Basketball Quotes - Famous NBA Basketball Player Quotes

Motivational and Inspirational Basketball Quotes
NBA Player Quotes about Life and the Game!

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

"A lot of times, you can get to a place that looks good on paper, but in actuality it really is not as good as you think it is.” -- Kevin Johnson

"A player dreams of being a superstar, but he doesn't want people flocking all over him asking for an autograph.” -- Dennis Rodman

"A team will always appreciate a great individual if he's willing to sacrifice for the group.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"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

"Actually, Magic and the Lakers beat Philadelphia for Magic's first NBA Championship.” -- Oscar Robertson

"Alexander Hamilton realized that warfare was part and parcel of human nature, and it's something we had to prepare for.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"All kids need is a little help, a little hope and somebody who believes in them.” -- Magic Johnson

"All of those things had been talked about, suggested, rumored, as a manager and as a member of the Knicks organization, I couldn't allow myself to think that way or believe that.” -- Isiah Thomas

"All these boundaries - Africa, Asia, Malaysia, America - are set by men. But you don't have to look at boundaries when you are looking at a man - at the character of a man. The question is: What do you stand for? Are you a follower, or are you a leader? -- Hakeem Olajuwon

"And finally, I am proud that for the most part, I spent my entire career with one team.” -- Kevin Johnson

"And I really believe that. Asthma is NOT a disability!” -- Dominique Wilkins

"And I think one of the reasons why I've been able to maintain it for so long is I've never rested on it because I really don't think I'm that good.” -- Kevin Johnson

"And I want to do it the right way, like everybody else, not just a famous figurehead that gets a job because he is a famous basketball player. I want to really learn the business.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"And then lastly, it's always been a personal goal of mine to be able to walk away and not play just for the money and be at the top of my game.” -- Kevin Johnson

"Anytime you play a finalist it's going to be a challenge.” -- Steve Nash

"As a parent, I have a job as a role model to my children, and by extension, to other young people.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"As athletes, we're used to reacting quickly. Here, it's 'come, stop, come, stop. There's a lot of downtime. That's the toughest part of the day.” -- Michael Jordan

"As brilliant an individual that Michael Jordan was, he was not successful until he got with a good team unit.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"As far as carrying the torch for the years to come, I don't know. I just want to be the best basketball player I can be.” -- Kobe Bryant

"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

"As long as I play ball, I can get any woman I want.” -- Dennis Rodman

"As long as they are medicated the right way with the asthma medicine they won't have any problems.” -- Dominique Wilkins

"Ask not what your teammates can do for you. Ask what you can do for your teammates.” -- Magic Johnson

"Asthma research is a lot better and new medicines are always coming out to help young people.” -- Dominique Wilkins

"At 49, I can say something I never would have said when I was a player, that I'm a better person because of my failures and disgraces.” -- Bill Walton

"Back then every small town had a gym, and if itseated more than 2,000 then we'd be interested in playing in it.” -- Bob Cousy

"Basketball is basketball.” -- Oscar Robertson

"Basketball isn't as popular in Canada as it is in the US. Hockey is by far the most popular sport in Canada.” -- Steve Nash

"Basketball, in America, is like a culture. It is like a foreigner learning a new language.” It is difficult to learn foreign languages and it will also be difficult for me to learn the culture for basketball here.” -- Yao Ming

"Being a typical Pisces, I might have experienced mood shifts, but I don't remember any depression, or needing to do anything, or to have someone bring me out of being depressed.” -- Julius Erving

"Being an All-Star is everything.” -- Allen Iverson

"Being from Africa is the best thing that could have ever, ever happened to me. I cannot see it any other way. All of my fundamental principles that were instilled in me in my home, from my childhood, are still with me.” -- Hakeem Olajuwon

"Being here feels like I'm out of prison. This is the right place, the right time, the right team.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"Being selected Most Improved was a special individual award because when I speak to young people I always try to tell them the importance about it's not where you start but where you end up.” -- Kevin Johnson

"Besides P.E., geography was my best class in high school. I was in this gifted class when I was younger, and it was wicked! -- Steve Nash

"Bill Russell was my favorite player of all-time.” -- Bill Walton

"Black culture is something I don't relate to much at all.” -- Dennis Rodman

"Black people don't have an accurate idea of their history, which has been either suppressed or distorted.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"Bob Brannum was my body guard on the court. He was 6'-6 and built like a bulldog.” -- Bob Cousy

