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Basketball Quotes for Players and Coaches Celebrating Teamwork

Our latest collection of basketball quotes that will remind you of the importance of teamwork and collaborative effort.

Basketball is one of the most loved sports the world over. Invented more than a hundred years ago, the game has grown to become one of the most successful sports.

Throughout the years, basketball has produced many great players who have entertained and inspired us in different ways. Besides the pleasure we derive from watching the game, there are lots of lessons from basketball that we can apply in our lives.

One of the biggest lessons basketball teaches us is the importance of teamwork and collaboration. Being a team sport, the game requires collaboration and co-operation from teammates in order to win. Every member must focus, work as a unit, and listen to each other for the common good of the team.

Although Michael Jordan was one of the greatest basketball players in history, he couldn’t win any championships without involving his teammates. He had to learn to trust and to work together with them.

In that respect, here are inspirational basketball quotes to highlight the importance of teamwork and collaborative effort.

Basketball quotes for players and coaches about teamwork

1. “I think, team first. It allows me to succeed, it allows my team to succeed.“- Lebron James

2. “A basketball team is like the five fingers on your hand. If you can get them all together, you have a fist. That’s how I want you to play.” –  Mike Krzyzewski

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

4. “Michael Jordan may have been the best basketball player in history, but he couldn’t have won six NBA titles without a team.” –  Mark E. Hyman

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

basketball quotes about teamwork

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

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

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

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

10. “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

11. “When a gifted team dedicates itself to unselfish trust and combines instinct with boldness and effort–it is ready to climb“-Pat Riley

Don’t forget to also read these Pat Summitt quotes or these coaching quotes that will motivate your team to the next level.

Basketball quotes to inspire self-motivation and teamwork

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

13. “When I 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

14. “Everything negative — pressure, challenges — are all an opportunity for me to rise.”— Kobe Bryant

basketball quotes about opportunities

15. “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

16. “You have no choices about how you lose, but you do have a choice about how you come back and prepare to win again.” – Pat Riley

17. “You don’t play against opponents, you play against the game of basketball.”—Bobby Knight

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

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

20. “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

Also, read these motivational quotes about golf.

Basketball quotes to encourage and inspire you to always give your best

21. “I treated it like every day was my last day with a basketball.” – LeBron James

basketball quotes about collaboration

22. “Once you are labeled the best you want to stay up there, and you can’t do it by loafing around. If I don’t keep changing, I’m history.” – Larry Bird

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

24. “If you are afraid of failure you don’t deserve to be successful!”— Charles Barkley

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

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

27. “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”― Phil Jackson

28. “You can’t win unless you learn how to lose.” – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

29. “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.” – Kevin Durant

30. “Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.― John Wooden

You might also like these baseball quotes for the inner child.

Basketball quotes to motivate and inspire coaches and athletes

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

32. “Losing is part of the game. If you never lose, you are never truly tested, and never forced to grow.” – David Sirlin

33. “Failure does not come from losing, but from not trying.” – Larry Brown

34. “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

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

basketball quotes about developing your gift

36. “The two ingredients in success in basketball are playing hard and playing intelligently.”  – Pete Carroll

37. “Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.” – John Wooden

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

39. “Nothing is given. Everything is earned.” – LeBron James

40. “Keep practicing. Never let anyone tell you’re too small or too slow.” – Chris Paul

Have you seen these motivational coach Carter quotes?

Motivational basketball quotes

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

42. “Bad things do happen; how you respond to them defines your character and the quality of your life. You can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of your loss or you can choose to rise from the pain…” – Walter Anderson

43. “Basketball is a lifelong game. You continue to learn from the game day in and day out, and all along the way, you get better.” – Scottie Pippen

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

basketball quotes about discipline

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

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

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

48. “The hardest skill to acquire in this sport is the one where you compete all out, give it all you have, and you are still getting beat no matter what you do. When you have the killer instinct to fight through that, it is very special.” – Eddie Reese

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

50. “Never give up, never give in, and when the upper hand is ours, may we have the ability to handle the win with the dignity with which we absorbed this loss.” – Doug Williams

If you’re enjoying this article, make sure to also check out our collection of inspirational sports quotes about working towards your full potential.

Basketball quotes to inspire success

51. “I really get motivated when I have doubters.” — Shaquille O’Neal

52. “The game honors toughness.” – Brad Stevens

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

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54. “Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.” – Mike Singletary

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

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

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

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

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

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

You might also like these Yogi Berra quotes on life to make you smile.

