501 Awesome Basketball Quotes

basketball quotes

I love collecting and sharing basketball quotes.

Basketball quotes are terrific for motivating and inspiring coaches and athletes. Countless times I’ve recited various quotes to my players or fellow coaches and they always have a positive effect.

As you go through the basketball quotes below, I encourage you to write down any that inspire you. There will be quotes that seem to jump out of the screen at you because they make sense to your current situation and your basketball philosophy.

The basketball quotes are arranged alphabetically by the coach or player’s first name and then there’s large miscellaneous section at the end. If you don’t have time to go through the entire post make sure to bookmark this page and come back some other time. There’s a lot of gems that I know you’ll love reading.

I hope you enjoy the 501 basketball quotes below!


Bill Russell Basketball Quotes

Bill Russell Quotes “Create unselfishness as the most important team attribute” – Bill Russell

“Concentration and mental toughness are the margins of victory” – Bill Russell

“The most important thing to me is the friends that I’ve made” – Bill Russell

“The most important measure of how good a game I played was how much better I’d made my teammates play” – Bill Russell

“Remember that basketball is a game of habits. If you make the other guy deviate from his habits, you’ve got him” – Bill Russell

“Commitment separates those who live their dreams from those who live their lives regretting the opportunities they have squandered” – Bill Russell

“What distinguishes a great player is his presence. When he goes on to the court, his presence dominates the atmosphere” – Bill Russell

“The only important statistic is the final score” – Bill Russell

“The idea is not to block every shot. The idea is to make your opponent believe that you might block every shot” – Bill Russell


Bob Knight Basketball Quotes

Bob Knight Quotes “The single most important aspect of coaching is running effective practices” – Bob Knight

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

“You don’t play against opponents; you play against the game of basketball” – Bob Knight

“The goal is to make practice more difficult, physically/mentally, than anything your players will face during a game” – Bob Knight

“Basketball is a full court game, so every drill must be done full court” – Bob Knight

“I always designed my practice plans the night before and then made tweaks a few hours before practice began” – Bob Knight

“I hate casual shooting. Every shot is preceded by working to get open and catch and shoot under game like conditions” – Bob Knight

“What is the best thing you can do in a close game? Drive to the basket and put pressure on the defense! Not jack up jump shots” – Bob Knight

“Passing is your best weapon against man to man. Dribble penetration is your best weapon against zone” – Bob Knight

“Players must be able to carry out simple instructions from the bench to the court. If they can’t, then they can’t play” – Bob Knight

“Discipline is doing what has to be done, when it has to be done, as well as it can be done, and doing it that way all the time” – Bob Knight

“I just love the game of basketball so much. The game! I don’t need the 18,000 people screaming and all the peripheral things. To me, the most enjoyable part is the practice and preparation” – Bob Knight

“Mental is to the physical as four is to one” – Bob Knight

“Offense is not equal opportunity” – Bob Knight

“Perform drills that force your players to think” – Bob Knight

“I sit and wonder why no one uses the shot fake. The shot fake, when used correctly, can eliminate a defender” – Bob Knight

“Coaches shouldn’t have to push you to work hard, you should push yourself to work hard because you want to be a great player” – Bob Knight

“A quick way for any player to make himself better is to think about what he himself doesn’t like to play against” – Bob Knight

“Good basketball always starts with good defense!” – Bob Knight

“My practices were not set up to be easy or enjoyed” – Bob Knight

“In order to achieve to achieve positive results, one must work for them, not hope for them” – Bob Knight

“Defense is all about helping. No one can guard a good dribbler, You have to walk kids through how to help and then how to help the helper” – Bob Knight


Brad Stevens Basketball Quotes

Brad Stevens Quotes “The key is to maintain an evenness. Try to play one possession at a time, regardless of what happened on the last possession” – Brad Stevens

“You have a choice to make when you’re not playing. Either you’re invested and a great teammate, or your not” – Brad Stevens

“The game honors toughness” – Brad Stevens

“We’re building a culture of accountability, trust, and togetherness. Entitlement will not be tolerated” – Brad Stevens

“The difference between a good defensive team and a bad defensive team is as little as three possessions” – Brad Stevens

“You have to earn your right to win the game with effort and togetherness” – Brad Stevens

“How good can we expect to be if our best player is not our best teammate” – Brad Stevens

“My goal is to win the next game one possession at a time. That’s it. I don’t have any other goals” – Brad Stevens


Dean Smith Basketball Quotes

Dean Smith Quotes “You should always sub a player out when you see them not going full speed or they’re playing selfish basketball” – Dean Smith

“What do you do with a mistake: recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it” – Dean Smith

“I always mean what I say, but I don’t always say what I’m thinking” – Dean Smith

“I would never recruit a player who yells at his teammates, disrespected his high school coach, or scores 33 points a game and his team goes 10-10” – Dean Smith

“One player’s selfish attitude can poison a locker room and make it hard, if not impossible, to establish team work” – Dean Smith

“There is a lot of basketball beyond our control, but a player should never let anyone try harder than he does” – Dean Smith

“Basketball is a beautiful game when the five players on the court play with one heartbeat” – Dean Smith

“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” – Dean Smith

“Basketball is a team game. But that doesn’t mean all five players should take the same amount of shots” – Dean Smith

“One player’s selfish attitude can poison the locker room and make it hard, if not impossible, to establish teamwork” – Dean Smith

“Over coaching is the worst thing you can do to a player” – Dean Smith

“Only praise behavior that you want to be repeated. Never use false praise” – Dean Smith

“Praise behaviour that you want repeated” – Dean Smith


Doc Rivers Basketball Quotes

Doc Rivers Quotes “Sometimes you will hate me because I will tell you the truth about your game. And the truth can hurt/humble you” – Doc Rivers

“Encourage ‘random’ picks on the ball because they cannot be scouted” – Doc Rivers

“I’m looking for activity. I put players in and take them out based on effort and defense, not making or missing shots” – Doc Rivers

“Do you want to choose winning over standing out? It’s a choice every player on every championship team has to do” – Doc Rivers

