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80 Greatest Basketball Quotes To Unlock Your Potential

80 Greatest Basketball Quotes To Unlock Your Potential

Explore the captivating world of basketball quotes that will ignite your fire for success and unlock your full potential.

I’m bringing you inspiring words from famous basketball icons such as Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and much more.

Whether you’re a basketball fan or not, these basketball quotes will inspire you to work harder and reach higher.

10 Greatest Basketball Quotes

1. “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can´t accept not trying.” — Michael Jordan

Basket under the sunset hues representing the best basketball quote.

2. “The moment you give up is the moment you let someone else win.” — Kobe Bryant

Image of a basketball net representing the greatest basketball quote.

3. “Excellence is not a singular act but a habit. You are what you do repeatedly.” — Shaquille O’Neal

Player aiming for the hoop representing the best basketball quote.

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

Image of a ball representing basketball inspirational quote.

5. “If you are afraid of failure you don’t deserve to be successful!” — Charles Barkley

Sunset silhouettes hoop, players in action.

6. “Nothing is given. Everything is earned.” — LeBron James

Outdoor game aiming for the basketball hoop.

7. “The key is not the ‘will to win’… everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important.” — Bob Knight

Basketball rests quietly on the parquet floor.

8. “You don’t have to be Magic to be special. You’re already special, you’re you.” — Magic Johnson

Reaching for a bouncing basketball.

9. “Basketball doesn’t build character, it reveals it.” — James Naismith

Solitary ball rests on empty court.

10. “Bottom line, you’re either a risk taker, or your not, and if you don’t take risks, you’ll never win big.” — Geno Auriemma

Basketball cradled near the player's side.

See also: 150 Best Taking Risk Quotes To Embrace Courageous Choices

Basketball Quotes To Teach You Life Lessons

1. “You can’t win unless you learn how to lose.” — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Basket beneath the setting sun representing a quote about basketball.

2. “Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do.” — John Wooden

Empty basketball hoop waits for action.

3. “I have a plan of action, but the game is a game of adjustments.” — Mike Krzyzewski

Player soars, aiming ball for the basket.

4. “Ask not what your teammates can do for you. Ask what you can do for your teammates.“ — Magic Johnson

Round ball tells game stories silently.

5. “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.” — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Basketball under the setting sun's silhouette.

6. “In both basketball and life, it’s important to stay adaptable and embrace change, as it often leads to growth and improvement.” — Bruce Bowen

B-ball players aim for the outdoor basket.

7. “Don’t let winning make you soft. Don’t let losing make you quit. Don’t let your teammates down in any situation.” — Larry Bird

Ball on the wooden parquet representing a quote about work ethic.

8. “If you´re afraid to fail, then you´re probably going to fail.” — Kobe Bryant

Hand extends to catch basketball.

9. “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

Lonely basketball waits on outdoor court.

10. “The most important thing in basketball is to have a positive attitude and to always believe in yourself and your abilities.” — Dwight Howard

Arm holds the basketball close.

See also: 160 Believe In Yourself Quotes To Bask In Your Confidence

11. “The day I stopped worrying about stats is the day I started winning.” — Shaquille O’Neal

Evening glow graces quiet basket.

12. “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

Basketball net ready for the next game.

13. “The price of excellence is discipline. The cost of mediocrity is disappointment.” — William Arthur Ward

High jump, basketball mid-air to score.

14. “Nothing is given; nothing is handed to you. You have to take what you deserve.” — Marcus Keene

Round muse inspires tales of victory.

15. “Admit to and make yourself accountable for mistakes. How can you improve if you’re never wrong?” — Pat Summitt

Silhouetted game beneath the setting sun representing a quote about improvement.

See also: 120 Accountability Quotes For The Most Responsible Ones

16. “It doesn’t matter if you fall down, it’s whether you get back up.” — Michael Jordan

Players in outdoor court representing Michael Jordan inspirational quote.