"But after that you don't see a lot of real good fundamental play. You see a showboat-type basketball which is almost parallel to street basketball.” -- Oscar Robertson

"But after that you don't see a lot of real good fundamental play. You see a showboat-type basketball which is almost parallel to street basketball.” -- Oscar Robertson

"But as a coach I wanted to keep things from being too complicated.” -- Bob Cousy

"But as far as I'm concerned I think my playing days are really, really over this time.” -- Kevin Johnson

"But as you get older, you kind of get a little more nostalgic and you look back at situations a little bit differently.” -- Kevin Johnson

"But at the end of the day I want to do what is best for the Knicks organization.” -- Isiah Thomas

"But I like to think an athlete is an athlete.” -- Oscar Robertson

"But I think the image that's thrown out on television is a bad image. Because you see players who want to imitate hip-hop stars. And the NBA is taking advantage of the situation.” -- Oscar Robertson

"But if people are buying the products, naturally they're gonna use them.” -- Oscar Robertson

"But it is a black man's game, and it will be forever.” -- Larry Bird

"But that is the only thing that slows me down is the system. No one, two or three was big enough to slow me down, only the system. It was the system that slowed me down to make my numbers fall. Not because I am older.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"But the point of using the number was to show that sex was a great part of my life as basketball was a great part of my life. That's the reason why I was single.” -- Wilt Chamberlain

"But when I did it (the triple-double), I didn't even know it until someone told me.” -- Oscar Robertson

"But you can not compare Yao's stats to mine. You just can't compare it and I am playing everyone one-on-one.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"But you have to understand, my beard is so nasty. I mean, it's the only beard in the history of Western civilization that makes Bob Dylan's beard look good.” -- Bill Walton

"But, hey I did everything the right way and earned my spot in this game, nothing was given to me.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"Center is a very tough position to play.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"Charles and I go back since college. None of us thought this would happen, we just wanted to play basketball. This is the highest honor that can ever be paid, and it's mind-blowing.” -- Dominique Wilkins

"Coaching is easy. Winning is the hard part.” -- Elgin Baylor

"College coaches want to power the ball inside, they want (their post players) to power the ball up, but no one can shoot from that 15-foot area anymore.” -- Oscar Robertson

"Cooper was my road roommate, and also happened to be the first African American player drafted by a National Basketball Association team.” -- Bob Cousy

"David Stern should get with the mothers of the NBA and let the moms decide what the dress code should be. I asked my mother if I could wear a chain, and she told me yeah. So I do stuff that my parents allow me to do.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"Death has always had a prominent place in my mind. There are times when I think somebody might kill me.”" -- Dennis Rodman

"Despite the amazing diversity we're blessed with in this country, schools are still in large part segregated because of economic disparity. Sports are one of the few areas where kids are really given the opportunity to interact with those of different races and religions.” -- Steve Kerr

"Do your best when no one is looking. If you do that, then you can be successful in anything that you put your mind to.” -- Bob Cousy

"Durability and longevity are very important as it relates to carving your name alongside some of the great point guards to ever play the game.” -- Kevin Johnson

"During 1866 and 1922, Native Americans and black soldiers often intermingled in the American west, on the frontier.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"Even when I'm old and grey, I won't be able to play it, but I'll still love the game.” -- Michael Jordan

"Every team that I've played on, I've either been the captain or co-captain.” -- Julius Erving

"Every time you compete, try harder to improve on your last performance. Give nothing short of your very best effort.” -- Elgin Baylor

"Everybody is improving but I am improving slowly, which seemingly widens our distance.” -- Yao Ming

"Everybody pulls for David, nobody roots for Goliath.” -- Wilt Chamberlain

"Everybody wants to be perfect.” -- Isiah Thomas

"Everybody's talking trash these days, so why not keep quiet? -- Dennis Rodman

"Everything happens for a reason. I'm used to it, I prepare for it. Like I say, at the end of the day, those in charge of their own destiny are going to do what's rights for them and their family.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"Everyting negative - pressure, challenges - is all an opportunity for me to rise.” -- Kobe Bryant

"Few players have cast a spell across the game like Yao Ming, before or since.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"Fifty percent of life in the NBA is sex. The other 50 percent is money.” -- Dennis Rodman

