73 Hard Work Basketball Quotes From The Top Players And Coaches

motivational quotes Mar 22, 2024
basketball hard work quotes

Motivational work ethic quotes from basketball legends:

In basketball, just like in any sport, what often separates good players from great players is work ethic. 

Talent alone can only take you so far. Hard work, paired with talent, will take you way further and help you separate yourself from other players.

Listen to almost any professional basketball player speak and they will inevitably mention all the hard work it took for them to get to where there are.

Working hard isn't just necessary to improve your basketball skills either. When you have a strong work ethic, confidence comes as a by-product of that.

When you work really hard on your game every day, you not only feel more confident in your skills, but you feel like you deserve success too. You feel like you deserve to be the best. 

Here is a collection of hard work quotes from some of the top players and coaches in basketball history to inspire and motivate you to get in the gym and work on your craft even more.

You also might like:

• Motivational Basketball Quotes To Build Confidence >>

• Top 30 Kobe Bryant Quotes About Hard Work & Work Ethic  >>



Inspirational Basketball Quotes About Working Hard

1. "Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard." - Kevin Durant



2. "If you want to look good in front of thousands, you have to out work thousands in front of nobody." - Damian Lillard

3. "To be the best, you have to work the hardest. You have to chase what seems impossible over and over and over again, because giving up is not an option, and when you feel like you've reached your limit, it's only the beginning, that's when it's time to dig deep, to find the courage to push some more." - LeBron James

4. "Poise and confidence are not possible unless you have prepared correctly. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Poise and confidence are a natural result of proper preparation." - John Wooden

5. "[My confidence] is built off my work ethic and the way I approach the game." - Steph Curry

6. "Here's how I'm going to beat you. I'm going to outwork you. That's it. That's all there is to it." - Pat Summitt

7. "Success is a result of consistent practice of winning skills and actions. There is nothing miraculous about the process. There is no luck involved." - Bill Russell



8. "The only person who can really motivate you is you." - Shaquille O'Neal

9. "It is said that good things come to those who wait. I believe that good things come to those who work." - Wilt Chamberlain

10. "Don't give up. Don't ever give up." - Jimmy V

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

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

13. "If somebody says no to you, or if you get cut, Michael Jordan was cut his first year, but he came back and he was the best ever. That is what you have to have. The attitude that I'm going to show everybody, I'm going to work hard to get better and better." - Magic Johnson

14. "The will to succeed is important, but what's more important is the will to prepare." - Bob Knight

15. "Work hard, stay focused, and understand that nothing worth achieving comes easy." - Kyrie Irving


16. "I've got a theory that if you give 100% all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end." - Larry Bird

17. "I'm extremely stubborn. I do stuff until I get it right." - Giannis Antetokounmpo

18. "Don’t hope. Hope is for people who aren’t prepared." - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

19. "I enjoy the process of getting better. It's not just about the end result." - Luka Doncic

20. "I come from nothing. My mom used to work all day, grandma used to work all day. So just seeing them grind makes me grind even harder now." - Anthony Edwards

21. "You can control what you put in your body, how you take care of yourself, how much you work. You have to control what you can." - Sue Bird

22. "Anytime you stop striving to get better, you're bound to get worse." - Pat Riley



23. "Continue to be the hardest worker out there. Be the first one in the gym and the last one to leave." - Candace Parker

24. "My mom tried to not let me see how much we were struggling, but I noticed it. I think that's what made me work harder. I saw how hard she was working, and I just wanted a better life for both of us." - Jayson Tatum

25. "I’m not the most talented, but I’m willing to work harder than anyone else." - Jimmy Butler

26. "I say 'come with it.' I'm not expecting anything easy. You have to earn your place. That's fine with me." - Carmelo Anthony

27. "This is just another class for you guys, basketball is. If you just want to be average, then you do average work. If you want to be a little bit above average, then you do a little more work. If you want to get A's in basketball, then you've got to do stuff that other people aren't willing to do." - Geno Auriemma 

28. "I'm never satisfied. I'm always trying to get better and learn from my mistakes." - Russell Westbrook



29. "They say no matter how hard you work, there's always someone, somewhere working harder than you. Guess what... I'm that someone." - Kevin Garnett

30. "It's a confidence that's built on the foundation of work and the reps I put in." - Steph Curry

31. "Just keep working hard and get better everyday. Be the best version of yourself and kind of just block out the outside noise and let that stuff go." - Devin Booker

32. "I had to put my work in behind the scenes...I had to earn my way. I didn't know that I was gonna ever get the credit for it or ever get the results for it." - Damian Lillard

33. "Greatness is defined by how much you want to put into what you do." - LeBron James

34. "Talent is never enough. With few exceptions the best players are the hardest workers." - Magic Johnson

35. "Everyone talks about age, but it's not about age. It's about work ethic. Winning never gets old." - Lisa Leslie