“If you’re not talking, you’re not playing defense” – Doc Rivers

“Good players want to be coached… Great players want to be told the truth” – Doc Rivers

“How competitive can you be without losing your discipline?” – Doc Rivers


Don Meyer Basketball Quotes

Don Meyer Quotes

“You can pick captains, but you can’t pick leaders. Whoever controls the locker room controls the team” – Don Meyer

“Positioning, anticipation and technique create quickness. Therefore, you can always get quicker” – Don Meyer

“Plays are not as important as players, and players are not as important as teammates” – Don Meyer

“I have learned that peace is not the absence of trial, trouble, or torment but the presence of calm in the midst of them” – Coach Don Meyer

“If you want to thank me, go do something for somebody else” – Don Meyer

“Sometimes the best recruits are the ones you don’t get” – Don Meyer

“Recognize and reward players who put the team first, not just the gifted ones” – Don Meyer

“Practice shared suffering. If one guy messes up, everyone runs. If one guy does well, everyone benefits” – Don Meyer

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

“There’s only one thing we can control, and that is how hard we play” – Don Meyer

“It doesn’t cost nothing to be nice to people” – Don Meyer

“It doesn’t matter where you coach, it’s why you coach” – Don Meyer

“Play off your great player… great teams have a go-to player and they play off of him” – Don Meyer

“It is not what you teach, but what you emphasize” – Don Meyer

“Your program must have an overriding purpose which is clearly visible and which teaches lessons beyond winning” – Don Meyer

“Shout praise and whisper criticism” – Don Meyer

“You can have discipline and be demanding without being demeaning” – Don Meyer

“When you watch the game, be a student of the game” – Don Meyer

“Some parents would rather have their son get all-state than his team win the state championship” – Don Meyer

“Make the practices like games and the games like practices” – Don Meyer

“You never realize the value of coaching until your children play for a coach” – Don Meyer

“In the end, what your own troops do is more important than who they are marching against” – Don Meyer

“It is foolish to expect a young man to follow your advice and to ignore your example” – Don Meyer

“Players who are late are saying that their time is more important than the team” – Don Meyer

“Simplify the game as much as possible. When you add, you must subtract” – Don Meyer

“Successful programs consist of people working hard, working together, while never worrying about who gets the credit” – Don Meyer

“Anytime you get an award as a coach, you’ve got to be the ultimate fool to think it wasn’t your assistant coaches and all the players responsible for the award” – Don Meyer

“The worst day coaching is better than the best day doing anything else” – Coach Meyer


Dr. Jack Ramsay Basketball Quotes

Dr. Jack Ramsay Quotes “Basketball, like all sports, is predicated on the execution of fundamentals. The coach is a teacher. His subject: fundamentals” – Dr Jack Ramsay

“Teams that play together beat those teams with superior players who play more as individuals” – Dr. Jack Ramsay

“Even the greatest players accept coaching and value the need for discipline and the order that it brings to the team” – Dr. Jack Ramsay

“I believe you win games by what you do from your first practice until your first game” – Dr. Jack Ramsay

“Players draw confidence from a poised, alert coach who anticipates changing in game conditions” – Dr. Jack Ramsay

“The highest level of achievement is attained by the teams with the best conditioned players” – Dr. Jack Ramsay

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

“Winning is more related to good defense than good offense” – Dr. Jack Ramsay


Gregg Popovich Basketball Quotes

Gregg Popovich Quotes “It’s not about any one person. You’ve got to get over yourself and realize that it takes a group to get this thing done” – Gregg Popovich

“‘Play the right way’ means play unselfishly, respect each other’s achievements, play hard, fulfill your role” – Gregg Popovich

“I can’t make every decision for you. I don’t have 14 timeouts. You guys got to get together and talk” – Gregg Popovich

“Stop by stop by stop. Play aggressively. Sprint back on ‘D’ and pay attention to how we’re supposed to guard as a team” – Gregg Popovich

“We believe in people executing their role and caring about the team more than anything individually” – Gregg Popovich

“No one is bigger than the team. If you can’t do things our way, you’re not getting time here and we don’t care who you are” – Gregg Popovich


Hubie Brown Basketball Quotes

Hubie Brown Quotes“X & O’s aren’t worth a damn without a team. If your team isn’t with you it doesn’t matter what you draw up. The team must respect what the coach is asking them to do” – Hubie Brown

“Winning teams at the NBA level, the college level, and the high school level all play team basketball. Championship teams have 5 players on the same page at all times” – Hubie Brown

“Don’t try to imitate other coaches. Be your own person with your own style and do your own thing” – Hubie Brown

“The greatest sin a coach can commit is to allow kids to slide by. This goes for the classroom as well as the court” – Hubie Brown

“Use different basketball offensive alignments to cause confusion for the other team” – Hubie Brown

“If something works for another school, use it. Don’t act like you are too good to use other ideas” – Hubie Brown


Jeff Van Gundy Basketball Quotes

Jeff Van Gundy Quotes“Your decisions reveal your priorities” – Jeff Van Gundy

“Your best player has to set a tone of intolerance for anything that gets in the way of winning” – Jeff Van Gundy

“Just concentrate on what you’re supposed to do” – Jeff Van Gundy

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

“Your best players have to unite and inspire the group… otherwise, they’ll divide the group” – Jeff Van Gundy

“I think coaches sometimes foul their own players out of game by benching them too long when in foul trouble” – Jeff Van Gundy

“Players with high character get better. Players with a serious approach get better. The fools never get better” – Jeff Van Gundy

“You need your best players to play their best when their best is needed” – Jeff van Gundy

“Don’t worry about being cool. Worry about being the best” – Jeff Van Gundy

“The best teams play for each other, not with each other” – Jeff Van Gundy


Jim Valvano Basketball Quotes

Jim Valvano Quotes“Other people go to the office. I get to coach. I know I’ve been blessed” – Jim Valvano

“A person really doesn’t become whole, until he becomes a part of something that’s bigger than himself” – Jim Valvano

“To go from where you are to where you want to be: you have to have a dream, a goal, and you have to be willing to work for it” – Jim Valvano

“Never give up. Failure and rejection are just the first steps to succeeding” – Jim Valvano

