Basketball Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old basketball quotes, basketball sayings, and basketball proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.

Basketball doesn't build character it reveals it.      

Author Unknown

Basketball is like photography, if you don't focus, all you have is the negative.     

Dan Frisby

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

Basketball is a full court game, so every drill must be done full court.     

Bobby Knight

Basketball is a beautiful game when the five players on the court play with one heartbeat.     

Dean Smith

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

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

Basketball is the second most exciting indoor sport , and the other one shouldn't have spectators.      

Dick Vertlieb

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

Basketball is a game that gives you every chance to be great, and puts every pressure on you to prove that you haven't got what it takes. It never takes away the chance, and it never eases up on the pressure.     

Bob Sundvold

Basketball, more than any other sport, is a team game about the thousands of small, unselfish acts, the sacrifices on the part of the players that result in team building.     

Dean Smith

The game of basketball is a game of accepting failure; of accepting imperfection; of realizing that the perfect game has never been played, never will be played, or ever could be played.      

Tony Alfonso

Basketball doesn't care what color your skin is. It doesn't care what language you speak or what religion you practice. It doesn't care if you're big or small, fast or slow. It just asks you to play, to compete, to lose with dignity, to win with humility.     

Jim Calhoun

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

Remember that basketball is a game of habits. If you make the other guy deviate from his habits, you've got him.     

Bill Russell

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

Good basketball always starts with good defense!     

Bob Knight

Basketball is a team game. But that doesn't mean all five players should take the same amount of shots     

Dean Smith

A key basketball skill is imagery. The best players see situations before they happen so they can be prepared.     

Dr. Jack Ramsay

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

Basketball is not an equal opportunity game. If you can't shoot it well, you don't get to shoot.     

Bob Donewald

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

The fundamentals of the game are the same wherever you go: pass, dribble, shoot, defend, rebound, screen, play hard and together.     

Terry Stotts

In basketball, the mental is to the physical as four is to one.     

Bob Knight

The most important thing in basketball: BE A TEAM.      


Basketball is not played simply with X's and O's. It's played with both trust and confidence.     

Isiah Thomas

Basketball, a game which won't be fit for people until they set the basket umbilicus-high and return the giraffes to the zoo.     

Ogden Nash

Basketball is the MTV of sports.     

Sara Levinson

Basketball can serve as a kind of metaphor for ultimate cooperation. It is a sport where success, as symbolized by the championship, requires that the dictates of community prevail over selfish impulses.     

Bill Bradley

If you're playing basketball with someone who's better than you, you have to get better or else it's no fun.     

Jason Behr