"First of all, I'm not buff enough. I got pushed away from the basket. And even when I didn't, I couldn't get anyone to throw me a pass.” -- Yao Ming

"First off, do everything they can to give their kids the opportunities to play sports; asthma is not a deterrent to playing sports.” -- Dominique Wilkins

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

"Flip's a player's coach, and I do know one thing, he motivates better than anybody I know. His system is very oriented around the point guard. He and Steph (Marbury) had a great relationship when Steph was in Minnesota.” -- Kevin Garnett

"For five years I've felt like the best prostitute in a high-class whorehouse. But all the other girls get paid more than I do.” -- Dennis Rodman

"For years the league has thought I've been on drugs. I would have burned out a long time ago if that was true.” -- Dennis Rodman

"French was my first language.” -- Bob Cousy

"Fundamental preparation is always effective. Work on those parts of your game that are fundamentally weak.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"Goals determine what you're going to be.” -- Julius Erving

"Going from Flip to Kev, obviously you don't want to see someone ever lose their job. For me it's probably a little more difficult, because other than Bill Blair, Flip is all I knew.” -- Kevin Garnett

"Great players are willing to give up their own personal achievement for the achievement of the group. It enhances everybody.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"Growing up, my parents were very, very strict. And then I went to UCLA with John Wooden, who was just off the charts.” -- Bill Walton

"Hard work does pay, and you just have to continue to work, and you got two guys, when you're talking about Gary and myself, we have a God-given talent, but we worked at it and we're happy to be where we are today.” -- Jason Kidd

"He fouled out in the fourth quarter, and that's when I really started getting points. He was no more at fault than anyone.” -- Wilt Chamberlain

"How can I tell the eighth or ninth man on the team that I want you to work hard every day and I want you to improve and get better, but while you're doing that you're not going to get any minutes? -- Isiah Thomas

"I also play a little bit of Tiger Woods once in awhile. Get on the golf course there, and pretend that I'm beating him.” -- Jason Kidd

"I always know what's happening on the court. I see a situation occur, and I respond.” -- Larry Bird

"I always try to keep a pretty conservative demeanor on the court.” -- Julius Erving

"I am a businessman. This is what I do each and every day. I love it. I love coming to work. I never have a bad day.” -- Magic Johnson

"I am a huge believer in giving back and helping out in the community and the world. Think globally, act locally I suppose. I believe that the measure of a person's life is the affect they have on others.” -- Steve Nash

"I am just happy to be part of the Nike family.” -- LeBron James

"I am not too accusatorial or defensive by nature. I have always been kind of philosophical about it, remembering that it is just a game. People take these things too seriously.” -- Steve Nash

"I am the number one Ninja and I have killed all the Shoguns in front of me.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"I am thrilled to be an Olympian, and I think that although we will be underdogs we can beat many teams and will be a surprise in Sydney.” -- Steve Nash

"I believe in the players and what I've put together and we'll make it work.” -- Isiah Thomas

"I believe that good things come to those who work.” -- Wilt Chamberlain

"I believe that whatever we have, regardless of a trade being done or not, I feel we have a shot. I've just got to believe that we're going to be all right. I've got to just play basketball.” -- Allen Iverson

"I came from a broken home, so my mom was a major influence in my life.” -- Julius Erving

"I can accept failure, but I can't accept not trying.” -- Michael Jordan

"I can score 20 points if I want to, but that's not my desire.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I can't begin to describe the amount of crap I've taken for being a lousy free-throw shooter.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I can't think of any NBA team over the last few years that lost three starters. And we replaced them basically with three guys who really haven't played in this league.” -- Isiah Thomas

"I couldn't care less if the guy I'm guarding has HIV. I'm going to slam him anyway.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I couldn't have come close without my teammates' help because the Knicks didn't want me to make 100.” -- Wilt Chamberlain

"I did everything I could to establish myself, but it just didn't work that way. I'm not angry about that.” -- Tim Hardaway

"I didn't like how my NBA career ended because I wanted to go out on my own terms. But nobody tried to believe in me, that I could go back and play. I can still play at 39.” -- Tim Hardaway

"I didn't really seek attention. I just wanted to play the game well and go home.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"I didn't want to be known as Madonna's playboy, her boy toy.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I didn't want to become a reserve player, or a bench player, and it was time to move on and take on another challenge.” -- Julius Erving