More basketball quotes

61. “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

62. “Nervous means you want to play. Scared means you don’t want to play.” – Sherman Alexie

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

64. “Losing is only temporary and not all-encompassing. You must simply study it, learn from it, and try hard not to lose the same way again. Then you must have the self-control to forget about it.” – John Wooden

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

66. “Everyone has the fire, but the champions know when to ignite the spark.” – Amit Ray

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

68. “Basketball is a game with winners and losers, but if you play this game with your heart, you’re always a winner.” – C.M.

69. “Practice hard, train hard, work hard and play harder.” – Alcurtis Turner

Basketball quotes to make you want to get out on the court

71. “I am more than just a Serious basketball fan. I am a life-long Addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.”  – Hunter S. Thompson 

72. “But that’s the thing about basketball: you don’t play games on paper.”  – Bill Simmons

73. “Good thing in this business is that you just have to make one big shot and that’s enough to make you forget 9 other shots that you missed.”  – Guy Zucker 

74. “Good coaches tell you where the fish are, great coaches teach you how to find them.”

Kobe Bryant

75. “If you want to be a better player, you have to prepare, prepare, and prepare some more.”

Kobe Bryant

76. “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

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

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

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

80. “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

Basketball quotes about playing basketball

81. “I really don’t do much. I play basketball.” — Brandon Ingram

82. “You need to possess more than a little nastiness to play basketball at the highest level.” — Jerry West

83. “As a kid, my favorite subject was recess. Why? Because I could go play basketball.” — Donovan Mitchell

84. “I just go out there and play basketball. I’m not worried about missing. I just got to be thinking about the next shot.” — Jamal Murray

85. “I might go my whole life stealing money. I got paid to play basketball, which is a scam. I get paid to watch basketball, which is a scam.” — Charles Barkley

86. “I play basketball to win a championship. That championship is everything to me. And that’s what gets people to buy in to your brand – being a winner.” — Chris Paul

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87. “When you want to play basketball and you get paid for playing basketball, you want to do it every single day. So I don’t think I’ll get tired of doing it.” — Brandon Ingram

88. “I was born to play basketball. There’s no question about it. That’s it. And I’m saying this in my humblest opinion, I do feel that I was born to play this game. I breathe it, I live it.” — Jamal Crawford

89. “Charles and I go back since college. None of us thought this would happen, we just wanted to play basketball. This is the highest honor that can ever be paid, and it’s mind-blowing.” — Dominique Wilkins

90. “I’m not really a big X’s and O’s guy, but if you want to go there, I’m more of a space-the-floor type of coach: Five out, zero in, and that’s the way we play basketball, screen and roll here and there, pocket passes everywhere; it’s what it’s about.” — Kyrie Irving

Basketball quotes by famous basketball players

91. “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

92. “We can have no progress without change, whether it be basketball or anything else.” – John Wooden

93. “I started playing basketball so late, it just means that anything is possible.” – Joel Embiid

94. “I believe the only muscles you need in basketball are the ones in your brain.” – Nikola Jokic

95. “When it gets down to it, basketball is basketball.” – Larry Bird

96. “If you quit once it becomes a habit. Never quit!” – Michael Jordan

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

98. “I know how hard it is to shoot the basketball, so I’ve got great appreciation for it.” – Reggie Jackson

99. “I’ve been playing basketball since I was five.” – C.J. McCollum

100. “I have no desire to coach basketball.” – Kevin Johnson

Basketball quotes about learning the fundamentals

101. “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

102. “You can have all the physical ability in the world, but you still have to know the fundamentals.” – Michael Jordan

103. “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

104. “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

105. “Basketball isn’t a game; It’s an art form. You master the fundamentals so you can forget ’em, so you can improvise and just concentrate on what really matters: getting buckets.” – Kyrie Irving

106. “There’s so many young peoople who start to play basketball and never learn the fundamentals.” – Oscar Robertson

107. “Success lies in a masterful consistency around the fundamentals.” – Robin Sharma

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

109. “First master the fundamentals.” – Larry Bird

110. “Morale and attitude are the fundamentals to success.” – Bud Wilkinson

Did you enjoy these Basketball quotes?

The dynamics in the game of basketball are very much similar to what happens in our lives. Just like in life, there are the ups and downs, the endless challenges and the endurance it takes to achieve success.

Coordination and teamwork are an essential aspect of any basketball team. Unless each member plays his/her part and contributes to the benefit of the team as a whole, it’s impossible to win. Hopefully, these basketball quotes have reminded you to always contribute, share and cooperate.

Did you enjoy these basketball quotes? Which of the quotes was your favorite? We would love to hear all about it in the comment section below.

Norbert Juma, Lead Editor
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