36. "Confidence is what happens when you’ve done the hard work that entitles you to succeed." - Pat Summitt

37. "Part of it is having the will to succeed. Knowing that you put the work in and having the confidence to let it show." - Steph Curry

38. "I work my butt off. You can say whatever you want to say about me, but you don’t get this far in this league without putting work in. That’s what I [hang] my hat on. So when things fail or things don’t go how you feel they should go, you just continue to work, and that’s it." - James Harden

39. "I put in the work. I know I've put in the work so I'm confident going into every shot, make or miss. I know that if I get another open look, you better believe I'm going to let it fly." - Ja Morant

40. "Keep practicing. Never let someone tell you you’re too small or too slow." - Chris Paul

41. "I refuse to be outworked." - Draymond Green

42. "Champions play as they practice. Create a consistency of excellence in all your habits." - Mike Krzyzewski



43. "I always remind my kids that hard work pays off. That’s how I got to where I am right now because of sacrifice and the work I put into it." - Dwyane Wade

44. "Hard work breeds self-respect." - Pat Summitt

45. "I wasn't given a scholarship out of high school, and that allowed me to learn what hard work was early on." - Scottie Pippen

46. "I love when people tell me that I was gonna be a bust. I enjoy when people tell me, 'You suck. You can't dribble. You can't shoot,' because it's like, gotta go to the gym." - Joel Embiid

47. "I want the kids to know that it’s not a myth that somebody from their city plays and wins in the NBA. I just want to influence them to work hard and do whatever they want to do in life, whether it’s to be a basketball player or scientist." - Kawhi Leonard

48. "I don't know if I was born for it, but I definitely worked my butt off to get to this point." - Klay Thompson



49. "Nothing will work unless you do." - John Wooden

50. "I learned what my weaknesses were and I went out the next day to turn those weaknesses intro strengths." - Larry Bird

51. "You need to have a dream, a goal, and you must be willing to work hard." - Jim Valvano

52. "If you take three steps forward and one step back, once in a while I can live with that. If you take two steps forward and three steps back, that's not a good deal for me." - Tom Izzo

53. "Work hard, stay out of trouble, and never quit. You are going to find yourself in tough situations and bad things are going to happen but it will be alright." - Doc Rivers

54. "I know that hard work got me here. And the day I stop working hard, this can all go away." - Kevin Durant

55. "Earn the right to be proud and confident." - John Wooden

56. "To be one of the best to ever play the game? I think I have the ability to do that. But I've got to work hard. If I just keep talking and don't put some work in, it's not going to happen." - Giannis Antetokounmpo

More quotes: 75 Greatest NBA Player Quotes On Basketball, Success, Hard Work & Life >>



Michael Jordan Quotes About Hard Work

MJ didn't become one of the best players of all time on talent alone. He worked extremely hard to evolve into the player he turned into.

In the quotes below, Jordan speaks to just how important working hard was to him.


57. "Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen."

58. "I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying."

59. "Don't be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try."

60. "I've always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come."

61. "If you quit once, it becomes a habit. Never quit!"

62. "If you do the work, you get rewarded. There are no shortcuts in life." 

63. "Every time I feel tired while I am exercising and training, I close my eyes to see that picture, to see that list with my name. This usually motivates me to work again."

64. “My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.”

65. “Champions do not become champions when they win an event, but in the hours, weeks, and months, and years they spend preparing for it. The victorious performance itself is merely a demonstration of their championship character.”

You might like: Top 50 Michael Jordan Quotes About Basketball and Life >>



Kobe Bryant Work Ethic Quotes

Kobe Bryant is notorious for having one of the craziest work ethics in basketball history.

Kobe would stop at nothing to get better and it shows through the quotes below.



66. "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."

67. "Each moment of my life I was dreaming of how great I could be, and continued working hard. Each time I closed my eyes I could see me shining bright like a sun." 

68. "You can't stop people from trying to limit your dreams, but you can stop it from becoming a reality. Your dreams are up to you. I encourage you to always be curious, always seek out things you love and always work hard once you find it."

69. "I have nothing in common with lazy people who blame others for their lack of success."

70. "I saw you come in and I wanted you to know that it doesn’t matter how hard you work, that I’m willing to work harder than you."

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

72. “I never felt outside pressure. I knew what I wanted to accomplish, and I knew how much work it took to achieve those goals. I then put in the work and trusted in it. Besides, the expectations I placed on myself were higher than what anyone expected from me.”

73. “One of the main takeaways was that you have to work hard in the dark to shine in the light. Meaning: It takes a lot of work to be successful, and people will celebrate that success, will celebrate that flash.”

More motivational basketball quotes:

• Kobe Bryant | Michael Jordan | Steph Curry | LeBron James | Kyrie Irving | Kevin Durant Allen Iverson | Shaq | Larry Bird Phil Jackson | John Wooden | Coach Pat Summitt | Coach Jim Valvano All


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