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110 Best Michael Jordan Quotes To Master The Game of Life

110 Best Michael Jordan Quotes To Master The Game of Life

Michael Jordan, widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, has shared countless words of wisdom and motivation throughout his career. 

Below you’ll find the greatest Michael Jordan quotes I collected online, capturing the importance of hard work, perseverance, success, and the constant pursuit of greatness.

Let them inspire you and guide you on your way to achieving your goals! 

10 Best Michael Jordan Quotes

1. “You have competition every day because you set such high standards for yourself that you have to go out every day and live up to that.” — Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan striking a pose representing the best Michael Jordan quote

2. “If you do the work you get rewarded. There are no shortcuts in life.” — Michael Jordan

3. “You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.” — Michael Jordan

4. “I hope the millions of people I’ve touched have the optimism and desire to share their goals and hard work and perseverance with a positive attitude.” — Michael Jordan

5. “One day, you might look up and see me playing the game at 50. Don’t laugh. Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.” — Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan with an urban backdrop and blue sky representing the best Michael Jordan quote

6. “Heart is what separates the good from the great.” — Michael Jordan

7. “I’ve always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come.” — Michael Jordan

8. “Another day, another opportunity to prove everyone who doubts you wrong.” — Michael Jordan

9. “Enjoy every minute of life. Never second-guess life.” — Michael Jordan

10. “If you are confident you have done everything possible to prepare yourself, then there is nothing to fear.” — Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan posing with a city skyline and blue sky behind him

Inspirational Quotes By Michael Jordan

1. “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

Michael Jordan leaning on knees during a game representing Michael Jordan inspirational quote

2. “If you quit once it becomes a habit. Never quit!” — Michael Jordan

3. “Don’t let them drag you down by rumors just go with what you believe in.” — Michael Jordan

4. “You can practice shooting 8 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.” — Michael Jordan

5. “I’m a firm believer in goal setting. Step by step. I can’t think of any other way of accomplishing anything.” ― Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan on court leaning forward representing an inspiring MJ quote

6. “What is love? Love is playing every game as if it’s your last!” — Michael Jordan

7. “Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.” — Michael Jordan

8. “My heroes are and were my parents. I can’t see having anyone else as my heroes.” — Michael Jordan

9. “My challenge when I came back was to face the young talent, to dissect their games, and show them maybe that they needed to learn more about the game than just the money aspect.” — Michael Jordan

10. “My father used to say that it’s never too late to do anything you wanted to do. And he said you never know what you can accomplish until you try.” — Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan crouched on knees during play

11. “People ask me if I could fly, I said, ‘yeah…. for a little while.” — Michael Jordan

12. “The good part about being famous is being able to help people. The hard part is every day you have to be in a good mood, because that is what people expect. You learn to get good at it.” — Michael Jordan

13. “I built my talents on the shoulders of someone else’s talent.” — Michael Jordan

14.  “Not every flying hero has a cape.” ― Michael Jordan

See also: 200 Empowering Hero Quotes To Ignite Your Brave Heart

15. “I want to be perceived as a guy who played his best in all facets, not just scoring. A guy who love challenges.” — Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan leaning on knees in action

16. “The basketball court for me, during a game, is the most peaceful place I can imagine. On the basketball court, I worry about nothing. When I’m out there, no one can bother me.” — Michael Jordan

17. “All I knew is that I never wanted to be average.” — Michael Jordan

18. “I will not quit this game because of what the media has done to me.” — Michael Jordan

19. “Do I need my number retired throughout the course of the league to acknowledge what I’ve done? No.”  — Michael Jordan

20. “Even when I’m old and gray, I won’t be able to play it, but I’ll still love the game.” — Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan crouched on the court

21. “The harder I prepare, the luckier I seem to get.” — Michael Jordan

22. “When I was young, I had to learn the fundamentals of basketball. You can have all the physical ability in the world, but you still have to know the fundamentals.” — Michael Jordan

23. “Nothing of value comes without being earned.” — Michael Jordan

24. “The game of basketball has been everything to me. My place of refuge, place I’ve always gone where I needed comfort and peace. It’s been the site of intense pain and the most intense feelings of joy and satisfaction. It’s a relationship that has evolved over time, given me the greatest respect and love for the game.” — Michael Jordan

25. “I don’t do things half-heartedly. Because I know if I do, then I can expect half-hearted results.” ― Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan crouching on his knees during a game

26. “I realize that I’m black, but I like to be viewed as a person, and this is everybody’s wish.”  — Michael Jordan