"I do believe that one way to bring cultures together, to develop trust between people and countries and religions, is through education. And through music and art and basketball and activities and joys that people share worldwide, regardless of ethnic background or religious orientation.” -- Steve Kerr

"I don't believe that I personally have been changed by the money. The bad thing is people assume you've changed because now you have money.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"I don't blame David Stern because a player gets on the court and he doesn't put out competitively. No one can make you play if you don't want to play.” -- Oscar Robertson

"I don't care what people think. people are stupid.” -- Charles Barkley

"I don't care. I feel like if we don't make a trade, we have to get it done with what we've got.” -- Allen Iverson

"I don't feel anything when I watch Shaquille O'Neal play. I don't feel anything coming off him.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I don't get nervous in any situation. There's no such thing as nerves when you're playing games.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"I don't know hardly any of the players who have the in-between game like me, who can go to any position on the court.” -- Oscar Robertson

"I don't know if I was the baddest. People kind of saw me in that light.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"I don't need too much. Glamour and all that stuff don't excite me. I am just glad I have the game of basketball in my life.” -- LeBron James

"I don't need too much. Glamour and all that stuff don't excite me. I am just glad I have the game of basketball in my life.” -- LeBron James

"I don't play them a lot of minutes. I have great starters. I have All-Stars, world champions.” -- Bill Laimbeer

"I don't see us having a problem. It's going to be my job to manage the locker room, anyway, so it will work out.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"I don't sleep much. I'm on the go. My mind is racing. My wife says my mind is like the rolling dials on a slot machine. So, yeah, I think about everything.” -- Bill Walton

"I don't think coaches should have to wear mic's. It is an invasion of privacy. We are trying to accomplish things, and wearing microphones may hinder development by straining the nature of relationships coaches and players have.” -- Steve Nash

"I don't think Michael had to retire for us to get the spotlight, because when you win, it commands attention.” -- Hakeem Olajuwon

"I don't think that players learn how to play any other aspect of the game in high school or college.” -- Oscar Robertson

"I don't think there is a bias, racial entities involved. Many former black players are not fighting to be the next Joe Dumars or the next Isiah Thomas. Many just wanna coach. But I'm not like that.” -- Tim Hardaway

"I don't trust what this life has given me.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I don't want to be bulky and stiff.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I dont want to be the next Michael Jordan, I only want to be Kobe Bryant.” -- Kobe Bryant

"I don't want to just go to the playoffs, I don't want to go to the playoffs and win the first round, second round, and not win the whole thing because it's bittersweet.” -- Allen Iverson

"I don't want to play 10 years and then die of a heart attack when I'm 40.” -- Pete Maravich

"I expect us to be good; very good. I expect us to first and foremost be better than we were last year and get back to having this franchise as one of the premier franchises on and off the court, and I think we have the opportunity to do that this upcoming season. I really believe that.” -- Grant Hill

"I feel that Dennis Rodman has become a problem. He will be more of a problem than an asset.” Of course, he can prove me wrong.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"I feel that there has been progress made since I was a boy on matters of race, but we have a long way to go.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"I felt like calling attention to AIDS. I had the AIDS ribbon colored into my hair during the playoffs in '95.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I felt that a number of people might have questioned my loyalty, but I continue to be a patriotic American.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"I firmly believe that respect is a lot more important, and a lot greater, than popularity.” -- Julius Erving

"I get constant reminders from fans who equate that game and my career as one and the same.” -- Wilt Chamberlain

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

"I go out with white women. This makes a lot of people unhappy, mostly black women.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I grabbed 19 rebounds in my first professional game, and somehow found a way to score 20 points. I felt real good about it. I felt that this was the beginning of something good.” -- Julius Erving

"I grew up in the heart of the Depression.” -- Bob Cousy

"I guarantee you, if you could give me 10 points in all those seventh games against the Boston Celtics, instead of Bill Russell having 11 rings, I could've at least had nine or eight.” -- Wilt Chamberlain

"I guess people think the taller you are the more dominant you have to be.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"I had an awful first quarter but I picked it up. To all you single guys out there, it's not how you start the date, it's how you finish it sir. A lot of people can, you know, start the date with flowers and candy, but if you don't finish the date - you know what I mean? -- Shaquille O'Neal

"I had chances to play with every good team and I felt like I was betraying, not just the Phoenix Suns, but everything that I stood for, and I just couldn't do it.” -- Kevin Johnson

