, sore, and can’t do more, that’s the time to do more. - Tim Grover
  8. Get the kids to understand that they shouldn’t worry about who makes the shot, only whether or not the shot is made. - Pete Carril
  9. Offense wins games. Defense wins championships. - Unknown
  10. The guys who take shortcuts, who aren’t ready, they fail when their opportunity comes. – Tom Thibodeau
  11. Set higher standards for your own performance than anyone else around you, and your only competition will be with yourself. – Rick Pitino
  12. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Wayne Gretzky 
  13. Switch if you have to! It’s not the mismatch that beats you, it’s the open shot! – Rick Majerus
  14. Hockey is a sport for white men. Basketball is a sport for black men. Golf is a sport for white men dressed like black pimpsTiger Woods
  15. I pray if I ever find out I have only about three minutes to live it’s during a basketball game, because then I’ll have, what, 10, 12 years to live? Elayne Boosler
  16. I am sure that no man can derive more pleasure from money or power than I do from seeing a pair of basketball goals in some out of the way place. - James Naismith
  17. Those to whom defense is not important will have the best seat in the game. – Rick Majerus
  18. How good can we expect to be if our best player is not our best teammate. - Brad Stevens
  19. I’m looking for activity. I put players in and take them out based on effort and defense, not making or missing shots - Doc Rivers
  20. If you’re not talking, you’re not playing defense. - Doc Rivers
  21. Talent sets the floor, character sets the ceiling. – Bill Belichick
  22. If you don’t hold your team accountable then you will lose credibility and your team will be spoiled. – John Brady
  23. The only lasting form of discipline is self-imposed discipline. – Dale Brown
  24. Love never fails. Character never Quits. And with patience and persistence, dreams do come true. - Pete Maravich
  25. If every basketball player worked as hard as I did, I’d be out of a job. – Steve Nash
  26. Actions speak louder than coaches.
  27. Anything is possible; Impossible just takes a little longer.
  28. In our court there are no objections — only rejections.
  29. Great opportunities come to those who make the most of small ones.
  30. To demand more of yourself than you do of others is the first step on any ladder of success.

Come back soon as we update our basketball quotes regularly! Also, if you have any basketball quotes you believe should be on the site, use the Contact Us page to inform us. Apply these basketball quotes to your game and life, and you’re bound to be successful!

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