27. “Live the moment for the moment.” — Michael Jordan

28. “But how many people lighted the path for me? That’s the evolution of basketball. There’s no way I could have played the way I played if I didn’t watch David Thompson and guys prior to me. There’s no way Kobe could have played the way he’s played without watching me play. So, you know, that’s the evolution of basketball. You cannot change that.” ― Michael Jordan

29. “Why would I think about missing a shot that I haven’t taken yet?” ― Michael Jordan

30. “My mother is my root, my foundation. She planted the seed that I base my life on, and that is the belief that the ability to achieve starts in your mind.” — Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan crouched on the basketball court

See also: 140 Bond Between Mother And Child Quotes To Warm Your Heart

Famous Quotes From Michael Jordan

1. “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” — Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan with hands on hips on the court representing michael jordan famous quote

2. “It’s heavy duty to try to do everything and please everybody. My job was to go out there and play the game of basketball as best I can. People may not agree with that. I can’t live with what everyone’s impression of what I should or what I shouldn’t do.” — Michael Jordan

3. “Make it happen.” — Michael Jordan

4. “There’s only one Michael Jordan.” — Michael Jordan

5. “The game is my wife. It demands loyalty and responsibility, and it gives me back fulfillment and peace.” — Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan standing in the court with hands on hips

6. “There is no such thing as a perfect basketball player, & I don’t believe there is only one greatest player either.” — Michael Jordan

7. “In reality, I never want to grow up.” — Michael Jordan

8. “I want to wake up every day and do whatever comes in my mind, and not feel pressure or obligations to do anything else in my life.” — Michael Jordan

9. “I’d like to be settled into somewhat of a normal life. Somewhat. I know it’s never going to be completely normal.” — Michael Jordan

10. “When I will lose the sense of motivation and the sense to prove something as a basketball player, it’s time for me to move away from the game.” — Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan stands with hands on hips representing famous quote by Michael Jordan

11. “They don’t need a ticket to watch you sitting on the bench. They can go to your house for that.” — Michael Jordan

12. “Being Michael Jordan means acting the same as I always have.” — Michael Jordan

13. “In college, I never realized the opportunities available to a pro athlete. I’ve been given the chance to meet all kinds of people, to travel and expand my financial capabilities, to get ideas and learn about life, to create a world apart from basketball.” — Michael Jordan

14. “I know the signs of scaredness.” — Michael Jordan

15. “I wasn’t really a work-conscious type of person. I was a player. I loved to play sports.” — Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan strikes a hands-on-hips pose on the court

16. “If I had been playing for money I would have complained a long time ago that I was underpaid.” — Michael Jordan

17. “For a competitive junkie like me, golf is a great solution because it smacks you in the face every time you think you’ve accomplished something. That to me has taken over a lot of the energy and competitiveness for basketball.” — Michael Jordan

18. “As athletes, we’re used to reacting quickly. Here, it’s ‘come, stop, come, stop.’ There’s a lot of downtime. That’s the toughest part of the day.” — Michael Jordan

19. “In any investment, you expect to have fun and make money.”  — Michael Jordan

20. “I mean we all fly. Once you leave the ground, you fly. Some people fly longer than others.” — Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan with hands on hips

21. “How many times have your parents told you not to do things, and the next thing you know, you go do it? And you realized you shouldn’t have done it.”  — Michael Jordan

22. “It’s absolutely wrong that I don’t want guys to challenge me. And the people who say that aren’t in the room.” — Michael Jordan

23. “It’s hard to say if the NBA is hurt by the influx of younger players, but it’s definitely impacted the league.” — Michael Jordan

24. “I can’t speak for the future. I have no crystal ball.” — Michael Jordan

25. “I believe greatness is an evolutionary process that changes and evolves era to era.”  — Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan stands tall on the basketball court with his hands on his hips

Michael Jordan Quotes About Winning

1. “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” — Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan reaches for the basket with ball

2. “Winning isn’t always championships.” — Michael Jordan

3. “I think the players win the championship, and the organization has something to do with it, don’t get me wrong. But don’t try to put the organization above the players.” — Michael Jordan

4. “Sometimes a winner is just a dreamer who never gave up.” — Michael Jordan

5. “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.” — Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan jumps high with ball toward the basket

6. “Champions do not become champions when they win an event, but in the hours, weeks, and months, and years they spend preparing for it. The victorious performance itself is merely a demonstration of their championship character.” — Michael Jordan

7. “I would tell players to relax and never think about what’s at stake. Just think about the basketball game. If you start to think about who is going to win the championship, you’ve lost your focus.” — Michael Jordan

