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50 Most Inspirational Basketball Quotes

Invented in 1891 by a Canadian American physical educator named James Naismith, Basketball has stood the test of time and transcended to become one of the most popular sports in the world today.

The sport has produced some of the most influential athletes of all time including Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Allen Iverson, Stephen Curry and late Kobe Bryant. Their journey's from dust to greatness has been nothing short of inspirational.

Below are some of the most inspirational basketball quotes from both players and coaches.

magic johnson quotes

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

2.Once you know what failure feels like, determination chases success. Kobe Bryant

3.“Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.” LeBron James 

4."Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise." Kobe Bryant

5."I think someone should explain to the child that it's OK to make mistakes. That's how we learn. When we compete, we make mistakes." Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

6."The day I stopped worrying about stats is the day I started winning. "Shaqquile O'neal

7.“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.” Magic Johnson

8.“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

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

10"I play to win, whether during practice or a real game. And I will not let anything get in the way of me and my competitive enthusiasm to win." Michael Jordan

michael jordan quotes

11.“I always want to win because I never want to sit out on the sidelines outside.” Kevin Durant

12."I think that the good and the great are only separated by the willingness to sacrifice." Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

13.“An athlete needs to read situations before they happen.” – Dwyane Wade

 14."Basketball isn’t just a sport. It is an art, one that must be mastered to succeed." Steph Curry

15."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." Anthony Davis

16.“The more you win, the better you're gonna get. It grows on itself.” Larry Bird

17."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." Michael Jordan

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

19.“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.” Kevin Durant

20.“Whenever I feel like I’m getting too far away from where I need to be, I think about my sons and the legacy I have to leave for them – and it always brings me back to reality.”– Dwyane Wade

dwayne wade quotes

21.“You're going to see ups and downs your whole career.” Tony Parker

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

23.“Obviously, (winning the division) is big. To be No. 1 is always important..” Dirk Nowitzki

24.“I never worry about the problem. I worry about the solution.” Shaquille O’Neal

25.“Anytime odds get stacked up against me, I feel like it's in me to beat it” Damian Lillard

26.“If you have ability in a certain area, why not capitalize on it and improve it and use it?” Wilt Chamberlain

27."I don't like to give in to injuries. I don't like to use them as excuses. Everybody has them." John Stockton

28."I know to win a championship, you're not going to do it alone. You're going to have to have a great supporting cast." Klay Thompson

29."Coaching is easy. Winning is the hard part." Elgin Baylor

30.“It is said that good things come to those who wait. I believe that good things come to those who work.”Wilt Chamberlain

wilt chamberlain quotes

31."When you get to that level, it's not a matter of talent anymore - because all the players are so talented - it's about preparation, about playing smart and making good decisions." Hakeem Olajuwon

32."I think everybody should have the attitude that you can't allow yourself to be hurt. You avoid a lot just with that attitude." John Stockton

33.“I have to be working, doing things. That's the way I grew up and the way I was taught” Karl Malone

34.“Concentration and mental toughness are the margins of victory." Bill Russell

35."If you want to be a hero, you've got to take hero shots. "Reggie Miller

36."Some players are more physical than others, some play with more finesse. Some are just really great all-around players. So you have to change your game." Oscar Robertson

37.“I don't think anything less than perfect, even though I'm a human being. The way I work and go at things is to better myself in perfect terms.”
-- Kevin Garnett

38."You can't get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good."Jerry West

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

40."Everything is habit forming, so make sure what you do is what you want to be doing. " Wilt Chamberlain

wilt chamberlain quotes

41."Just give me the ball; I don't care how old I get. Give me the ball." Reggie Miller

42."Essentially, when you join a team, you're making a commitment to your team. You can't take that lightly. "John Stockton

43.“I have my life on a track that I want it on, and I don't want to get off.” Karl Malone

44.“I'm not the type of person to give up just because something gets rough. That's a coward. That's not me.” Kevin Garnett

45."Being a professional is doing the things you love to do, on the days you don't feel like doing them" Julius Erving

46."To be great we need to win games we aren't supposed to win."Julius Erving

47."Fear of failure, it's the greatest motivational tool. It drives me and drives me and drives me." Jerry West

48."If you forget your history, you forget who you are."David Robinson