Inspirational Basketball Quotes

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A hand-picked collection of free inspirational quotes:
  • Quotes about basketball
  • To inspire you to be a better basketball player - maybe.

But I include these inspirational quotations...

  • To inspire you to be a better you!

And that's why you'll also find links to related personal development topics throughout, so you can learn more should you want to.

And - hey! - my name is Steve Nash, after all! How could I not write a page filled with basketball quotations. (Seriously, my name is Steve M Nash!) So, I hope you enjoy these inspirational sports quotes...

inspirational basketball quotes | image of world and michael jordan quote

Inspirational Basketball Quotes

What they say...

Oh, but first, play the game eh, and promise you'll let me know what you think of these quotes - thanks.

Okay, let's tip the Jump-Ball to my namesake and get things started

"I am a huge believer in giving back and helping out in the community and the world. Think globally, act locally I suppose. I believe that the measure of a person's life is the affect they have on others."
-- Steve Nash

"What you are as a person is far more important that what you are as a basketball player."

-- John Wooden

(See the YouTube video below for more inspirational basketball quotes by John Wooden.)

"I always won in my imagination. I always hit the game-winning shot, or I hit the free throw. Or if I missed, there was a lane violation, and I was given another one."

-- Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski)

(Coach K is talking about Visualisation, by the way! And he seemed to be born as a visualiser - visualising great things for himself. Most of us, alas, do the opposite- but it doesn't have to be that way: read Dream Manifesto's blog page to see how we can all be great visualisers.)

"What to do with a mistake--recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it."

-- Dean Smith

"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

"They say that nobody is perfect. Then they tell you practice makes perfect. I wish they'd make up their minds."

-- Wilt Chamberlain

(Funny, Wilt, funny! There are more funny quotes here, should you be interested! Now how about famous! How about one of those famous inspirational quotes from Michael Jordan...)

"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

(This is a powerful insight into success, don't you think. Basically, MJ is saying that you simply have to take part, get involved (and thus take risks) to be successful at anything! Ah, thank goodness for MJ and thank goodness for inspirational basketball quotes...)

"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."

-- Michael Jordan

(And the fundamentals include self-confidence, assertiveness and having a positive attitude! On with the inspirational basketball quotes...)

"You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them."

-- Michael Jordan

"Be strong in body, clean in mind, lofty in ideals."

-- Dr. James Naismith

"Me shooting 40% at the foul line is just God’s way to say nobody’s perfect."

-- Shaquille O’Neal

"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly."

-- Author Unknown

"You're the only one who can make the difference. Whatever your dream is, go for it."

-- Magic Johnson

(Thank you, Magic, thank you! And now, it's time for a few inspirational team quotes like these...)

"One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team."

-- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success."

-- Stephen A. Brennan

"It's what you get from games you lose that is extremely important."

-- Pat Riley

(Pat's basically saying that you can still stay motivated, even if you lose - it's what you do with what happens that's always the most important factor in what happens to you in Basketball, in sport, and in life! I think that's what Pat means, anyway! :-) You'll find more motivation quotes here! )


Inspirational basketball quotes - what they still say...

More free inspirational quotes about basketball (if you really do want more), but first some John Wooden inspirational quotations a la YouTube...

WARNING: this video containing inspirational basketball quotes is somewhat irreverent, meaning it is NOT to be taken too seriously!

Okay, back to the quotes...

"Basketball doesn't build character. It reveals it."
-- Unknown

(This is a bit like that poem by Rudyard Kipling called If, in how it reveals character I guess!)

"It's not the push from behind, or the pull from up front, but rather the drive from within."

-- Steve Bankston

"I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying."

-- Michael Jordan

"I know fear is an obstacle for some people, but it is an illusion to me . . . Failure always made me try harder next time."

-- Michael Jordan

(Interesting thoughts on overcoming fear, by Mr Jordan!)

"If you are afraid of failure you don’t deserve to be successful!"

-- Charles Barkley

"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

"I tell kids to pursue their basketball dreams, but I tell them to not let that be their only dream."

-- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"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."

-- Kareem Abdul-Jabber

(Hmm, this sounds like a metaphor how to play the game of life - to me, anyway! How about you?)

"Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best."

-- Tim Duncan

(By the way, was Tim D really the person who came up with this inspirational quote? Shalyn W kindly contacted us and told me they heard it back in the 60s and Tim was born in 1976. What gives? Please contact us if you know better!)

"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."

-- Pete Carill

"Don’t let what other people think decide who you are."

-- Dennis Rodman

(Now Dennis is clearly talking about the important issue of self-esteem, here!)

"The only place that success is before work is in the dictionary."

-- John Wooden

And, finally we'll finish with Michael Jordan's inspirational basketball quote:

"Limits, like fears, are often just an illusion."
-- Michael Jordan

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