54 Legendary Larry Bird Quotes To Up Your Game

These Larry Bird quotes will inspire you to use your God-given talents and reach your full potential.

Larry Bird was a phenomenal basketball player, and if you are wondering if he was a garbage collector before becoming an NBA legend, the answer is yes!

He was the first player to earn more than $5 million!

His salary for the 91-92 season was actually $7,070,000.

Larry Bird won many awards during his time in the NBA and is also thought to be one of the greatest players of all time.

It is no surprise that there are a lot of Larry Bird quotes about basketball!

Bird was not only an exceptional player, but he was a coach who was well respected by his team.

One thing that makes Larry Bird so special is the fact that he is the only NBA player in history to be named Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player, NBA Finals MVP, All-Star MVP, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year.

His accomplishments are an inspiration to all, as are these Larry Bird quotes about winning and success.

Don’t forget to also check out these basketball quotes about teamwork and collaborative effort.

If you like this article, we suggest you explore our most popular quotes article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily encouragement. 

Look through our complete collection of inspirational quotes here.

Larry Bird quotes about winning and success

1. “A winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals.” — Larry Bird

Larry Bird quotes about winning and success

2. “I really don’t like talking about money. All I can say is that the Good Lord must have wanted me to have it.” — Larry Bird

Larry Bird quotes about winning

3. “You never make any of the shots you never take. 87% of the ones you do take, you’ll miss too. I make 110% of my shots.” — Larry Bird

Larry Bird quotes about success

4. “I wasn’t real quick, and I wasn’t real strong. Some guys will just take off and it’s like, whoa. So I beat them with my mind and my fundamentals.” — Larry Bird

Larry Bird quotes and saying

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

More Larry Bird quotes

6. “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

Wise Larry Bird quotes

7. “The more you win, the better you’re gonna get. It grows on itself.” — Larry Bird

Other Larry Bird quotes

8. “My opinion about basketball, the way I was taught, was when you step on the court, you play to win.” — Larry Bird

Relatable Larry Bird quotes

9. “You’re all playin’ for second place.” — Larry Bird

Larry Bird quotes on you're all playin' for second place

10. “The nature of competition is such that any number of people invariably have their eyes on the same prize you do. Recognize your assets and employ them to the best of your ability.” — Larry Bird

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Short Larry Bird quotes

11. “You can make all the excuses you want, but if you’re not mentally tough and you’re not prepared to play every night, you’re not going to win.” — Larry Bird

Inspirational Larry Bird quotes

You will also enjoy our article on bird quotes.

Larry Bird quotes on hard work and practice

12. “I’ve got a theory that if you give 100% all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end.” — Larry Bird

Larry Bird quotes on hard work and practice

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

Wise and inspirational Larry Bird quotes

14. “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

Favorite Larry Bird quotes

15. “I knew I was as good as anybody. That’s not really bragging; it’s just that I’d put the time in.” — Larry Bird

Appreciation Larry Bird quotes

16. “While day by day the overzealous student stores up facts for future use, he who has learned to trust nature finds need for ever fewer external directions. He will discard formula after formula until he reaches the conclusion: Let nature take its course.” — Larry Bird

Larry Bird quotes from Larry Bird

17. “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

Amazing Larry Bird quotes

18. “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

Cool Larry Bird quotes

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

Epic Larry Bird quotes

Larry Bird quotes about basketball

20. “As far as playing, I didn’t care who guarded me – red, yellow, black. I just didn’t want a white guy guarding me, because it’s disrespect to my game.” — Larry Bird

Larry Bird quotes about basketball

21. “The one thing that always bothered me when I played in the NBA was I really got irritated when they put a white guy on me.” — Larry Bird

Motivational Larry Bird quotes

22. “The best players will play. That’s the way it will always be.” — Larry Bird

Random Larry Bird quotes

23. “When it gets down to it, basketball is basketball.” — Larry Bird

Special Larry Bird quotes

24. “The best player I ever played with was Dennis Johnson.” — Larry Bird

Meaningful Larry Bird quotes

25. “It’s been a journey, the NBA. It’s taken me a lot farther than I ever expected.” — Larry Bird

Powerful and inspirational Larry Bird quotes

26. “I always know what’s happening on the court. I see a situation occur, and I respond.” — Larry Bird