"I had endured six years of frustration so I think winning it all meant more to me than most of the others on the team.” -- Bob Cousy

"I had to spend countless hours, above and beyond the basic time, to try and perfect the fundamentals.” -- Julius Erving

"I have been coaching recently. I coached high school basketball in Arizona, and I hope that more opportunities become available.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"I have definitely gone through my ups and downs and faced my adversity and my nay-sayers, but managed to do all right. It is a pretty classic tale.” -- Steve Nash

"I have never been a shooter.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"I have no desire to coach basketball.” -- Kevin Johnson

"I have to say I've worked very few days of my life. I used to have to cut the lawn, and when I was in junior high school, I worked at a concession stand at a stadium.” -- Steve Nash

"I hope to be involved in a successful movie script.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"I just felt all along that if I could get a certain amount of years in the league, have great years and still have my health when I walked away, that would be great.” -- Kevin Johnson

"I just want to catch that first ball, get it out of the way, and move forward.” -- Kevin Johnson

"I knew I was dog Luckily, I'm the high-priced dog meat that everybody wants. I'm the good-quality dog meat.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"I know I can catch the football. That's the least of my worries.” -- Kevin Johnson

"I know I'm never as good or bad as one single performance. I've never believed in my critics or my worshippers, and I've always been able to leave the game at the arena.” -- Charles Barkley

"I know that I'm never as good or bad as any single performance. I've never believed my critics or my worshippers, and I've always been able to leave the game at the arena.” -- Charles Barkley

"I learned a lot I wouldn't have learned roaming the streets of Dallas.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I learned at a young age to dribble with both hands, and that allows me to be more creative when I go against bigger and stronger opponents.” -- Steve Nash

"I learned that people everywhere are basically the same and have similar goals that we do. They want health and happiness and the opportunity to provide for their families.” -- Steve Kerr

"I lick my fingers because I don't like when my hands get slick. Licking my fingers helps me keep a good grip on the ball.” -- Steve Nash

"I like to describe my life as a black hole with a little light out there.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I liked the game, I enjoyed the game, and the game fed me enough, and gave me enough rewards to reinforce that this is something that I should spend time doing, and that I could possibly make a priority in my life, versus other sports.” -- Julius Erving

"I listen to jazz mainly. Mainstream jazz.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"I lived my life one way for 35 years, for me. And then the focus came in on what I really was.” -- Pete Maravich

"I look at some of the statistics I've been able to put up and if that was another point guard, I wonder how would I view that or what would I think and to put up 20 and 10 is impressive but 19 and nine or 18 and eight for eight or nine years - there's something there.” -- Kevin Johnson

"I lost $35,000 in less than a week at the Mirage in Las Vegas.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I love New York City; I've got a gun.” -- Charles Barkley

"I love the Miami atmosphere.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"I love what I'm doing.” -- Isiah Thomas

"I mean, how do you criticize somebody for getting hurt, that's pretty ridiculous to me.” -- Kevin Johnson

"I mean, I'm 6-foot-11, I've got red hair, freckles, I'm a goofy, nerdy-looking guy, I've got a speech impediment-I stutter and stammer all the time-and I'm a Deadhead.” -- Bill Walton

"I mean, I've had to work hard to put up the numbers and to have had the success that I've had over the years.” -- Kevin Johnson

"I mean, sometimes I look to shoot threes, sometimes I don't. It's basically what the team needs and I think it's just another added weapon, for not only my game, but our team.” -- Kevin Johnson

"I mean, the greatest athletes in the world are African-American.” -- Larry Bird

"I might be the most injured athlete in the history of sports. I've had 31 operations. An endless string of stress fractures.” -- Bill Walton

"I needed to go to class; I needed to go to practice; I needed to have a life away from basketball.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"I never looked at the consequences of missing a big shot when you think about the consequences you always think of a negative result.” -- Michael Jordan

"I never thought a role model should be negative.”-- Michael Jordan

"I only weigh 220, so I have to do something to keep from being tossed around by all the guys who weigh 250 and more. I train hard, but I don't try to get too big.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I owe all of this to the guys I've played with and all the coaches that have helped me get to where I'm at right now. I'm honored to be here.” -- Allen Iverson

"I play against a front and a back every night, Ming does not have to do that, Duncan does not have to do that, Garnett doesn't do that. I am the only one that has to do that.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"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.” -- Michael Jordan

