Basketball is one of the most entertaining games to watch and play. There are many great players and coaches in the world and some of them are very inspiring.
Here are some of the most inspirational basketball quotes by famous players and coaches.
Shane Battier Basketball Quote
Shane Battier is a two-time NBA Champion with the Miami Heat during the "Big 3" era. He was an aggressive defensive player who often guarded the opponent's best scorer.
I don't complain about playing time. My job is to play so well that my coach can't sit me
Mike Krzyzewski has won five NCAA Men's Basketball titles with the Duke Blue Devils and three gold medals with the USA Basketball team. He was the first Division I Men's Basketball coach who won 1,000 games in his career.
Team work is the beauty of our sport, where you have five acting as one
Michael Jordan is arguably the best basketball player to ever play the game. He won 6 NBA championship rings while playing for the Chicago Bulls and multiple MVP trophies as well as scoring titles.
If nobody will help you, do it alone
Kareen Abdul-Jabbar is famous for his unblockable "skyhook." He scores the most points in NBA history with 38,387 (24.6 ppg).
You can't win unless you learn how to lose
Allen Iverson was the first overall pick in 1996 NBA draft and arguably one of the best "small" players to ever play. He scored 24,368 points during his 14-season career, won one MVP trophy, and four scoring titles. He was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2016.
When you're not practicing, someone else is getting better
Klay Thompson is one of the most prolific shooters in the game today. His dad, Mychal Thompson was the first overall pick in 1978. I guess Klay got his basketball genes from his dad.
Make your supporters proud and your haters jealous
Larry Bird is named one of the top 50 greatest players in NBA history. He won three NBA titles and three regular season MVPs. His name is often mentioned in the same sentence with Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson.
Push yourself again and again. Don't give an inch until the final buzzer sounds
Lebron James came to the NBA as an 18-year-old kid from St. Vincent - St. Mary High School and won Rookie of the Year award. Currently, he is a three-time NBA champion and considered one of the best players that the game has ever seen.
Don't be afraid of failure. This is the way to succeed
Kevin Durant drew a lot of criticism when he decided to join the Golden State Warriors "super team" after he lost a 3-1 lead in the Conference Final. He won his first title the very next season fairly easily, losing only 1 game in the Playoffs.
It's hard to play well but it's easy to work hard
Chris Paul is one of the highest paid athletes in the NBA for good reason. He is a seven-time First Team All-Defensive Team and currently has the most Playoffs steal per game record at 2.2 per.
Keep practicing. Never let anyone tell you're too small or too slow
Michael Jordan is one of the most competitive human beings on Earth. He tries to beat his opponent on every level. One of his hobbies is golf and gambling so here's a rare Michael Jordan video winning $500 bet at Celeb Golf Tournament.
If you quit once it becomes a habit. Never quit!
Dr. J won two ABA titles and 1 NBA title with the Philadelphia Sixers. During his successful basketball career he scored 30,026 and is sixth all time on the list behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Wilt Chamberlain.
I live my life trying not to never appear to be a small man
Bill Russell has won more NBA titles than anyone in the history of the NBA (11 as a player and 2 as a coach). It is safe to say that this record will not be broken by anyone anytime soon.
The idea is not to block every shot. The idea is to make your opponent believe that you might block every shot
Carmelo is one of the best scorers the NBA has ever seen. However, he is labeled as a "selfish" player most of his career. Having said that, Carmelo Anthony is the current USA Basketball all time scoring, rebounding, and games played leader.
Nobody should expect more of you than you expect of yourself
Tim Duncan is arguably the best power forward that has ever played in the NBA. Unlike Carmelo Anthony, he is labeled very unselfish during his 19-year career. Tim won five NBA titles with the Spurs under a superb coach Gregg Popovich.
Never let it rest until your good is better and your better is best.
Stephen Curry has multiple records to his name in 3-point categories. The list is literally too long to mention here. However, you can learn about them here: Steph Curry 3-point records.
What you do speaks louder than what you say
Kobe Bryant is the closest player to Michael Jordan we have ever seen. That means he is very close to being the best player in the history of basketball. During his 20-year illustrious NBA career, Kobe won five titles all with the Los Angeles Lakers.
If you're afraid to fail, then probably you're going to fail
Tony Kukoc won three NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls in the 90's. He was the NBA 6th Man of the Year and considered a good all around player like his teammate Scottie Pippen.
One score makes happy ONE player. An assist makes happy TWO
Dikembe Mutombo is the only two players in NBA history to ever win Defensive Player of the Year Award (Ben Wallace). He is also labeled as one of the most generous athletes in the world.
When an elevator brings you upstairs, you better send it back down to bring others up
Robert Parish is a four-time NBA champion and 9-time NBA All-Star. He is one of the few players who was inducted in College Hall of Fame and Basketball Hall of Fame. His jersey 00 is retired by the Boston Celtics.
Don't get too low when things go wrong and don't get too high when things are good
Phil Jackson has won more NBA rings than he has fingers (11). Phil's unique approach to coaching the game has been proven successful with the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Good teams become great ones when the members trust each other enough to surrender the ME for the WE
Bob Knight is the only one of three coaches that ever won an NCAA title, NIT title, and an Olympic gold medal. Not to mention, he is also a member of College Basketball Hall of Fame and Basketball Hall of Fame.
