Inspirational basketball quotes can serve as great motivation to athletes and coaches of all ages. These inspiring basketball quotes and motivational sports quotes are sorted alphabetically by the author’s last name. You’ll find motivational basketball quotes, funny basketball quotes, famous basketball quotes, and inspirational basketball quotes. If you know a basketball quote or inspirational sports saying that you’d like to share, please submit them through our “Contact Us” page.
It is not how big you are, it’s how big you play.
Habits are first cobwebs, then cables.
When you’re through improving, you’re through.
Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass; it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.
The more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in battle.
Pain is nothing compared to what it feels like to quit.
The man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.
Losers quit when they’re tired. Winners quit when they’ve won.
My responsibility is getting all my players playing for the name on the front of the jersey, not the one on the back.
If you think small things don’t matter, think of the last game you lost by one point.
Basketball doesn’t build character it reveals it.
I try to do the right thing at the right time. They may just be little things, but usually they make the difference between winning and losing.
One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.
You have to be able to center yourself, to let all of your emotions go. Don’t ever forget that you play with your soul as well as your body.
We try to stress the little things because little things lead to big things.
Basketball is like war in that offensive weapons are developed first, and it always takes a while for the defense to catch up.
Some say you have to use your five best players, but I found out you win with the five that fit together best as a team.
I don’t hire good coaches, I hire good people. If they turn out to be good coaches, too, that’s a plus. Geno Auriemma
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.
The only difference between a good shot and a bad shot is if it goes in or not.
If you are afraid of failure you don’t deserve to be successful!
I haven’t been able to slam-dunk the basketball for the past five years. Or, for the thirty-eight years before that, either.
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Coaching is easy. Winning is the hard part.
What you specifically teach is what your players will do best.
Practice to beat the best.
When I was young, I never wanted to leave the court until I got things exactly correct. My dream was to become a pro.
You never make any of the shots you never take. 87% of the ones you do take, you’ll miss too. I make 110% of my shots.
Push yourself again and again. Don’t give an inch until the final buzzer sounds.
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.
Criticize on defense and encourage on offense.
If you want team play, you must stress defense. Defense makes players unselfish.
The trouble with officials is they just don’t care who wins.
A guy who gives you less than what he has to give is, one, telling you what he thinks of you, and two, telling you what he thinks of himself.
The two ingredients in success in basketball are playing hard and playing intelligently.
Everybody pulls for David, nobody roots for Goliath.
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.
I don’t try to get players emotionally up for a game; it creates too many peaks and valleys… I strive for even keel; they will get up for the big games.
When I dunk, I put something on it. I want the ball to hit the floor before I do.
The difference in winning and losing is most often… not quitting. Walt Disney
Systems win! Believe in your system, and then sell it to your players.
We have a great bunch of outside shooters. Unfortunately, all our games are played indoors.
Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best.
If you don’t do what’s best for your body, you’re the one who comes up on the short end.
If you are going to take it to the bank, then you better cash it in.
Basketball is like photography, if you don’t focus, all you have is the negative.
We win because we play together as a team.
I keep both eyes on my man. The basket hasn’t moved on me yet.
Not only is there more to life than basketball, there’s a lot more to basketball than basketball.
Good teams become great ones when the members trust each other enough to surrender the Me for the We.
Ask not what your teammates can do for you. Ask what you can do for your teammates.
You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.
I have missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and missed. And I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
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.
Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.
Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.
My heroes are and were my parents. I can’t see having anyone else as my heroes.
My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.
If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome.
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.
There are plenty of teams in every sport that have great players and never win titles. Most of the time, those players aren’t willing to sacrifice for the greater good of the team. The funny thing is, in the end, their unwillingness to sacrifice only makes individual goals more difficult to achieve. One thing I believe to the fullest is that if you think and achieve as a team, the individual accolades will take care of themselves. Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”
I know fear is an obstacle for some people, but it is an illusion to me. Failure always made me try harder next time.
I’ve never been afraid to fail.
I never looked at the consequences of missing a big shot. When you think about the consequences you always think of a negative result.
You can practice shooting eight hours a day, but if your technique is wrong, then all you become is very good at shooting the wrong way. Get the fundamentals down and the level of everything you do will rise.
Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.
People ask me if I could fly, I said, “yeah, for a little while.”
I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.
The key is not the “will to win” – everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important.
You don’t play against opponents. You play against the game of basketball.
Believe that the loose ball that you are chasing has your name wirtten on it.
Prepare for every game like you just lost your last game.