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27. “In the closing seconds of every game, I want the ball in my hands for the last shot—not in anybody else’s, not in anybody else’s in the world.” — Larry Bird

28. “I just shoot until I feel good.” — Larry Bird

29. “I have always been confident in my skills and once the game got going; I knew I was probably the best player on the floor most of the time, whether it was junior high, high school, or college. I knew I had control of the game.” — Larry Bird

30. “When I was a kid, like 14 or 15, I played with the waiters from the hotel, ’cause that was the best game. And these guys, they’d let me play. And they were black guys.” — Larry Bird

31. “It makes me sick when I see a guy just stare at a loose ball and watch it go out of bounds.” — Larry Bird

32. “When I go to the line, I’m thinking ‘All net.’ When I don’t think that, I’m likely to miss.” — Larry Bird

Larry Bird quotes about himself and leadership

33. “Leadership is diving for a loose ball, getting the crowd involved, getting other players involved. It’s being able to take it as well as dish it out. That’s the only way you’re going to get respect from the players.” — Larry Bird

34. “Leadership is getting players to believe in you. If you tell a teammate, you’re ready to play as tough as you’re able to, you’d better go out there and do it. Players will see right through a phony. And they can tell when you’re not giving it all you’ve got.” — Larry Bird

35. “I’ve been around a while. I kinda know these things.” — Larry Bird

36. “I’m a loner.” — Larry Bird

37. “I like being by myself.” — Larry Bird

38. “It doesn’t matter who scores the points, it’s who can get the ball to the scorer.” — Larry Bird

39. “I think a lot of blue-collar people related to me because a lot of people work for their money.” — Larry Bird

40. “When I was a player, I didn’t expect my teammates to play the way I did. I did expect them to work hard every day and get better. And I never learned anything by losing.” — Larry Bird

41. “I was always making decisions, and they were easier decisions because I had control of the game, I had control of the ball. As a coach, you sort of put the ball in other player’s hands and let them make decisions for you. But I still get a kick out of winning basketball games, and that’s what I’m in this for.” — Larry Bird

42. “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

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Random Larry Bird quotes

43. “When I was a kid, I never thought about anything. Never had to think about where I was going to school or what I was going to do. I just lived minute to minute.” — Larry Bird

44. “What’s better? Dogs or broomsticks? I mean, will the world really ever know?” — Larry Bird

45. “If there was a payment to the bank due, and we needed shoes, she’d get the shoes, and then deal with them guys at the bank. I don’t mean she wouldn’t pay the bank, but the children always came first.” — Larry Bird

46. “I used to love the feeling of running, of running too far. It made my skin tingle.” — Larry Bird

47. “I don’t think that once you get to one level, you can relax. You’ve got to keep pushing.” — Larry Bird

48. “I hate to lose more than I like to win.”  — Larry Bird

49. “First master the fundamentals.” — Larry Bird

50. Eminem. My son was listening to that and I was like, “What is that junk?” Then I started listening, and I thought, You know, that kid is pretty good. It’s the storytelling.” — Larry Bird

51. “I learned what my weaknesses were and I went out the next day to turn those weaknesses intro strengths.” – Larry Bird

52. “Strength is not nearly as important as desire. I don’t think you can teach anyone desire. I think it’s a gift. I don’t know why I have it, but I do.” – Larry Bird

53. “I’m a firm believer that you play the way you practice.” – Larry Bird

54. “Basketball has been my life and I worked at it so hard because I enjoyed it so much.” – Larry Bird

What did you learn from these Larry Bird quotes?

If you were a fan of basketball in the 90s, you know the player Larry Bird was on the court.

You might not know that he received a scholarship to play for the Indiana Hoosiers but left the school after a month because he was not used to so many people.

He would later play for Indiana State University.

Bird and Magic Johnson’s rivalry began at a college game and would continue throughout their career.

However, in 1992, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan would become the first professional basketball players from the US to compete in the Olympic Games.

The original “Dream Team” was hailed as “the greatest collection of basketball talent on the planet.”

He wasn’t perfect, though, and was known to trash talk people on the court.

Have any other favorite Larry Bird quotes and sayings you would like to share?

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