17. “Making the big shot wouldn’t feel so good if missing it didn’t feel so awful.” — Paul Pierce

Round ball on the smooth parquet surface.

18. “I’ve never believed my critics or my worshippers, and I’ve always been able to leave the game at the arena.” — Charles Barkley

Hand reaches out for a ball.

19. “Losing is part of the game. If you never lose, you are never truly tested, and never forced to grow.” — David Sirlin

Ball abandoned on quiet basketball court.

20. “Haters are a good problem to have. Nobody hates the good ones. They hate the great ones.” — Kobe Bryant

Standing player with a held basketball.

See also: 100 Hater Quotes That Reveal a Lot About Them

Motivational Basketball Quotes On Overcoming Challenges

1. “Everything negative – pressure, challenges – are all an opportunity for me to rise.“ — Kobe Bryant

Basket in soft light representing rise up quote.

2. “Keep practicing. Never let someone tell you you’re too small or too slow.” — Chris Paul

Empty basket representing a quote about practice.

3. “Great effort springs naturally from great attitude.” — Pat Riley

Player in mid-air precision representing a quote about effort.

4. “You have to go through good times and bad times to get where you’re trying to go.” — Allen Iverson

Lone basketball shines in the shadows.

5. “Success on the court is earned through unwavering discipline and an unyielding commitment to hard work.” — Kenny Smith

Players' silhouettes aim for the sunset hoop.

6. “All dreams are crazy. Until they come true.” — Dirk Nowitzki

Basketball action outdoors, players target hoop.

7. “The key to being a great basketball player is to never stop learning and to always be willing to get better.” — Kobe Bryant

Basketball rests on the parquet representing be better quote.

8. “The more you prepare, the more confident you are.” — Tim Duncan

Seizing the bouncing basketball.

9. “A lot of people told me I couldn’t do it because of my size. I was determined to prove those people wrong.” — Ben Wallace

Deserted basketball on an empty court.

10. “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

Basketball secured alongside player's body.

See also: 100 Growth Mindset Quotes For Those Who Want To Succeed

11. “Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.” — John Wooden

Basket bathed in warm sunset.

12. “You can’t stop people from trying to limit your dreams, but you can stop it from becoming a reality. Your dreams are up to you.” — Kobe Bryant

Lone basketball hoop representing chasing dreams quote.

13. “Basketball is a game of mental toughness. It´s about being able to push through adversity and never giving up.” — Blake Griffin 

Player in mid-jump focus representing a quote about pushing through.

14. “Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.” — Michael Jordan

Darkness embraces the solitary bouncing sphere.

15. “Confidence is everything in this game, if you don’t think you can, you won’t.” — Jerry West

Hoops and players dance in sunset shadows.

See also: 80 Inspirational Confidence Affirmations To Empower You

Inspiring Basketball Quotes To Keep You Going

1. “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

Outdoor play representing don't give up quote.

2. “The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.” — Kobe Bryant

Parquet court hosts a stationary basketball.

3. “It’s not about the number of hours you practice, it’s about the number of hours your mind is present during the practice.” — Kobe Bryant

Hand reaching out for a bouncing ball.

4. “Once you know what failure feels like, determination chases success.” — Kobe Bryant

Ball on the quiet basketball court representing a quote about determination.

5. “Be led by your dreams not by your problems.” — Roy Williams

Ball rests beside the standing player.

See also: 120 Follow Your Dreams Quotes To Keep You On The Track

6. “If it turns out that my best wasn’t good enough, at least I wont look back and say that I was afraid to try.” — Michael Jordan

Basket rests as sun bids farewell.

7. “Basketball isn’t just a sport. It is an art, one that must be mastered to succeed.” — Steph Curry

Basket stands in solitude on the court.

8. “Push yourself again and again. Don’t give an inch until the final buzzer sounds.” — Larry Bird

Ball heads for basket representing keep pushing quote.

9. “I learned that if you want to be great at something, you have to love it and be willing to work hard at it.” — Maya Moore

Lonely ball glows softly in obscurity.

