30 of the most famous basketball quotes listed: Which is your favorite one of them all?

30 of the most famous basketball quotes listed: Which is your favorite one of them all?

Helix Odhiambo
updated at April 15, 2023 at 8:44 AM

People often look up to famous basketball quotes for inspiration to uplift their spirits. Besides dictating matters on the court, NBA players and coaches are known for producing motivational words for their audiences and fans. The majority of famous basketball quotes have helped many to navigate through their challenges and careers.

Short famous basketball quotes
Over the years, basketball players and coaches have inspired many people with wise words. Photo: Mitchell Layton
Source: Getty Images

Great basketball minds can express themselves using powerful quotes summarising their experience. Through these words, we understand the sport better and relate to the athletes' challenges.

Famous basketball quotes

Legendary stars like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Lebron James have shared unique, inspiring and funny basketball quotes. This article highlights some famous basketball quotes from coaches and players that have made rounds online.

What is a famous basketball quote?

Famous basketball quotes of Michael Jordan
Legendary NBA player Michael Jordan shared many inspiring words about the game and life experience. Photo: Kent Smith (modified by author)
Source: Getty Images

Michael Jordan's inspirational words about his basketball future are one of the most famous among athletes. Many people consider Jordan, the greatest basketball player of all time. He achieved significant milestones in the sport, including winning four gold medals with the USA national basketball team and six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls.

Great basketball quotes about winning

We have compiled a list of 30 short famous basketball quotes about hard work, patience, and other exciting topics to boost your morale.

Kobe Bryant quotes

Famous basketball quotes Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant is among the greatest NBA players in history following his outstanding achievements on the court. Photo: Juan Ocampo (modified by author)
Source: Getty Images

The legendary Los Angeles Laker shooting guard died on 26 January 2020 but left a legacy and quotes that continue to inspire many generations. Here are some of the famous basketball quotes Kobe Bryant shared during his time.

30. Being on the edge

30. "You always have to be on edge. You always have to take every practice, every game, like it is your last." Kobe Bryant.

29. Winning mentality

"I'll do whatever it takes to win games, whether it's sitting on a bench waving a towel, handing a cup of water to a teammate, or hitting the game-winning shot. Kobe Bryant.

28. Embracing self-doubt

"I have self-doubt. I have insecurity. I have 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.

27. Touching lives

"The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great at whatever they want to do." Kobe Bryant.

26. Spirit of never giving up

"I'm here. I'm not going anywhere. No matter what the injury -- unless it's completely debilitating -- I'm going to be the same player I've always been. I'll figure it out. I'll make some tweaks, some changes, but I'm still coming." Kobe Bryant.

What is Lebron's favourite quote?

What is Lebron's favorite quote?
Los Angeles Lakers power forward Lebron James is the all-time leading scorer in NBA history. He also ranks fourth in NBA career assists. Photo: Wally Skalij (modified by author)
Source: Getty Images

Lebron James is one of the greatest basketball players who have won numerous titles and set records. Here are some of the best words in his speeches.

25. Aiming for the best

"If you put everything together as far as my mind, my body, my game. If you put everything in one bottle, this is probably the best I've been." LeBron James.

24. Giving your best

"Ask me to steal, block out, sacrifice, lead, dominate. Anything. But it's not what you ask of me, it's what I ask of myself." LeBron James.

23. Being afraid

"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.

22. Overcoming pressure

"There is a lot of pressure put on me, but I don't put a lot of pressure on myself. I feel if I play my game, it will take care of itself." LeBron James.

21. Pushing to the limits

"I treated it like every day was my last day with a basketball." LeBron James.

Famous basketball quotes from Michael Jordan

Famous basketball quotes about hard work
US President Barack Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Michael Jordan during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House on 22 November 2016 in Washington. Photo: Chip Somodevilla
Source: Getty Images

The NBA legend has shared powerful words from his basketball experience. Jordan's enthusiasm and character on the court helped him achieve a lot.

19. Making things happen

"Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen." Michael Jordan.

18. About failing in life

"I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying." Michael Jordan.

17. Success and failure

"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 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.

16. Secret to winning

"Get the fundamentals down and the level of everything you do will rise." Michael Jordan.

Other famous quotes from basketball players and coaches

Famous basketball quotes from coaches
Mike Krzyzewski is an American former college basketball coach and one of the best managers in the sport. Photo: Grant Halverson (modified by author)
Source: Getty Images

Here are 15 good famous basketball quotes from other NBA icons that will help you understand life through their perspective.

15. Larry Brown on successful teams

"All the successful teams I've ever seen have three characteristics: they play unselfish, they play together, and they play hard." Larry Brown.

14. Dennis Rodman on his attitude

"I'm hungrier than those other guys out there. Every rebound is a personal challenge." Dennis Rodman.

13. Magic Johnson on teammates

"Ask not what your teammates can do for you. Ask what you can do for your teammates." Magic Johnson.

12. Using your talent

"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.

11. Dr Jack Ramsay on best players

"A key basketball skill is imagery. The best players 'see' situations before they happen so they can be prepared." Dr Jack Ramsay.

Top 10 famous basketball quotes

What is a famous basketball quote?
Former Boston Celtics star Bill Russell won multiple titles and awards in his NBA career. Photo: D. Raphael
Source: Getty Images

Inspirational quotes from famous basketball players demonstrate the ethos of what makes champions tick. They have powerful messages that have inspired generations. Here are the ten best excerpts to boost your morale.

10. Taking charge of your destiny

"Everything happens for a reason. I'm used to it, I prepare for it. Like I say, at the end of the day, those in charge of their own destiny are going to do what's right for them and their family." Shaquille O'Neal.

9. Living for a purpose

"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.

8. Doing your best

"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.

7. Our true measure

"The measure of who we are is how we react to something that doesn't go our way." Greg Popovich.

6. Secret to success

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

Good famous basketball quotes - Top five

Famous quotes from basketball players
Former NBA player Shaquille O'Neal speaks during his jersey retirement ceremony at Staples Center on 2 April 2013 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Noah Graham
Source: Getty Images

Check out more inspiring quotes from other basketball icons in our collection to gain a better perspective of the sport.

5. Red Auerbach on potential

"Everyone is born with a certain potential. You may never achieve your full potential, but how close you come depends on how much you want to pay the price." Red Auerbach

4. Accepting mistakes

"Admit to and make yourself accountable for mistakes. How can you improve if you're never wrong?" Pat Summitt.

3. Managing critics

"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.

2. Mike Krzyzewski on rules and standards

"In developing teams, I don't believe in rules. I believe in standards. Rules don't promote teamwork, standards do." Mike Krzyzewski.

1. Key to winning

"The key is not the 'will to win'… everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important." Bob Knight.

Everyone needs motivation, and the famous basketball quotes are a perfect recipe for inspiration. NBA players and coaches have experienced much in their careers, from winning to losing matches. Therefore, their sentiments hold more weight and can touch many lives.

READ ALSO: What is RBI in baseball? Understanding baseball better!

Sports Brief recently explained the meaning of RBI in baseball. The Run Batted In (RBI) is frequently used in the sport to refer to the number of runs a player has won for making a play that allows a run to get scored.

An RBI can be achieved by striking a single, double, triple, or home run, or even being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded or by reaching base on an error or fielder's choice with runners on base. Follow the above link to learn more.

Helix Odhiambo photo
Helix Odhiambo
Helix Odhiambo is an award-winning Kenyan journalist and content creator with over 6 years of experience. In 2016, he won the Goal Blaze Correspondent Award for young writers.