70 Basketball Phrases from the greatest idols in history
The great players in the history of basketball do not live only on shots against the clock.
The main players in the sport also stood out with motivational speeches or controversial interviews.
We’ve collected dozens of basketball phrases, spoken by some of the greatest athletes of all time. It’s a chance to get to know better what these geniuses think.
Come with us and get inspired!
What you’ll check out in this post:
Michael Jordan’s Famous Quotes
Recognized as the greatest player of all time, Michael Jordan was a six-time NBA champion. Former Chicago Bulls jersey 23, he has never lost a final. These credentials are enough for us to pay special attention to what he thinks and declares in his interviews.
Today, Michael Jordan is president of the Charlotte Hornets and is not that far from the court. But most of the phrases listed below are still from the time when he delighted everyone leading the Bulls. Check out!
- “I wasted over 9,000 shots during my career. I lost nearly three hundred matches. That’s why I managed to get there”
- “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying”
- “If you are trying to reach, there will be roadblocks. I did and everyone else did. But the obstacles don’t have to stop. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Find out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”
- “Some people want it to happen, some want it to happen and others make it happen”
- “My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into strength.”
- “I play to win, whether it’s during practice or in a real game. And I won’t leave anything between my path and my competitive enthusiasm to win.”
- “You have to expect things from yourself before doing them”
- “To succeed you have to be selfish or else you will never achieve it. And once you reach your highest level, then be selfless. Stay accessible. Stay in touch. Don’t isolate yourself”
- “To learn to succeed, you must first learn to fail”
- “Don’t let them drag you down by rumors, just do what you believe”
- “Always turn a negative situation into a positive one”
- “Everyone has talent, but it takes a lot of work to have the capacity”
- “If you do the work, then you will be rewarded, sooner or later. There are no shortcuts in life”
- “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that’s why I did it”
- “What is love? Love is playing each game like it’s your last!”
- “The basketball court for me, during a game, is the most peaceful place I can imagine. There I don’t worry about anything. When I’m outside, no one can bother me.”
- “There is no ‘me’ in a team, but there is in victory”
- “I play to win, whether it’s during training or in a real game”
- “Never say never, because limits are like fears: they are always just an illusion.”
- “I know fear is an obstacle for some people, but for me it’s an illusion. Failure always makes me try harder next time”
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Kobe Bryant’s Famous Phrases
When Michael Jordan retired, basketball fans and, above all, the press began to look for a new big star, the ace who would assume the role of the biggest protagonist of the NBA.
Chosen in the high school direct draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant went on to be named as Michael Jordan’s successor, a comparison he didn’t approve of. But the fact is, Kobe has become one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
For the Lakers, Kobe Bryant was a five-time NBA champion, with brilliant performances including his game against the Toronto Raptors in 2006 in which he scored 81 points. Now retired, he won the Oscar for the animated short film Dear Basketball.
Check out some of Kobe Bryant’s main phrases below.
- “I don’t want to be the next Michael Jordan, I want to be Kobe Bryant”
- “I wouldn’t say I’m hungry… I just throw well”
- “The game? It’s just getting started. This is where the fun starts”
- “These young people are playing checkers. I’m out there playing chess”
- “I can’t relate to lazy people. We don’t speak the same language. I do not understand you. I don’t want to understand you”
- “I don’t do bees, man. But other than that, I’m not afraid of anything”
- “I’ll do whatever it takes to win, whether it’s sitting on the bench waving a towel or handing a friend a glass of water”
- “All the negative things… Pressure, challenges… All are opportunities for me to grow”
- “I’ve done everything I can, and God will take me the rest of the way. So I’m very comfortable with that”
- “Booing doesn’t block dunking”
- “We are all men… I don’t need to keep falling to the ground to show that I play well”
- “If you score 138 points in a game, you can send everyone to hell”
- “Sometimes I wonder what college would have been, but I made my decision”
- “I’m playing against the best in the world. Competition is what I always wanted”
- “What am I doing now? I’m chasing perfection”
- “I have doubts. I have insecurity. I’m afraid of failure. I have nights when I show up at the arena and I’m like, ‘my back hurts, my feet hurt, my knees hurt.’ I just want to relax. We all have doubts. You don’t deny it, but you don’t submit to it either. You accept”
- “If you see me in a fight with a bear, pray to the bear”
- “The guy said the NBA players were one in a million… I said ‘look, I’m going to be one in a million’”
- “Sports is a great teacher. I think about everything they taught me: camaraderie, humility, how to resolve differences”
- “You always have to be on edge. You always have to take the practice, at each game, as if it were the last”
- “The most important thing is to try to inspire people to be great at whatever they want to do”
- “Michael Jordan’s business irritates me sometimes because people never stop talking. He is bald, I have hair. He’s almost 40 years old, I’m 22. Seriously, I’d like people to stop that and let me be Kobe.”
Famous LeBron James Quotes
Unlike Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant who have captured all of their titles for a single franchise, LeBron James has been an NBA champion for the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Now, chasing more achievements with the shirt of the Los Angeles Lakers, although the beginning was not so promising.
At the Lakers, LeBron tries to do something that has always marked him: the ability to lead his teammates. For his attitude on court, he consolidated a player with great motivational speeches.
No wonder we selected some phrases said by LeBron James for our list. Check out!
- “You have to be able to accept failure to get better”
- “I like criticism, they make you strong”
- “I am confident that I am the best player in the world. It’s so simple”
- “Commitment is a big part of who I am and what I believe”
- “The first time I stepped onto a basketball court I became a businessman”
- “When I play badly I humble myself, but I know I still have a lot of work to do and a lot of people to impress”
- “When you’re on the court, it’s not about liking it, what matters is playing at a high level and helping your team win”
- “When you become a professional athlete, you automatically become a role model. I have no problem being one, I love it. There are kids looking at me and I’m inspired by them to do good things”
- “I don’t need much. Glamor and such things don’t appeal to me. I’m happy to have basketball in my life “
- “A LeBron James team is never desperate”
- “It’s hard for me to congratulate someone after you just lost to him. I am a winner. It’s not a bad sport or anything. If someone hits you, you won’t congratulate them. It makes no sense to me. I am a competitor. This is what I do. It doesn’t make sense for me to go there and shake someone’s hand”
- “No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, being black in America is hard”
Go beyond the Basketball world! Also check out our other contents:
Famous Quotes by Oscar Schmidt
A member of the Basketball Hall of Fame and the greatest basket of all times, Oscar Schmidt is also the greatest Brazilian player in all of history. Much of his success can be credited to his relentless desire to be better and better.
Focused on always developing, Oscar became an example of how commitment and dedication are important.
After he retired, the former 14 shirt became a speaker, sharing what he learned throughout his career. Part of Oscar’s teachings can be seen in the following sentences!
- “You’ve seen a lot of players better than me. But you won’t see anyone who has trained more and has as much stubbornness for basketball as I am”
- “The impossible only becomes a reality if you are well prepared when the chance comes”.
- “A lot of people say they’re going to win, but most don’t. I will win. And even if I can’t, I’ll try anyway”
- “There is no talent without training”
Now that you’ve been inspired by all these basketball quotes, check out also famous quotes and amazing speeches from other sports stars:
* Last update on 07/31/2019
Gustavo Andrade is a journalist, with MBAs in Communication and Digital Marketing and Business Management. He was a reporter for UOL Esporte and Superesportes, portal for Diários Associados. It covered the 2013 Confederations Cup, the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Sports fanatic, he believes that information is essential even for a good bar debate!
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