31 NBA Quotes for That Motivate You to Be Your Best

NBA quotes are noteworthy statements made by basketball icons within the NBA league. The National Basketball Association is one of the most popular basketball ball leagues globally, comprising thirty teams.

Basketball players are known for their relentless drive for success—therefore,  in their quests to stardom, they make statements that give us a peek into their stories.

Not only that, these sayings also motivate aspiring players and non-players alike. These statements mostly border on success, teamwork, motivation, and love for the game.

Dive into this compilation of quotes by the league's finest players, including LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Stephen Curry.

30+ NBA Quotes of All Time

"Basketball isn't just a sport; it is an art. One that must be mastered to succeed." - Stephen Curry. 

"My dream was to be in the NBA. I wasn't really focused on being a star player on a team. I just wanted to make it to the NBA. But I've been blessed for the opportunities to be in the finals, be in the playoffs ever since I've been in the NBA." - James Harden. 

"You realize in the NBA; it's not easy. Each and every night, you are playing against that player that was the best high school player, that player that was the best player on his college team." - Delvin Brooker.

"The truth is that when I step on the court, I do it to have fun" - Luka Doncic.

I can't relate to lazy people. We don't speak the same language. I don't understand you—I don't want to understand you." - Kobe Bryant.


"People think I play hard. It is just me wanting to be in the NBA and trying to prove in every game that I should be here." - PJ Tucker.

"Never say never, because limits, like fear, are often an illusion." - Michael Jordan. 

"I go out there and get my eyes gouged, my nose busted, and my body slammed. I love the pain of the game." - Dennis Rodman.

"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. 

"No alarm clock needed; my passion wakes me up." - Kyrie Irvin. 

"I have short goals. To be better every day, to help my teammates every day. But my ultimate goal is to win an NBA Championship. It is all that matters. I dream about it all the time... it would be so amazing." - LeBron James. 


"If you don't fall now, how are you going to know what getting up is like?" - Stephen Curry

"A lot of late nights in the gym, a lot of early mornings. Especially when your friends are going out, you are going to the gym. Those are the sacrifices that you have to make if you want to be an NBA basketball player." - Jason Kidd.

"Don't be afraid of failure. This is the only way to succeed." - LeBron James. 

"It doesn't matter if you win. As long as you give everything in your heart." - Michael Jordan. 

"Learn to love the hate. Embrace it. Enjoy it. You earned it. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and everyone should have one about you. Haters are a good problem to have. Nobody hates the good ones; they hate the great ones." - Kobe Bryant. 

"Success is born out of faith—an undying passion and relentless drive." - Stephen Curry


"I've missed more than nine thousand shots in my career. I've lost more than 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game's winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over again in my life, that is why I succeed." - Michael Jordan. 

"The idea is not to block every shot. The idea is to make your opponent believe you might block every shot." - Bill Russell. 

"The moment you give up is the moment you let someone else win." - Kobe Bryant. 

"I don't train to be better than you. I train hard to be better than me yesterday." - Allen Iverson.


"I was in school to play basketball. I wasn't trying to be a doctor. It's hard to talk about the NCAA rules and everything that happened in the past... I was trying to reach my dreams, and that's to play in the NBA." - Ben Simmons. 

"Success is not an accident. Success is actually a choice." - Stephen Curry

"The basketball court for me, during a game, is the most peaceful place I can imagine. On the basketball court,  I worry about nothing. When I'm out there, no one can bother me." - Michael Jordan.

"Wherever you go, things change you. I mean, obviously, moving to Miami and becoming a part of the NBA has given me a different perspective on style than I had when I lived in Chicago or Milwaukee." - Dwayne Wade.

"I'm blessed. Just making it to the NBA, that was my first goal and dream. Playing with Kobe and Shaq and for a coach like Phil Jackson, and then going to play with guys like Jordan and Jerry Stackhouse. It's just a crazy experience." - Tyronne Lue.

"I don't complain about playing time. My job is to play so well that my coach can't sit me." - Shane Battier.

"I will do whatever it takes to win games, whether it's sitting on a bench waving a towel, handing a cup of water to a teammate, or hitting the game's winning shot." - Kobe Bryant. 

"Talent wins games. Teamwork and intelligence win championships." - Michael Jordan. 


"You have teenagers thinking they are going to make millions as NBA Stars. That's not realistic for even 1% of them. Becoming a scientist or engineer is." - Dean Kamen.

"Five guys on the court working together can achieve more than five talented individuals who come and go as individuals." - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.


One common characteristic in all the basketball players quoted is their passion. You can see how passionate they are (or were) about basketball.

Their determination is also quite obvious; as they gave (and still give) all it takes to be on top of their game. We cannot also overlook their confidence; it showed in the way they spoke about their journey and challenges. We hope these NBA quotes inspire you as much as they do us.

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Joshua Bast

My name is Joshua Bast and I have been playing basketball ever since I was 7 years old. I love the game play, I love the feeling whenever I score a basket, but what made me fell in love was the camaraderie with my team mates. This blog is dedicated to help any up-and-coming basketball players maximize their potential.

Joshua Bast