“Be a dreamer. If you don’t know how to dream, you’re dead” – Jim Valvano

“All really successful coaches have a system” – Jim Valvano

“If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special” – Jim Valvano

“There are 86,400 seconds in a day. It’s up to you to decide what to do with them” – Jim Valvano


John Calipari Basketball Quotes

John Calipari Quotes“What type of teammates do you want to play with? Be that teammate yourself” – John Calipari

“I’m playing the guys who are going to fight. If you’re not into this, I’m going to someone else” – Coach Calipari

“You have to lose yourself in the team and you have to lose yourself in the game” – John Calipari

“If I walk in a home and a kid disrespects a woman, his mother or grandmother, then I am out… I wont recruit them” – John Calipari

“Practice gotta be harder than the games and it never is unless you want it to be as a player. The coach can’t drive that” – John Calipari

“It’s not just about working hard, it’s about working together. You have to care more about the team than you do about yourself” – John Calipari

“You understand, you do not invent stuff on this team. Guys that invent stuff will not play for me. Make the easy play” – John Calipari

“What do you do to help us win when you’re not scoring baskets?” – John Calipari


John Wooden Basketball Quotes

John Wooden Quotes“The most important key to achieving great success is to decide upon your goal and launch, get started, take action, move” – John Wooden

“When the legs go, the heart soon follows” – John Wooden

“Young men need more models, not critics” – John Wooden

“1. Be on time.
2. Never criticize a teammate.
3. Never use profanity”
– John Wooden

“You’d like to see your team reasonably happy, but that’s not your job. Gain their respect and get them to accept their roles” – John Wooden

“I do not judge success based on championships; rather, I judge it on how close we came to realizing our potential” – John Wooden

“My philosophy of defense is to keep the pressure on an opponent until you get to his emotions” – John Wooden

“The more concerned we become over the things we can’t control, the less we will do with the things we can control” – John Wooden

“A coach must never forget that he is a leader and not merely a person with authority” – John Wooden

“Remember this, the choices you make in life, make you” – John Wooden

“What you are as a person is far more important that what you are as a basketball player” – John Wooden

“The better conditioned team will probably win in the long run” – John Wooden

“I continually stress to my players that all I expect from them at practice and in the games is their maximum effort” – John Wooden

“I found the bench to be the greatest ally when I had to make individuals comply with what was best for the team” – John Wooden

“The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother” – John Wooden

“Push yourself to keep improving or you’ll stay as close to the bottom as you are to the top” – John Wooden

“I would spend almost as much time planning a practice as conducting it. Everything was planned out each day” – John Wooden

“Be quick without hurrying” – John Wooden

“It’s important to keep trying to do what you think is right no matter how hard it is or how often you fail. Never stop trying” – John Wooden

“When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare” – John Wooden

“Let me give so much time to the improvement of myself that I shall have no time to criticize others” – John Wooden

“Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability” – John Wooden

“A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment” – John Wooden

“A player who makes a team great is better than a great player” – John Wooden

“The best competition I have is against myself to become better” – John Wooden

“Seek opportunities to show you care. The smallest gestures often make the biggest difference” – John Wooden

“You discipline those under your supervision to correct, to help, and to improve. Not to punish” – John Wooden

“You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one” – John Wooden

“Discipline yourself, and others won’t need to” – John Wooden

“The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team” – John Wooden

“The true athlete should have character, not be a character” – John Wooden

“Confidence comes from being prepared” — John Wooden

“If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes” – John Wooden

“Leaders are interested in finding the best way rather than having their own way” – John Wooden


Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Basketball Quotes

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Quotes“When you’re a coach you’ve got to go up the ladder, you’ve got to be ready to travel. That’s the nature of coaching” – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

“Great players are willing to give up their own personal achievement for the achievement of the group. It enhances everybody” – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

“As a parent, I have a job as a role model to my children, and by extension, to other young people” – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

“One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team” – Kareem Abdul Jabbar

“The extra pass and the extra effort on defense always get the job done” – 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 Jabbar

“I tell kids to pursue their basketball dreams, but I tell them not to let that be their only dream” – Kareem Abdul Jabbar

“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

“It’s OK to make mistakes. That’s how we learn. When we compete, we make mistakes” – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar


Kevin Eastman Basketball Quotes

Kevin Eastman Quotes“It takes three things to be a ‘special’ player: talent, character, and competitive fire” – Kevin Eastman

“The pass is a very powerful team builder; whereas the dribble can destroy the spirit of teams and crack the foundation of team play” – Kevin Eastman

“Cutting is so important to great offense. Players must understand that every cut you make is not always for you. Hard cuts often get others open” – Kevin Eastman

“Put great thought to what and how you practice. Once practice is done you can never get that time back. Did you simulate the game?” – Kevin Eastman

“Most important ingredient to winning: no personal agendas. The commitment has to be ‘us’ driven not ‘me’ driven” – Kevin Eastman

“There is a direct correlation between the number of ball reversals and defensive breakdowns” – Kevin Eastman

“Coaching is making players do what they don’t want to do so they can become the player they want to become” – Kevin Eastman

“To be a great teacher of the game you must study the game; know your craft & be proud of your knowledge; but never satisfied with your knowledge” – Kevin Eastman

“Interesting thing about the best leaders is that they immerse themselves in both teaching and learning. Growth comes by both” – Kevin Eastman

“If you give shooters the right to shoot, you must give them the right to miss” – Kevin Eastman


Larry Bird Basketball Quotes

Larry Bird Quotes “Leadership is diving for a loose ball. It’s about being able to take it as well as dish it out. That’s the only way your going to get respect from other players” – Larry Bird

“Practice habits were crucial to my development in basketball. I didn’t play against the toughest competition in high school, but one reason I was able to do well in college was that I mastered the fundamentals. You’ve got to have them down before you can even think about playing” – Larry Bird

“I don’t know if I practiced more than anybody, but I sure practiced enough. I still wonder if somebody – somewhere – was practicing more than me” – Larry Bird

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

“When I was young, I never wanted to leave the court until I got things exactly correct. My dream was to become a pro” – Larry Bird

