Top 50 Michael Jordan Quotes About Basketball and Life

motivational quotes Oct 22, 2023
michael jordan quotes

MJ's mindset was as legendary as his talent

Michael Jordan is regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He was a 6x NBA Champion, 5x NBA MVP, 14x All-Star, 2x Olympic Gold Medal winner just to name a few of his accolades.

He averaged 30.1 points per game in his career too. There's no denying MJ had the basketball talent.

But what separated MJ from his peers was his mindset. Jordan had the killer mentality.

He constantly strived for greatness. He didn't let failure get him down, maintaining confidence in himself no matter what difficulties he faced.

And he never settled as a player, continually aiming for improvement, no matter how small.

MJ was relentless on the court and throughout his career thanks to his mental toughness. His mental game was the foundation of his greatness which was on full display in The Last Dance documentary.

Here's a collection of 50 of the best quotes from MJ that give a glimpse into the mindset of one of the greats.

These Michael Jordan basketball sayings will hopefully inspire you to be your best and continue to push through whatever struggles or adversity you may be facing in your basketball career.

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Motivational Michael Jordan Quotes

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

2. "Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion."

3. "You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them."

4. "Heart is what separates the good from the great."

5. “If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome.”

6. “Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.”

7. “Don’t let them drag you down by rumors just go with what you believe in.”

8. “If it turns out that my best wasn’t good enough, at least I won’t look back and say I was afraid to try.”

9. “I want to be perceived as a guy who played his best in all facets, not just scoring. A guy who love challenges.”

10. "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."

Read also: Steph Curry Quotes on Shooting Confidence >>


Michael Jordan on Failure and Adversity

11. “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."

12. "If you're trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I've had them; everybody has had them. But 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."

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

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

15. "It doesn't matter if you fall down, it's whether you get back up."

16. "The key to success is failure."

17. "I know fear is an obstacle for some people, but it is an illusion to me. Failure always made me try harder next time."

18. “To learn to succeed, you must first learn to fail.”

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

Listen: Pregame Guided Meditation For Basketball >> 


Michael Jordan Confidence Quotes 

20. “My innate personality is to win at all costs. If I have to do it myself, I’m going to do it.”

21. "Don’t let them drag you down by rumors just go with what you believe in."

22. "Another day, another opportunity to prove everyone who doubts you wrong."

23. "Its better to shoot and miss, then to let time run out and wonder what if."

24. “Once I made a decision, I never thought about it again.”

25. “I own the guy guarding me.” 

26. “There’s only one Michael Jordan.”

27. "I play to win, whether during practice or a real game. And I will not let anything get in the way of me and my competitive enthusiasm to win."

28. "My father used to say that it's never too late to do anything you wanted to do. And he said, 'You never know what you can accomplish until you try.'"

29. "You have competition every day because you set such high standards for yourself that you have to go out every day and live up to that."

30. "Being Michael Jordan means acting the same as I always have."

31. "I've never lost a game, I just ran out of time."

32. "It's heavy duty to try to do everything and please everybody. My job was to go out there and play the game of basketball as best I can. People may not agree with that. I can’t live with what everyone's impression of what I should or what I shouldn't do."

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MJ On Work Ethic

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

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

35. "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."

36. “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.”

37. “Make it happen.”

38. “Sometimes, things may not go your way, but the effort should be there every single night.”

39. “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.”

40. "The game has its ups and downs, but you can never lose focus of your individual goals and you can't let yourself be beat because of lack of effort."

41. "The minute you get away from fundamentals–whether it's proper technique, work ethic or mental preparation–the bottom can fall out of your game, your schoolwork, your job, whatever you're doing."

Watch: Inside the Mindset of Giannis Antetokounmpo  >>


More Inspirational Michael Jordan Quotes

42. "Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships."

43. "We all fly. Once you leave the ground, you fly. Some people fly longer than others."

44. "I want to wake up every day and do whatever comes in my mind, and not feel pressure or obligations to do anything else in my life."

45. "There is no such thing as a perfect basketball player, and I don't believe there is only one greatest player either."

46. "When I was young, I had to learn the fundamentals of basketball. You can have all the physical ability in the world, but you still have to know the fundamentals."

47. "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."

48. "I would tell players to relax and never think about what's at stake. Just think about the basketball game. If you start to think about who is going to win the championship, you've lost your focus."

49. "Enjoy every minute of life. Never second-guess life."

50. "Be true to the game, because the game will be true to you. If you try to shortcut the game, then the game will shortcut you. If you put forth the effort, good things will be bestowed upon you. That’s truly about the game, and in some ways that’s about life too."

Listen: Guided Meditation for Increasing Shooting Confidence >>

More motivational basketball quotes:

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

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