One day of practice is like one day of clean living. It doesn’t do you any good.
There are really only two plays: Romeo and Juliet, and put the darn ball in the basket.
Basketball is the MTV of sports.
You always have to give 100%,because if you don’t someone, somewhere will give 100% and they will beat you when you meet.
I never thought I’d lead the NBA in rebounding, but I got a lot of help from my team-mates – they did a lot of missing.
They don’t pay you a million dollars for two-hand chest passes.
More Basketball Quotes
There is nothing wrong with dedication and goals, but if you focus on yourself, all the lights fade away and you become a fleeting moment in life.
Winning is overrated. The only time it is really important is in surgery and war.
When I was losing, they called me nuts. When I was winning they called me eccentric.
Help one kid at a time. He’ll maybe go back and help a few more.
I don’t discuss basketball. I dictate basketball. I’m not interested in philosophy classes.
To win, you’ve got to put the ball in the macramé.
Shout praise and whisper criticism.
In practice, don’t just run basketball drills, teach the players how to play basketball.
Successful programs consist of people working hard, working together, while never worrying about who gets the credit.
To be a team, you must be a family.
Discipline and demand without being demeaning.
Recognize and reward players who put the team first, not just the gifted ones.
Simplify the game as much as possible. When you add, you must subtract.
There is nothing more important than rebounding…don’t just give it lip service.
It is not what you teach, but what you emphasize.
Good shooters take the shots; best shooters take most of the shots.
You build your program from the ideas of great coaches.
Play off your great player… great teams have a go-to player and they play off of him.
Prepare for every practice like you just loss your last game.
Your program must have an overriding purpose which is clearly visible and which teaches lessons beyond winning.
When you watch the game, be a student of the game.
The team is an extension of the coach.
When the legs go, the heart and the head follow quickly behind.
Every day you teach attitude. Don Meyer
It is foolish to expect a young man to follow your advice and to ignore your example. Don Meyer
More Basketball Quotes
Be strong in body, clean in mind, lofty in ideals.
I’m tired of hearing about money, money, money, money, money. I just want to play the game, drink Pepsi, wear Reebok.
Sometimes a player’s greatest challenge is coming to grips with his role on the team.
When I went to Catholic high school in Philadelphia, we just had one coach for football and basketball. He took all of us who turned out and had us run through a forest. The ones who ran into the trees were on the football team.
Fans never fall asleep at our games, because they’re afraid they might get hit by a pass.
I know the Virginia players are smart because you need a 1500 SAT to get in. I have to drop bread crumbs to get our players to and from class.
There are only two options regarding commitment; you’re either in or you’re out. There’s no such thing as life in-between.
It’s what you get from games you lose that is extremely important.
Being a part of success is more important than being personally indispensable.
In all the research you do as a coach, studying other coaches and championship-type situations, you find that all those teams combined talent with great defense. You’ve got to stop other teams to win.
Winning is like deodorant – it comes up and a lot of things don’t stink.
You’ve got to learn the footwork, the positioning, how to box out, how to pass, how to shoot your free throws. All these things are necessary, not to be the No. 1 player in the world, but maybe you can play against him.
Basketball is basketball.
The idea is not to block every shot. The idea is to make your opponent believe that you might block every shot.
I hate it. It looks like a stickup at 7-Eleven. Five guys standing there with their hands in the air.
Norm Sloan, commenting on zone defense
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.
We’re shooting 100 percent – 60 percent from the field and 40 percent from the free-throw line.
The secret is to have eight great players and four others who will cheer like crazy.
This year we plan to run and shoot. Next season we hope to run and score.
I liked the choreography, but I didn’t care for the costumes.
Tommy Tune, on why he doesn’t play basketball
My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.
Any American boy can be a basketball star if he grows up, up, up.
You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.
When it’s played the way is supposed to be played, basketball happens in the air; flying, floating, elevated above the floor, levitating the way oppressed peoples of this earth imagine themselves in their dreams.
John Edgar Wideman
You can run a lot of plays when your X is twice as big as the other guys’ O. It makes your X’s and O’s pretty good.
Never mistake activity for achievement.
Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.
Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation.Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.
The most important key to achieving great success is to decide upon your goal and launch, get started, take action, move.
Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.
Although I wanted my players to work to win, I tried to convince them they had always won when they had done their best.
It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.
It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.
Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.
What you are as a person is far more important that what you are as a basketball player.
It’s not so important who starts the game but who finishes it.
You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.
Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.
Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character.
Young people need models, not critics.
Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.
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