"I played basketball to try to get my parents from working so hard.” -- James Worthy

"I played in Joe Louis in a playoff game. I played there when the roof caved in for half a season. The facility is great for basketball because it goes straight up, so you feel like the fans are on top of you.” -- Bill Laimbeer

"I played on an all-black high school team and we didn't want people saying that we were clowns.” -- Oscar Robertson

"I played when I played, and played, I think, against the greatest players in the greatest time in the history of basketball.” -- Oscar Robertson

"I pulled the plug on it at a time that I thought was right for me to exit.” -- Julius Erving

"I put a lot into it, and when I am done playing, I plan on going undercover and then being the sheriff or chief of police somewhere, either Miami or Orlando, I don't know yet.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"I realize that I'm black, but I like to be viewed as a person, and this is everybody's wish.” -- Michael Jordan

"I really appreciate Jacksonville giving me the opportunity to pursue a starting job in the league, because they really didn't have to do that.” -- Kevin Johnson

"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

"I saw Islam as the correct way to live, and I chose to try to live that way.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"I spent money, I slept with women around the league, but I always kept my mind on the game.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I spent my whole childhood looking for an escape.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I started getting letters from college in the tenth grade.” -- James Worthy

"I started out as a football player. I liked to inflict pain. In basketball, it was the same thing.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"I started out as a young Ninja and killed all of the Shoguns. I am a Shogun now and I'm holding my spot. There probably won't be another Shogun after this.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"I started playing professional basketball in 1971, and I played professionally for five seasons before going to Philadelphia.” -- Julius Erving

"I still say one of the greatest moments in my whole NBA career was getting drafted.” -- Kevin Johnson

"I take my son to school and then I drive 45 minutes to practice with my ABA team, the Florida Pit Bulls, from 10 to 1. In the afternoon, I have meetings.” -- Tim Hardaway

"I tell kids to pursue their basketball dreams, but I tell them to not let that be their only dream.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"I tell you, it's funny because the only time I think about HIV is when I have to take my medicine twice a day.” -- Magic Johnson

"I think any time you have a group collectively supporting each other, that is when success is made.” -- Kevin Johnson

"I think black Americans expect too much from individual black Americans in terms of changing the status quo.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"I think I did very well against everyone who tried to defend me.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"I think I have the skills. I'm a great judge of talent. I just know basketball.” -- Tim Hardaway

"I think I started learning lessons about being a good person long before I ever knew what basketball was. And that starts in the home, it starts with the parental influence.” -- Julius Erving

"I think I was chosen by basketball, although I never really physically got drafted to any team that I played for.” -- Julius Erving

"I think it's imperative to follow your heart and choose a profession you're passionate about, and if you haven't found that "spark" yet, if you're not sure what you want to do with your lives - be persistent until you do.” -- Steve Kerr

"I think it's important that people stand up for what they believe in. It's important that people discuss things.” -- Steve Nash

"I think Kwame will be an asset to the Lakers.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"I think marriage and athletes is a bad combination.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I think no one has written a history of the great coaches who were around 30 to 40 years ago who taught the fundamentals.” -- Oscar Robertson

"I think race has been a burden for black Americans. Being Muslim has also been a challenge because so many people do not understand Islam.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"I think someone should explain to the child that it's OK to make mistakes. That's how we learn. When we compete, we make mistakes.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"I think that basketball players should get the job done no matter how it looks on the screen.” -- Oscar Robertson

"I think that everyone should be able to dribble. Everyone should be able to pass. Otherwise, why are you out there? -- Oscar Robertson

"I think that my God-given physical attributes, big hands, and big feet, the way that I'm built, proportion-wise, just made basketball the most inviting sport for me to play.” -- Julius Erving

"I think that New York is the city of all cities. There is so much diversity there. I also like that when I go there, I can catch a play or musical and see some of the most talented people practicing their craft.” -- Kevin Johnson

"I think that realistically we can shoot for the title this year. If we stay healthy and be persistent throughout the season, I think we have good chance to go all the way.” -- Jason Kidd

"I think that teaching coaches are the norm now.” -- Oscar Robertson

"I think that the good and the great are only separated by the willingness to sacrifice.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"I think that the team that wins game five will win the series. Unless we lose game five.” -- Charles Barkley

"I think the NBA players have to be held accountable in a reasonable way, just like any other professionals.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"I think the NBA will certainly survive without Michael Jordan.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"I think we're going in the right direction.” -- Jason Kidd