The key is not "the will to win" everybody has that. It is "the will to prepare to win" that is what's important
Russell Westbrook is an absolute NBA star. He holds the record of most triple-double in a single NBA season with 42. Moreover, he is also the only 2 players who ever finished an NBA season with double-digit points, assists, and rebounds (Oscar Robertson).
Every day when I get on the floor I give it my all and play because you never know what tomorrow holds
Doc Rivers was an NBA player and is currently coaching in the league. He won an NBA title with the Boston Celtics with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen who was famous as the "Big Three."
How competitive can you be without losing your discipline
Gregg Popovich is a five-time NBA champion and three-time NBA Coach of the Year with a career winning percentage of 0.695. That means he means close to 70% of all games he coaches!
We believe in people executing their role and caring about the team more than anything individually
Hubie Brown has his name in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Additionally, he is also an ABA champion and two-time NBA Coach of the Year.
Be your own person with your own style and do your own thing
Jeff Van Gundy
Jeff Van Gundy is one of my favorite NBA analysts/commentators. I always enjoy watching the games he calls. Jeff has coached the Knicks and the Rockets. He is also the brother of another NBA coach Stan Van Gundy.
Your decisions reveal your priorities
Jeff Van Gundy
John Calipari is a member of Basketball Hall of Fame and the coach of 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball team (Kentucky). Currently, the fact that Kentucky has the most players in the NBA is a testament of how good of a coach Calipari is.
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 Wooden was one of the most revered coaches in the history of sports. He won record breaking seven titles in a row in Division I Men's Basketball while winning 88 games in a row. No other team has ever won more than two titles in a row.
Remember this, the choices you make in life, make you
Pat Riley is a Hall of Fame Basketball coach and team president. He won an NBA title with the Lakers as a player and won five NBA titles as a coach.
Great effort springs naturally from a great attitude
Pat is still the most win in Division I Basketball history (men or women) with 1098 wins. Although Mike Krzyzewski is still active with 1071 wins, Pat is undoubtedly one of the greatest basketball coach that has ever lived.
Admit to and make yourself accountable for mistakes. How can you improve if you’re never wrong?
Red Auerbach held the record for most games won as a coach when he retired (938). He won nine NBA titles as a coach and seven more as a team president and GM. His total of 16 rings makes Red Auerbach one of the most successful team officials in the history of US sports.
Everyone is born with a certain potential. You may never achieve your full potential, but how close you come depends on how much you’re willing to pay the price
Tom Thibodeau is one of the most recognized names in the NBA circle. He is currently the head coach and President of Basketball Operations of the Minnesota Timberwolves. He won one NBA title with the Boston Celtics in 2008 as an Assistant Coach.
In all my years one thing has never changed; You win with serious, tough-minded players. That never changes
Billy Donovan is a great college basketball coach having won two NCAA Men's Basketball titles with Florida. However, he has to prove more in the NBA level. The fact that he is still an NBA coach says a lot about his work ethic and skill.
If you don’t feel you have something to prove every day, you’ll never improve
Chuck Daly was a Hall of Fame basketball Coach and a two-time NBA Champion as a coach with the Detroit Pistons. He is also in the Top 10 Coaches in NBA History list.
It’s discouraging to make a mistake, but it’s humiliating when you find out you’re so unimportant that nobody noticed it
Like Jeff Van Gundy, Doug Collins is a former coach and one of the better NBA analysts/commentators today. His basketball knowledge has made him a fan favorite in every NBA game that he calls.
Work as hard as you can to become as good an individual player as you can to help your team win
Elgin Baylor is one of the greatest NBA players to never win a championship. On the other hand, his incredible basketball career includes 11 times All-Star appearances, an NBA All-Star MVP, NBA Rookie of the Year, and many others.
Every time you compete, try harder to improve on your last performance. Give nothing short of your very best effort Elgin Baylor
Hakeem Olajuwon is a two-time NBA champion, two-time NBA Finals MVP, and a Regular Season MVP. He was also a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and 5-time All-Defensive First Team.
It’s not up to anyone else to make me give my best
As it stands today, Jason Kidd has the 3rd most triple-double in NBA history behind only to Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson. He is also the 2nd all time assists and steals behind John Stockton.
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
Jerry West is known as the "Logo." Yes, he is the NBA silhouette guy. During his NBA career, he won 1 NBA title, All-Star MVP, and other notable accomplishments.
Confidence is everything in this game, if you don’t think you can, you won’t
Lenny Wilkens had the record for most wins in the NBA when he retired as a basketball coach with 1,332 victories. He has been inducted 3 times into the Hall of Fame as a player, as a coach, and as a 1992 Dream Team member (assistant coach).
I learned early that if I wanted to achieve anything in life, I’d have to do it myself. I learned that I had to be accountable
Steve Nash is a two-time NBA MVP in 2005 and 2006. Additionally, he currently holds the record for highest career Free Throw percentage in regular season (.904).
If every basketball player worked as hard as I did, I’d be out of a job
Wilt Chamberlain is famous for being the only player who ever scored 100 points in a single NBA Basketball game. However, there is another record that no one talks about: Wilt is also the only player who ever had 55 rebounds in a single NBA game!
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
Favorite Basketball Quotes
Which one is your favorite basketball quote? Is your favorite player not on the list? Let us know and we will update the post.