“It doesn’t matter who scores the points. It’s who gets the ball to the scorer” – Larry Bird

“Once you are labeled ‘the best’ you want to stay up there, and you can’t do it by loafing around” – Larry Bird

“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

“Coaches can talk and talk and talk about something, but if you get it on tape and show it to them, it is so much more effective” – Larry Bird

“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

“There are many times when you are better off practicing than playing; but most people just don’t understand that” – Larry Bird


Larry Brown Basketball Quotes

“Failure does not come from losing, but from not trying” – Larry BrownLarry Brown Quotes

“The point guard is there to serve others; to keep them involved and organised” – Larry Brown

“As a coach, I feel if you can get your players to play hard and together on the defensive end, they will automatically be unselfish at the offensive end” – Larry Brown

“I feel all great teams have two things in common: defense and rebounding. So, we stress defense and rebounding every day as the most important aspects in the game to win” – Larry Brown

“Kids today don’t know the difference between instruction and criticism” – Larry Brown

“All the successful teams I’ve ever seen have 3 characteristics: They play unselfish, they play together, and they play hard” – Larry Brown


Michael Jordan Basketball Quotes

Michael Jordan Quotes“Limits, like fears, are often just an illusion” – Michael Jordan

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

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

“Accept a loss as a learning experience, and never point fingers at your teammates” – Michael Jordan

“Success doesn’t stop when you get there” – Michael Jordan

“If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them” – Michael Jordan

“There have been times when I have failed. But there have never been times when I thought I would fail” – Michael Jordan

“Being afraid on the court means you’re not confident of your skills” – Michael Jordan

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

“Heart is what separates the good from the great” – Michael Jordan

“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

“I’m not out there sweating for 3 hrs just to find out what it’s like to sweat” – Michael Jordan

“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

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

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


Mike Krzyzewski Basketball Quotes

Mike Krzyzewski Quotes“Defense is one man guarding the ball and four others helping him” – Mike Krzyzewski

“Everyone wants to be on a team. They want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. They want to be in a situation where they feel that they are doing something for the greater good” – Mike Krzyzewski

“I’m looking for players who make their teammates better. You do that with enthusiasm and passion” – Mike Krzyzewski

“Everybody wants to take responsibility when you win, but when you fail, all these fingers are pointing” – Mike Krzyzewski

“Every season is a journey. Every journey is a lifetime” – Mike Krzyzewski

“A common mistake among those who work in sport is spending a disproportional amount of time on “x’s and o’s” as compared to time spent learning about people” – Mike Krzyzewski

“In developing teams, I don’t believe in rules. I believe in standards. Rules don’t promote teamwork, standards do” – Mike Krzyzewski

“If what you have did yesterday still looks big to you… You haven’t done much today” – Mike Krzyzewski

“When you win, sometimes it overshadows a poor performance” – Mike Krzyzewski

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

“Play and practice like you are trying to make the team” – Mike Krzyzewski

“Champions play as they practice. Create a consistency of excellence in all your habits” – Mike Krzyzewski

“Don’t confuse your path with your destination. Just because its stormy now doesn’t mean you aren’t headed for sunshine” – Mike Krzyzewski

“Effort is fully replenishable. There is no need to save any of it. Leave every bit you have on the playing field” – Mike Krzyzewski

“You don’t just be a team. You become a team. Through tough games you find that you need each other” – Mike Krzyzewski

“The thing I love the most about teaching, is that you can connect with and see an individual or group exceed their limits” – Mike Krzyzewski

“Goals should be realistic, attainable, and shared among all members of the team” – Mike Krzyzewski

“Teamwork is the beauty of our sport, where you have five acting as one” – Mike Krzyzewski

“Believe that the loose ball that you are chasing has your name wirtten on it” – Mike Krzyzewski

“If a team cannot perform with excellence at a moment’s notice, they probably will fail in the long run” – Mike Krzyzewski

“There are 5 fundamental qualities that make every team great: communication, trust, collective responsibility, caring, and pride” – Mike Krzyzewski

“I don’t look at myself as a basketball coach. I look at myself as a leader who happens to coach basketball” – Mike Krzyzewski

“I have a rule on my team: when we talk to one another, we look each other right in the eye, because I think it’s tough to lie to somebody. You give respect to somebody” – Mike Krzyzewski

“Footwork is one of the primary prerequisites to becoming a great player” – Mike Krzyzewski

“Each group and each youngster is different. As a leader or coach, you get to know what they need” – Mike Krzyzewski

“If the only reason I coached was to win basketball games, my life would be pretty shallow” – Mike Krzyzewski


Pat Riley Basketball Quotes

Pat Riley Quotes“Great players and great teams want to be driven. They want to be pushed to the edge. They don’t want to be cheated. Ordinary players and average teams want it to be easy” – Pat Riley

“The true warrior understands and seizes that moment by giving an effort so intense and so intuitive that it could only be called one from the heart” – Pat Riley

“Great teamwork is the only way we create the breakthroughs that define our careers” – Pat Riley

“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” – Pat Riley

“It’s what you get from games you lose that is extremely important” – Pat Riley

“No rebounds – no rings” – Pat Riley

“If you get tough mentally, you can get tough physically and overcome fatigue” – Pat Riley

“Great effort springs naturally from a great attitude” – Pat Riley

“Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better” – Pat Riley

“To have long-term success as a coach or in any position of leadership, you have to be obsessed in some way” – Pat Riley

“There are only two options regarding commitment… you’re either in or you’re out. There’s no such thing as life in-between” – Pat Riley

“Never be ready to play yesterday. Being ready to play today is what’s important” – Pat Riley


Pat Summitt Basketball Quotes

Pat Summitt Quotes“I want to continue to do is to help these young women be successful. You don’t just say goodbye at the end of their playing careers and end it there” – Pat Summitt

“You can’t always be the most talented person in the room. But you can be the most competitive” – Pat Summitt

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

“We communicate all the time, even when we don’t realize it. Be aware of body language” – Pat Summitt

“Discipline is the only sure way I know to convince people to believe in themselves” – Pat Summitt