10. “Progress comes from knowing your weaknesses, working on them, and turning them into strengths.” — Hakeem Olajuwon

Dusk's embrace hoop, players in silhouette

See also: 120 Ultimate Best Quotes About Progress To Fuel Your Growth

11. “I’ve always believed no matter how many shots I miss, I’m going to make the next one.” — Hakeem Olajuwon

Basketball players make shots in open air.

12. “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Poise and confidence are a natural result of proper preparation.” — John Wooden

The ball sits still on the parquet.

13. “Basketball is a game of mental toughness. It´s about being able to stay focused and not getting rattled under pressure.” — James Harden

Hand catching a basketball in motion.

14. “If you love the game and you love playing, just have fun and enjoy it. Work hard and don’t get bogged down by it.” — Blake Griffin

Quiet court with a lone basketball.

15. “Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.” — John Wooden

Player's side view with basketball.

16. “You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them.” — Michael Jordan

Basket illuminated by the setting sun representing a quote about greatness.

17. “All the successful teams I’ve ever seen have three characteristics: They play unselfish, they play together, and they play hard.“ — Larry Brown

Silent court with a lone basketball hoop.

18. “Discover your gift, develop your gift, and then give it away every day.” — Don Meyer

Athlete rises, aiming for the basketball net.

19. “The worst has happened. The best is next.” — Paul George

Darkness yields to the basketball's glow.

20. “I’m still waiting for perfection. In the meantime, I’ll settle for persistence.” — Bo Ryan

Setting sun frames basketball hoop, players.

See also: 150 Wise Quotes Of Perfection To Propel You To Excellence

Basketball Quotes On Motivation And Preservance

1. “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.” — Kevin Durant

Image of an outdoor court with a short hard work quote.

2. “I treated it like every day was my last day with a basketball.” — LeBron James

Wooden parquet floor cradles the basketball.

3. “You can’t always be the most talented or gifted person in the room, but you can be the most competitive.“ — Pat Summit

Seizing the bouncing basketball.

4. “I can’t relate to lazy people. We don’t speak the same language. I don’t understand you. I don’t want to understand you.” — Kobe Bryant

Solitary ball on the outdoor playing area.

5. “Shooting percentage is just as much about decision making as it is about technique.” — Jeff Van Gundy

Basketball secured next to the player.

6. “You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.” — Jerry West

Image of basket representing basketball motivational quote.

7. “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments, and without it, success is impossible.” — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Image of a basketball hoop representing a quote about discipline.

8. “Get the fundamentals down and the level of everything you do will rise.” — Michael Jordan

Airborne player makes a hoop shot.

9. “If you see me in a fight with a bear, pray for the bear.” — Kobe Bryant

Image of a ball representing a quote from the greatest basketball player.

10. “You can’t shortcut the process; it takes time, discipline, and hard work to become great.” — Caron Butler

Silhouetted ballers under the evening sun.

See also: 150 Discipline Quotes To Unlock Your Potential And Success

11. “If you want to be a better player, you have to prepare, prepare, and prepare some more.” ― Kobe Bryant

Hoops under the open sky representing a preparation quote.

12. “Every time you compete, try harder to improve on your last performance. Give nothing short of your very best effort.” — Elgin Baylor

Ball sits still on the parquet representing try your best quote.

13. “I think, team first. It allows me to succeed, it allows my team to succeed.“ — Lebron James 

Hand grabbing the basketball representing a quote about legends.

14. “If you want to look good in front of thousands then you have to outwork thousands in front of nobody.” ― Damian Lillard

Lonely basketball left on court pavement.

15. “Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.” — Vince Lombardi

Player with basketball by their side.

See also: 160 Winning Quotes To Celebrate Your Achievements

In Conclusion

I hope these basketball quotes have inspired you to give your best to live up to your potential and pursue greatness in all aspects of life.

Read next: Top 210 Basketball Captions For The Most Devoted Fans

80 Greatest Basketball Quotes To Unlock Your Potential