8. “Practice like you’ve never won. Play like you’ve never lost.” — Michael Jordan

9. “Ultimately, if you can say that I’m a bad owner and we’re winning championships, I can live with that. But if we’re not making the playoffs and we’re spending and losing money, then I have to look in the mirror and say maybe I’m not taking the necessary steps to doing what it takes to run an organization.” — Michael Jordan

10. “If nobody will help you, do it alone! There is no ‘I’ in team, but there is ‘1’ in WIN!” ― Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan rises towards the basket

See also: 160 Winning Quotes To Celebrate Your Achievements

Michael Jordan Quotes About Failure

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

Michael Jordan sits with arms on his knees representing Michael Jordan failure quote

2. “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

3. “To learn to succeed, you must first learn to fail.” — Michael Jordan

4. “Failure is acceptable. But not trying is a whole different ball park.” — Michael Jordan

5. “I know fear is an obstacle for some people, but it is an illusion to me. Failure always made me try harder the next time.” — Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan on the court with his arms on his knees representing Michael Jordan quote on failure

6. “I failed so therefore I succeed. ” ― Michael Jordan

7. “The key to success is failure.” — Michael Jordan

8. “It’s better to shoot and miss than to let time run out and wonder what if.” — Michael Jordan

9. “I’ve never been afraid to fail.” — Michael Jordan

10. “My advice is, find fuel in failure. Sometimes failure gets you closer to where you want to be.” — Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan in a determined seated position representing Michael Jordan fail quote

Michael Jordan Motivational Quotes

1. “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.” — Michael Jordan

back view of Michael Jordan with hands on hips

2. “To be successful you have to be selfish, or else you never achieve. And once you get to your highest level, then you have to be unselfish. Stay reachable. Stay in touch. Don’t isolate.” — Michael Jordan

3. “Everybody has talent, but ability takes hard work.” — Michael Jordan

4. “The minute you get away from fundamentals — whether it’s proper technique, work ethic or mental preparation — the bottom can fall out of your game, your schoolwork, your job, whatever you’re doing.” — Michael Jordan

5. “Sometimes, things may not go your way, but the effort should be there every single night.” — Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan stands with hands on hips on court

6. “Every time I feel tired while I am exercising and training, I close my eyes to see that picture, to see that list with my name. This usually motivates me to work again.” — Michael Jordan

7. “Once I made a decision, I never thought about it again.” — Michael Jordan

8. “Learning’s a gift, even when pain is your teacher.” — Michael Jordan

9. “The best come from the worst.” — Michael Jordan

10. “If you put your mind to doing whatever it is you want to do, good things can happen.” — Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan on the court with hands on hips

11. “I’m not out there sweating for three hours every day just to find out what it feels like to sweat.” — Michael Jordan

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

13. “I never looked at the consequences of missing a big shot… When you think about the consequences you will always think of the negative result.” — Michael Jordan

14. “I realized that if I was going to achieve anything in life I had to be aggressive. I had to get out there and go for it.” — Michael Jordan

15. “The game has its ups and downs, but you can never lose focus of your individual goals and you can’t let yourself be beat because of lack of effort.” — Michael Jordan

back view of Michael Jordan during a game

16. “My body could stand the crutches but my mind couldn’t stand the sideline.” — Michael Jordan

17. “I’ve never lost a game I just ran out of time.” — Michael Jordan

18. “Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game.” — Michael Jordan

19. “Be true to the game, because the game will be true to you. If you try to shortcut the game, then the game will shortcut you. If you put forth the effort, good things will be bestowed upon you. That’s truly about the game, and in some ways that’s about life too.” — Michael Jordan

20. “If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome.” — Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan standing tall with hands on hips

21. “I own the guy guarding me.” — Michael Jordan

22. “I want to be the bridge to the next generation.” — Michael Jordan

23. “Sometimes you need to get hit in the head to realize that you’re in a fight.” — Michael Jordan

24. “All I wanted to do was to improve, to keep getting better.” — Michael Jordan

25. “Best evaluation I can make of a player is to look in his eyes and see how scared they are.” — Michael Jordan

back view of Michael Jordan in a hands-on-hips pose

Final Word

As this collection of Michael Jordan quotes suggested, the words of this great legend go beyond the basketball court and offer valuable lessons for all aspects of life.

I hope you’ll use them as your own guiding light to continuously strive for greatness!

Read next: 160 Game-Changing Basketball Quotes To Unlock Your Potential

110 Best Michael Jordan Quotes To Master The Game of Life