Best Basketball Quotes

Shaq Quote on Excellence

The best basketball quotes to motivate you, inspire you, and challenge you to get better.

Browse quotes from Players, Coaches, Dick DeVenzio, and humorous basketball quotes

Player Quotes

I think, team first. It allows me to succeed, it allows my team to succeed." LeBron James on teamwork


“First master the fundamentals” – Larry Bird

“It is not how big you are, it is how big you play.” – Author Unknown

“On any given night, anyone can beat anyone.” – Author Unknown

“If you think small things don’t matter, think of the last game you lost by one point.” – Author Unknown

“Sometimes a player’s greatest challenge is coming to grips with his role on the team.” – Scottie Pippen

“I try to do the right things at the right time. They may be little things, but usually they make the difference between winning and losing.” – Kareem Abdul-Jabber

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

“My responsibility is getting all y players playing for the name on the front of the jersey, not the one on the back.” –Author Unknown


The Wisdom of Dick DeVenzio

“Championships are not won on the night of a big event, but years before by athletes who commit themselves daily to championship principles”

Basketball Progress
“You’re no good. You’re not bad. You’re fair. You’re okay. You’re pretty good. You’re good. You’re real good. You’re terrific! You’re fantastic!! You’re great!!! You’re amazing!!!! You’re super!!!!! You can play.”

It looks like a year, but it’s not. It’s a ratio—the diameter of the rim (18 inches) to the diameter of the ball (9 inches). Eighteen to nine. 18 to 9. The rim is SO much bigger. You have to winder how anyone ever figured he missed some crucial shot by only an inch.”

“Sometime especially outside when it starts to get dark and everyone had gone home and you’re played all day and you’re there alone-you, a ball, and the court-the feeling is a combination of meditation and dream and love.”

The World’s Round
“Athletes go through school playing “mere games” and preparing for life, for becoming doctors and lawyers and so forth. And doctors and lawyers wait for five o’clock so they can leave work, maybe catch the game of the week on TV, sit around and talk of the good old days –when they were young athletes.”

Need A Crystal Ball
“Any lapse of effort, temper, or concentration due to a missed shot, a bad pass, a referee’s call, or any other every-game event, is not only costly to your team, it is also an absurd lack of foresight on your part. What do you expect?”

“No one gives 100%. Forget all this talk about 110%, 120%, 200%. All players loaf. Even great ones. Push yourself, fight yourself, and make yourself hustle more and more. There is always more you can do.”

“Being behind near the end of a game is like hitting “the wall” in a marathon- trying to pry loose the ball from a team smelling victory and from opposing fans getting boisterous and jubilant. But what a sublime feeling, to keep the pressure on, to keep trying, to push yourself a little bit longer and make a game-winning steal. It takes a great player to do that, and despite the way it may look, it is never look.”

“There may be no more complete satisfaction in the world- personally, socially, psychologically, or emotionally – than a well-executed play with sharp passes and cuts, perfect timing, a swish and applause, and the feeling of collective, spontaneous YEAH! On the way down the court to play defense.”

“Most players never even dream of the beneficial effect they can have on the quality of play (and life) of their teammates by little comments, gestures, pats on the back, and encouragement.”

“The most discreet, gentlemanly way of telling ten thousands hostile fans to go to hell is by walking up to the free throw line with ten seconds left, ahead by one, and calmly, oblivious to their taunting and screaming, sinking both ends of a one-an-one without even batting an eye.”

“Don’t listen to people who try to keep you from getting your hopes up. Get them way up. You can take disappointment later if things don’t work out. (By then you’ll have new hopes and plans to think about.) But for right now, aim for the stars. Go for it.”

“A stupid player is one who spends a great deal of time and concentration on questioning the coach’s judgment, instead of doing his best to make the coach’s decision work.”

“You may hit is big in the Stock Market or graduate from Med School or take a round-the-world cruise, but you’ll probably never find anything that matches the thrill of beating someone to a loose ball in a big game and feeling the instant approval of ten thousand screaming fans.”

Learn more about Dick DeVenzio and his timeless wisdom!

Funny Basketball Quotes

“We have a bunch of outside shooters. Unfortunately, all our games are played indoors.” – Weldon Drew

“They say that nobody is perfect. Then they tell you practice makes perfect. I wish they’d make up their minds already.” – Wilt Chamberlain

“We’re shooting 100%. 60% from the field and 40% from the free throw line.” – Norm Stewart

“What is so fascinating about sitting around watching a bunch of pituitary cases stuff a ball through a hoop?” – Wood Allen

“We can’t win at home, we can’t we on the road. As general manager, I just can’t figure out where else to play.” – Pat Williams

Doc Rivers Quote on Winning


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