33 Inspirational Basketball Quotes (from Famous Players)

Millions of people around the world dream to play basketball on the biggest stage, under the brightest lights. As one true basketball fan, I know that every fanatic lover of this game has imagined many times scoring the game-winner to win the league championship or a fierce poster-dunk which causes an eruption in the arena.

Some things that distinguish professional basketball players from dreamers are enormous dedication and constant motivation. But it is difficult to maintain the right mindset and willpower daily. That’s why from time to time, every player needs a source of inspiration to keep pushing as hard as possible.

A great tool to increase your motivation is to read some inspirational basketball quotes. These quotes are not just a few words put at a certain order to sound good, because they have a deeper meaning and are powerful enough to produce the needed inspiration. Reading them is practically learning from basketball’s greatest players and coaches, absorbing their advice.

Basketball Quotes to Inspire You to Work as Hard as You Can

  1. “When you’re not practicing, someone else is getting better.”- Allen Iverson
  2. “You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good. ” – Jerry West
  3. “Commitment separates those who live their dreams from those who live their lives regretting the opportunities they have squandered.” – Bill Russell
  4. “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.” – Kevin Durant
  5. “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” – Michael Jordan
  6. “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.” – Michael Jordan
  7. “Keep practicing. Never let anyone tell you’re too small or too slow.” – Chris Paul
  8. “I’ve got a theory that if you give 100 percent all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end.” – Larry Bird
  9. “Never let it rest until your good is better and your better is best.” – Tim Duncan
  10. “A lot of late nights in the gym, a lot of early mornings, especially when your friends are going out, you’re going to the gym, those are the sacrifices that you have to make if you want to be an NBA basketball player.” – Jason Kidd
  11. “When you think you have done enough, do a little more, because someone out there is working harder than you.” – Larry Bird
  12. “I really get motivated when I have doubters.” – Shaquille O’Neal

Basketball Quotes That Teach You How to Deal with Failure and Mistakes

  1. “If you are afraid of failure you don’t deserve to be successful!” – Charles Barkley
  2. “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six 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
  3. “Don’t be afraid of failure. This is the way to succeed.” – Lebron James
  4. “If you quit once it becomes a habit. Never quit!” – Michael Jordan
  5. “If you’re afraid to fail, then you’re probably going to fail.” – Kobe Bryant
  6. “Admit to and make yourself accountable for mistakes. How can you improve if you’re never wrong?” – Pat Summit
  7. “The key to success is failure.” – Michael Jordan
  8. “I have self-doubt. I have insecurity. I have a fear of failure. I have nights when I show up at the arena and I’m like, ‘My back hurts, my feet hurt, my knees hurt. I don’t have it. I just want to chill.’ We all have self-doubt. You don’t deny it, but you also don’t capitulate to it. You embrace it.” – Kobe Bryant
  9. “You can’t win unless you learn how to lose.” – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  10. “Failure is acceptable. but not trying is a whole different ball park.” – Michael Jordan
  11. “It’s OK to make mistakes. That’s how we learn. When we compete, we make mistakes.” – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Basketball Quotes about Teamwork

  1. “You have to earn your right to win the game with effort and togetherness.” – Brad Stevens
  2. “Ask not what your teammates can do for you. Ask what you can do for your teammates.” – Magic Johnson
  3. “Great players are willing to give up their own personal achievement for the achievement of the group. It enhances everybody.” – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  4. “Teamwork is the beauty of our sport, where you have five acting as one.” – Mike Krzyzewski
  5. “When an elevator brings you upstairs, you better send it back down to bring others up.” – Dikembe Mutombo
  6. “Good teams become great ones when the members trust each other enough to surrender the ME for the WE.” – Phil Jackson
  7. “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.” – John Calipari
  8. “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” – Phil Jackson
  9. “There is no “I” in team but there is in win.” – Michael Jordan
  10. “One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.” – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Final Words

Basketball is not just another game. It teaches us how to deal with diversity and difficulties. It displays us important life lessons, such as how to be persistent and unselfish. Players and coaches cited here are excellent students of the basketball. They listened to every piece of advice this life game had to offer.

An opportunity to learn and get inspired by these quotes is our privilege, and we have to be the best version of ourselves both in life and in basketball.

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  • Courtney

    i love the quotes they were very good