“Teamwork doesn’t come naturally. It must be taught” – Pat Summitt

“Confidence is what happens when you’ve done the hard work that entitles you to succeed” – Pat Summitt

“Sometimes you learn more from losing than winning. Losing forces you to reexamine” – Pat Summitt


Pete Carril Basketball Quotes

Pete Carril Quotes“I don’t recruit players who are nasty to their parents. I look for players who realize the world doesn’t revolve around them” – Pete Carril

“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 Carril

“Coaches win practices, players win games” – Pete Carril

“Bad shooters are always open” – Pete Carril

“The quality of the pass leads directly to the quality of the shot” – Pete Carril

“Get the kids to understand that they shouldn’t worry about who makes the shot, only whether or not the shot is made” – Pete Carril

“The two ingredients for success in basketball are playing hard and playing intelligently” – Pete Carril


Phil Jackson Basketball Quotes

Phil Jackson Quotes “You can’t force your will on people. If you want them to act differently, you need to inspire them to change themselves” – Phil Jackson

“I thrive on challenges, and there is no more imposing challenge for someone in my profession than winning an NBA title” – Phil Jackson

“Always keep an open mind and a compassionate heart” – Phil Jackson

“Once you’ve done the mental work, there comes a point where you have to throw yourself into the action and put your heart on the line” – Phil Jackson

“Maturity begins to grow when you can sense your concern for others out-weighing your concern for yourself” – Phil Jackson

“Winning is important to me, but what brings me real joy is the experience of being fully engaged in whatever I’m doing” – Phil Jackson

“Basketball is a simple game. Your goal is penetration, get the ball close to the basket, and there are three ways to do that. Pass, dribble and offensive rebound” – Phil Jackson

“Good teams become great ones when the members trust each other enough to surrender the Me for the We” – Phil Jackson

“Not only is there more to life than basketball, there’s a lot more to basketball than basketball” – Phil Jackson

“Basketball is a sport that involves the subtle interweaving of players at full speed to the point where they are thinking and moving as one” – Phil Jackson

“In basketball — as in life — true joy comes from being fully present in each and every moment, not just when things are going your way” – Phil Jackson

“The greatness of Michael Jordan is his competitive drive. The weakness of Michael Jordan is his competitive drive” – Phil Jackson


Red Auerbach Basketball Quotes

Red Auerbach Quotes “Basketball is like war in that offensive weapons are developed first, and it always takes a while for the defense to catch up” – Red Auerbach

“You don’t win games as a coach during games. You win games as a coach before games. Players win during games, not coaches” – Red Auerbach

“Everyone is born with a certain potential. You may never achieve your full potential, but how close you come depends on how much you’re willing to pay the price” – Red Auerbach

“I can’t stand a ballplayer who plays in fear. Any fellow who has a good shot has got to take it and keep taking it. So he misses – so what?” – Red Auerbach

“It’s not what you tell them, it’s what they hear” – Red Auerbach

“Be and look prepared. Be a man on integrity. Never break your word. Don’t have two sets of standards. Stand up for your players. Show them you care on and off the court” – Red Auerbach

“The coach should be the absolute boss, but he still should maintain an open mind” – Red Auerbach

“I don’t believe in statistics. There are too many factors that can’t be measured. You can’t measure a ballplayer’s heart” – Red Auerbach

“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” – Red Auerbach


Rick Majerus Basketball Quotes

Rick Majerus Quotes“Most lay-ups and two foot jump shots around the goal are missed by not putting the ball up high enough on the backboard” – Rick Majerus

“To win the big games you must get to the free throw line, and then you must make them” – Rick Majerus

“One of the biggest reasons I like coaching college ball is the kids. I feel I can impact players’ lives” – Rick Majerus

“Switch if you have to! It’s not the mismatch that beats you, it’s the open shot!” – Rick Majerus

“My players on defense must have a hand-up on every shot. If not, they run sprints” – Rick Majerus

“Those to whom defense is not important will have the best seat in the game” – Rick Majerus

“If you want to have a lot of success, you need to have a lot of failure” – Rick Majerus


Rick Pitino Basketball Quotes

Rick Pitino Quotes“Failure is good. It’s fertilizer. Everything I’ve learned about coaching, I’ve learned from making mistakes” – Rick Pitino

“If you are not willing to work hard and establish discipline in your life, then all your dreams are merely pipe dreams” – Rick Pitino

“Set higher standards for your own performance than anyone else around you, and your only competition will be with yourself” – Rick Pitino

“The basic premise of my system is to fatigue your opponents with constant pressure defensively and constant movement offensively” – Rick Pitino

“Success is determined by your daily choices and habits” – Rick Pitino

“Excellence is the unlimited ability to improve the quality of what you have to offer” – Rick Pitino

“Learning what not to do is sometimes more important than learning what to do” – Rick Pitino

“True motivation is not getting people to play to their potential. It’s getting people to play beyond their potential” – Rick Pitino

“The key to coaching is not what you do, but the way you do it. The intangibles, the motivational parts of the game are the most important facets of it” – Rick Pitino

“Inferior guards play on the sidelines and great guards play in the middle. Isiah, Magic, Chris Paul, all get to the middle” – Rick Pitino

“It’s better to have a good player with the basketball in late game situations than to have plays” – Rick Pitino

“The more you lose, the more positive you have to become. When you’re winning, you can ride players harder because their self-esteem is high. If you are losing and you try to be tough, you’re asking for dissension” – Rick Pitino

“Long term success is a direct result of what you achieve everyday. Goals provide your daily routine” – Rick Pitino

“Don’t coach mad” – Rick Pitino


Tim Grover Basketball Quotes

Tim Grover Quotes“No trainer or coach or expert can make you good or great or unstoppable if you’re not going to do the work” – Tim Grover

“Success isn’t the same as talent. The world is full of incredibly talented people who never succeed at anything” – Tim Grover

“Mental toughness is believing, without a doubt, that whatever happens, you got this” – Tim Grover

“Bottom line – if you want success of any kind; you have to be comfortable being uncomfortable” – Tim Grover

“When you’re tired, sore, and can’t do more, that’s the time to do more” – Tim Grover

“Success isn’t the same as talent. The world is full of incredibly talented people who never succeed at anything” – Tim Grover


Tom Crean Basketball Quotes

Tom Crean Quotes“One of the biggest keys to offense is eliminating the weakside help that allows defenders to stop penetration from the wing” – Tom Crean

“You’ve got to get a toughness and a level of basketball IQ that matchup because that’s what the best teams have” – Tom Crean

“Never let fundamentals and building skills take a backseat to game planning. Game plans win games. Fundamentals win championships” – Tom Crean

“Players that learn the value of hard work, commitment, teamwork, and sacrifice are the ones that make their teams great” – Tom Crean

“As a coach, I’m never going to do anything to embarrass you. As a player, you can never do anything to embarrass the program” – Tom Crean

“You must be unselfish and accept the role that helps the team the most” – Tom Crean

“Not talking on the floor is the least recognized form of selfishness but maybe the most dangerous to your team having success” – Tom Crean


Tom Izzo Basketball Quotes

Tom Izzo Quotes“I haven’t always recruited for the best talent. I’ve taken a few guys who would fit for different reasons. Leadership. Toughness” – Tom Izzo

“Today’s society wants to skip the process. And I hate that” – Tom Izzo

“We are in the trophy generation.Give them a trophy for 23rd place.That makes the parents happy” – Tom Izzo

“We want men here, not just players. Players are a dime a dozen” – Tom Izzo

“Discipline is the greatest form of love you can show someone. Great players crave discipline” – Tom Izzo


Tom Thibodeau Basketball Quotes

Tom Thibodeau Quotes“You have to have a mentality. This is a business. This ain’t hanging out having a good time” – Tom Thibodeau

“You learn from everybody. You learn from the players. You learn from great coaches. You learn from great teams” – Tom Thibodeau

“People always talk about going on offensive runs. But you can go on defensive runs too” – Tom Thibodeau

“The guys who take shortcuts, who aren’t ready, they fail when their opportunity comes” – Tom Thibodeau

“In all my years one thing has never changed; You win with serious, tough-minded players. That never changes” – Tom Thibodeau


Miscellaneous Basketball Quotes

“He who controlleth the backboard, controlleth the game” – Adolph Rupp

“Your defense will save you on the nights that your offense isn’t working” – Adolph Rupp

“Help one kid at a time. He’ll maybe go back and help a few more” – Al McGuire

“Winning is overemphasized. The only time it is really important is in surgery and war” – Al McGuire

“It doesn’t matter how athletic or skilled a player is, if they have a low I.Q., they won’t be very good” – Alan Stein

“People do not differ in their desire to win; they differ in the price they are willing to pay to win” – Alan Stein

“Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do, long after the mood you said it in has left you” – Anonymous

“Talent sets the floor, character sets the ceiling” – Bill Belichick

Chuck Daly Quotes“On a team it’s not the strength of the individual players, but the strength of the unit and how they all function together” – Bill Belichick

“Mental Toughness is doing the right thing for the team when it’s not the best thing for you” – Bill Belichick

“Until you can reach in and grab that kids heart, you can’t coach him” – Bill McNees

“You can easily separate ‘team guys’ from ‘me guys’ by how they accept coaching. The guys that accept it are about winning” – Bill Parcells

“Winning coaches look for opportunities to praise. Anything that reflects a commitment to the team is praiseworthy” – Bill Parcells

“A team divided against itself can break down at any moment. The least bit of pressure or adversity will crack it apart” – Bill Parcells

“Desire outweighs footwork when it comes to crashing the glass” – Bill Self

“Champions behave like champions before they are champions” – Bill Walsh

“Winning is about having the whole team on the same page” – Bill Walton

“Systems win! Believe in your system, and then sell it to your players” – Billy Donovan

“False Hustle = cheap fouls, lunging, reaching, etc” – Billy Donovan

“If I can’t expect someone to be accountable off the floor, how can I expect them to guard a pick and roll? Or get a rebound?” – Billy Donovan

“If you don’t feel you have something to prove every day, you’ll never improve” – Billy Donovan

“As players see themselves getting better through skill sessions, they will want to get in the gym more” – Billy Donovan

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

“I didn’t get into teaching and coaching for the number of wins or the money. It was a passion for trying to help young people” – Bo Ryan

“Shot fakes and ball fakes work. No one uses more than Wisconsin. It’s amazing how many people don’t use them” – Bo Ryan

“I recruit hungry kids who love the game and want to get better and feel they have more questions than answers” – Bo Ryan

“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

“I dribbled by the hour with my left hand when I was young. I didn’t have full control, but I got so I could move the ball back and forth from one hand to the other without breaking the cadence of my dribble. I wasn’t dribbling behind my back or setting up any trick stuff, but I was laying the groundwork for it” – Bob Cousy

“Basketball is not an equal opportunity game. If you can’t shoot it well, you don’t get to shoot” – Bob Donewald

“A bad day coaching basketball is better than a good day doing almost anything else” – Bob Hurley

“This is basketball, not figure skating. You don’t get extra points for degree of difficulty” – Bob Hurley

“Developing better people should be the number one goal for any coach when dealing with kids” – Bobby Orr

“I never think about missing a free throw. All that goes through my mind when I’m at the line is seeing the ball go through the bottom of the net” – Brad Daugherty

“There’s a disposition great defenders have — a genuine pride that scores are a problem, people that score on me is a problem” – Brett Brown

“I always laugh when people ask me about rebounding techniques. I’ve got a technique It’s called just go get the damn ball” – Charles Barkley

“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

“Kids are great. That’s one of the best things about our business, all the kids you get to meet. It’s a shame they have to grow up to be regular people and come to the games and call you names” – Charles Barkley

“If you are afraid of failure you don’t deserve to be successful” – Charles Barkley

“It’s discouraging to make a mistake, but it’s humiliating when you find out you’re so unimportant that nobody noticed it” – Chuck Daly

“Defense doesn’t break down on the help, it breaks down on the recovery” – Chuck Daly

“Players have to buy into your system and be willing to accept the role, you, as the coach, have assigned to them” – Chuck Daly

“Offense is spacing and spacing is offense” – Chuck Daly

“If you’re going to have to beg them to play, it’s not going to work” – Chuck Daly

“I’m a lot better coach when I have really good players” – Chuck Daly

“Leadership is difficult. It is a lonely responsibility. The best leaders are servants. It is always about others” – Dale Brown

“The only lasting form of discipline is self-imposed discipline” – Dale Brown

“The best teams have chemistry. They communicate with each other and sacrifice personal glory for the common goal” – Dave DeBusschere

“Basketball is a game of sacrificing yourself for the next guy, being a team that takes good shots, and taking the right shots” – David Blatt

“You’re always going to face criticism, you’re always going to face challenges, but those things are there to make you stronger and more committed” – David Robinson

“Our job is to teach young people how to do things that make them successful on the court, in the classroom, and after graduation” – David Shaw

“There has never been a great ‘silent’ defense” – Del Harris

“Practice to beat the best” – Dick Bennett

“We cannot accept in victory what we would not accept in defeat” – Dick Bennett

“For us to be successful on defense, we must get back and stop the basketball, eliminate easy baskets, keep the ball out of the lane, and bother the shooters” – Dick Bennett

“Most of my learning and philosophy regarding coaching basketball was developed after great frustration” – Dick Bennett

“What you lack in talent can be made up with desire, hustle and giving 110% all the time” – Don Zimmer

“Pressure works, not by stealing the ball, but by changing momentum” – Donnie Jones

“The great thing about basketball is you work as hard as you can to individually get better so that your team can win” – Doug Collins
David Blatt Quotes
“Don’t ever have a rule that you won’t enforce with your best player” – Doug Collins

“When your teammate looks you in the eye and holds you accountable, that’s the greatest kind of leadership there is” – Doug Collins

“Work as hard as you can to become as good an individual player as you can to help your team win” – Doug Collins

“It is as big a mistake to turn down a good shot as it is to take a bad one” – Ed Murphy

“Coaching is a profession of love. You can’t coach people unless you love them” – Eddie Robinson

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

“Coaching is easy. Winning is the hard part” – Elgin Baylor

“At the end of the day, no matter how well you score, you’ve got to be able to stop people” – Eric Musselman

“If your bigs rim run at full speed it not only increases the potential for a quick layup, but opens up court for guards” – Fred Hoiberg

“Yeah, I’m going to try to win the national championship next year. But I’m not going to kill myself doing it. I’m not going to kill my players either. You really start to realize there’s a lot more to what we’re trying to do then winning games” – Geno Auriemma

“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

“Everyday we are going to fight lazy and soft. It’s completely unacceptable. You have to be demanding” – George Karl

“When your best player puts it on the line every day, the other guys can’t cut corners” – George Karl

“It’s not up to anyone else to make me give my best” – Hakeem Olajuwon

“I seek to leave the world a litter better place than I found it” – James Naismith

“Be strong in body, clean in mind, lofty in ideals” – James Naismith

“A lot of late nights in the gym, a lot of early mornings, especially when your friends are going out, you’re going to the gym, those are the sacrifices that you have to make if you want to be an NBA basketball player” – Jason Kidd

“I have had some bad shooting games but that doesn’t stop me from getting the ball to my teammates” – Jason Kidd

“Championship teams are built on being prepared, playing unselfishly and being held accountable” – Jason Kidd

“The players I respected most were the toughest players, not those who talked a good game or blocked a shot and acted like a fool” – Jay Bilas
Jim Harrick Quote
“Hard work is not punishment. Hard work is the price of admission for the opportunity to reach sustained excellence” – Jay Bilas

“The tough player is the one who is difficult to play against and easy to play with” – Jay Bilas

“The greatest compliment to any player is he is a great teammate. We can’t all be great players, but we can all be great teammates” – Jay Bilas

“I don’t need my players to like me. I need them to play for me” – Jerry Sloan

“In 19 years Stockton never once lost a suicide drill in practice. Well, there was one day. He was sick. But he still ran it” – Jerry Sloan

“The secret is to have eight great players and four others who will cheer like crazy” – Jerry Tarkanian

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

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

“Don’t let talent get in way of team performance. Great players do what’s outstanding for team, not what makes them stand out” – Jerry West

“Anything can happen with hard work and dedication” – Jerry West

“Your ability to communicate to your young people will determine your success” – Jim Harrick

“Praise your kids. Inspire and motivate your players with praise. Ten years from now it won’t matter what your record was. Will your kids love you or hate you?” – Jim Harrick

“On good teams coaches hold players accountable, on great teams players hold players accountable” – Joe Dumars

“Freshman want to play. Sophomores want to start. Juniors want to score. Seniors want to win” – John Beilein

“If you are honest with yourself and can look into a mirror and believe that you have given 100 percent, you should feel proud. If you cannot, then there is more work to be done” – John Havlicek

“We win because we play together as a team” – John Havlicek

“Whether I start or come off the bench makes no difference to me. My game has always been go as hard as I can as long as I can” – John Havlicek

“One of the hardest things a player must learn to do is when to start a dribble and when to stop a dribble” – John Thompson

“Keep it simple. I’m not interested in trying to prove to my players that I’m a genius” – John Thompson

“You need to be tough enough to make the hustle plays, run down loose balls, run down long boards and communicate on defense” – John Thompson

“You need to work as hard to be a great teammate as you do to be a great player” – Jon Gordon

“Everyone wants to do what the great ones do; but very few are willing to do what they did to become great” – Jon Gordon

“I think I started learning lessons about being a good person long before I ever knew what basketball was. And that starts in the home, it starts with the parental influence” – Julius Erving

“Goals determine what you’re going to be” – Julius Erving

“Being a professional is doing the things you love to do, on the days you don’t feel like doing them” – Julius Erving

“A team is a group of players who support one another on court and who think of the group before they think of themselves” – KC Jones

Kevin Ollie Quote“Our offensive philosophy is to simply find a way to get the ball into the hands of our team’s best player” – Kelvin Sampson

“You don’t go through life, you grow through life” – Kevin Ollie

“The secret of winning is working more as a team, less as individuals” – Knute Rockne

“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

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

“You must have your player’s heads and hearts before they will do anything for you” – Lawrence Frank

“Winning is the first priority. Individual development is important, but if each guy gets better, the team gets better” – Lawrence Frank

“I love seeing my teammates succeed. That’s what I get more excited about than anything” – LeBron James

“I learned early that if I wanted to achieve anything in life, I’d have to do it myself. I learned that I had to be accountable” – Lenny Wilkens

“The most important quality I look for in a player is accountability. You’ve got to be accountable for who you are. It’s too easy to blame things on someone else” – Lenny Wilkins

“You’ve got to be accountable for who you are. It’s too easy to blame things on someone else” – Lenny Wilkins

“Always acknowledge hustle plays in practice” – Lou Campanelli

“It always amazes me that spectators want to coach, coaches want to officiate, and officials just want to watch the game” – Lou Holtz

“Any guy who can maintain a positive attitude without much playing time earns my respect” – Magic Johnson

“All kids need is a little help, a little hope and somebody who believes in them” – Magic Johnson

“Ask not what your teammates can do for you. Ask what you can do for your teammates” – Magic Johnson

“Everybody on a championship team doesn’t get publicity, but everyone can say they are a champion” – Magic Johnson

“It’s fun to play defense. It’s fun to watch the opponent sweat on offense, start complaining to the officials, and eventually be taken out of the game because he’s making so many offensive mistakes” – Maury John

“Emphasize small goals when you have a team that isn’t going to win a lot of games” – Mike Dunlap
Mike Jarvis Quote
“The more things we can get kids to do correctly off the court, the more they will do correctly on the court” – Mike Jarvis

“You don’t need great skill to be a tough rebounder; being a rebounder is all about effort, determination, and physicality” – Mike Malone

“Evaluate wins and losses objectively, focusing more on effort and execution than on the outcome of the game” – Morgan Wootten

“Help your players to control their emotions – do this through example” – Norm Sloan

“I would rather have a player who has mastered two or three moves than to try to teach him six or seven” – Norm Sloan

“Our conditioning program begins the first day of class. The running portion is very demanding. It has physiological advantages, as well as psychological advantages” – Norm Sloan

“Character is huge for me. Does he care about winning or does he care about playing?” – Otis Smith

“Professional coaches measure success in rings. College coaches measure success in championships. High School coaches measure success to titles. Youth coaches measure success in smiles” – Paul McAllister

“The key to any game is to use your strengths and hide your weaknesses” – Paul Westphal

“Have fun doing whatever it is that you desire to accomplish. Learn it one step at a time, emphasizing the fundamentals, and do it because you love it, not because it’s work” – Paul Westphal

“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” – Paul Westphal

“Love never fails. Character never Quits. And with patience and persistence, dreams do come true” – Pete Maravich

“When you work on getting better at something, don’t do it half speed” – Ray Allen

“I was taught to play the game from a total team concept. To be able to do everything reasonably well and some things extraordinarily well. If I’m not shooting well, I’ll try to be an asset in other ways – like defense, passing, rebounding, and hustle” – Rick Barry

“I recruit character as much as I recruit ability. And if you’ve built a team of character, they can handle moments that others cannot and they accept coaching on how to manage pressure” – Roy Williams

“Be led by your dreams. Not by your problems” – Roy Williams

“I expect to coach execution not effort” – Roy Williams

“Never underestimate the heart of a champion” – Rudy Tomjanovich

“One of the hardest things for a ball player to do is to accept his role” – Scottie Pippen

“We have the mentality of the hunter. We want to be the most enthusiastic team in the country. That’s what we can control” – Shaka Smart

“I don’t complain about playing time. My job is to play so well the coach can’t sit me” – Shane Battier
Shane Battier Quote

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

“Coaching is not what you know, but what you can get your players to do on the court” – Stan Van Gundy

“We try to stress the little things. Because little things lead to big things” – Steve Alford

“You create shots for yourself by what you do without the ball more than what you do after you get it” – Steve Alford

“I know the strengths and weaknesses of my teammates. I make my passing decisions accordingly” – Steve Nash

“The pick and roll is more about bodies and eyes then speed and being fast” – Steve Nash

“You should always want your coach to be critical. It gives you an opportunity to learn and to overcome adversity” – Steve Nash

“If every basketball player worked as hard as I did, I’d be out of a job” – Steve Nash

“Empower the people around you, from the janitor to the athletic director. You do that by being sincere, caring about others, and then putting it into practice” – Sue Gunter

“Players act like the floor is slanted; they run downhill on fast breaks and jog uphill when getting back on defense” – Tates Locke

“The fundamentals of the game are the same wherever you go: pass, dribble, shoot, defend, rebound, screen, play hard and together” – Terry Stotts

“There is no substitution for hustle, and if you don’t hustle there will be substitution” – Tex Winter

“Good defensive play is as much a matter of hustle, desire and pride as it is anything else” – Tex Winter

“Don’t be afraid to let your players know how much you care about them” – Thad Matta

“Working hard is one thing, but working hard with purpose is what separates the good from the great” – Thad Matta

“The biggest thing is getting our guys to understand, you can’t let one mistake compound into another mistake” – Thad Matta

“We are unselfish and we trust each other” – Tim Duncan
Wilt Chamberlain Quote

“You’ve got to stay ready, especially around here. That’s what we preach, you’ll get your opportunity whether it comes at the beginning or in the middle or in the end whenever it may be. When your time comes, you need to be ready to go because you’re going to earn your minutes” – Tim Duncan

“We are unselfish and we trust each other” – Tim Duncan

“The time when there is no one there to feel sorry for you or to cheer for you is when a player is made” – Tim Duncan

“This is a team game and one man doesn’t win and one man doesn’t lose. In the end, the best team usually wins” – Wilt Chamberlain



If you’ve made it all the way to the bottom of the page, congratulations! You’ve battled your way through 501 basketball quotes and a little over 10,000 words.

If you have any basketball quotes you like that you didn’t see listed above make sure to share them with your fellow coaches in the comments. I’d love to hear them.


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