"I think when you are catching all these balls and you are losing, that is no fun.” -- Kevin Johnson

"I thought it was pathetic: The league just decided that Grant Hill would go right to the top.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I thought we were aggressive across the board defensively, and you could just see it grow. As the game went along, you could see the confidence grow. It showed in the fourth quarter.” -- Bill Laimbeer

"I told them that when duty calls you always have to respond to that in a way that you think is best, not just for yourself, but for those you have a relationship with.” -- Kevin Johnson

"I understand what rappers are talking about. I think rap is less about educating people about the black community and more about making money.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I used to collect hockey cards. It was like Vegas at my school. You'd go to school with your box of cards, and at recess and lunchtime there were all these games we'd play.” -- Steve Nash

"I want to be here for a long time, so I am going to do everything I have to do to be here. And I want to walk my daughter down the aisle and give her away to somebody some day. I want to make sure I am still here to make sure my two young sons become men.” -- Magic Johnson

"I want to be strong, dominant. Like Wilt Chamberlain.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"I want to do for rebounds what Michael Jordan did for dunks.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I want to see if the player communicates with his teammates and how he responds to coaching. Another thing to remember is players' bodies can develop better than their skills.” -- Isiah Thomas

"I wanted to do something in basketball-NBA or something like that. Being an assistant coach, GM, president, something like that.” -- Tim Hardaway

"I wanted to do two things when I was growing up, about your age. I wanted to play in the NBA, and I wanted to be a businessman after my basketball career was over, and that is what I am doing now.” -- Magic Johnson

"I wanted to play baseball! -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"I was a skinny, scrawny guy. I stuttered horrendously, couldn't speak at all. I was a very shy, reserved player and a very shy, reserved person. I found a safe place in life in basketball.” -- Bill Walton

"I was a skinny, scrawny guy. I stuttered horrendously, couldn't speak at all. I was a very shy, reserved player and a very shy, reserved person. I found a safe place in life in basketball.” -- Bill Walton

"I was confused as a kid.” I was confused about my sexual identity.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I was fortunate to spend most of my career with the Suns.” -- Kevin Johnson

"I was latching on to something that was part of my heritage, because many of the slaves who were brought here were Moslems.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"I was taught to play that way when I was in high school and even before I got to high school.” -- Oscar Robertson

"I was the original socially depraved shy ghetto kid.” -- Bob Cousy

"I wear women's leggings under my clothes, but no lingerie.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I won the city scoring championship as a senior.” -- Bob Cousy

"I would like to be referred to as 'The Big Aristotle'.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"I would like to somehow make the community I live in a better place to live.” -- Kevin Johnson

"I would love to see Flip get back into the league. I think he can definitely still coach in this league. I think he will be in this league quicker than sooner.” -- Kevin Garnett

"I would say it's a very interesting draft because we really don't have a great feel with what's happening before us.” -- Isiah Thomas

"I would still like to get more athletic and have players that can really cover what's going on in the game.” -- Isiah Thomas

"I would suggest that teachers show their students concrete examples of the negative effects of the actions that gangsta rappers glorify.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"I'd like to think that the nature of the two teams - Boston being a championship team over the years and the Lakers, same thing - was a lot bigger than Larry Bird or Magic Johnson.” -- Oscar Robertson

"I'd rather bet on myself. If my career is in the hands of someone else, it is not something I have a lot of faith in.” -- Isiah Thomas

"If I don't believe it, then they don't need me on the court. I've just got to believe that in my heart.” -- Allen Iverson

"If I have a choice whether to do the show or throw a straight pass, and we're going to get the basket either way, I'm going to do the show.” -- Pete Maravich

"If I want to wear a dress, I'll wear a dress.” -- Dennis Rodman

"If I weren't earning $3 million a year to dunk a basketball, most people on the street would run in the other direction if they saw me coming.” -- Charles Barkley

"If it fills a need, if it fills a rebuilding situation. And my goal is to fill and rebuild and I am not going to be shortsighted.” -- Isiah Thomas

"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

"If that many people recognize how hard I go every night and what I put into my game, to make myself and my team better, it means a lot to mean. I'm fortunate; I'm blessed to be in the situation that I'm in right now.” -- Allen Iverson

"If the right people do the right things, we can walk, we can have a future. But if people don't put time into it to make it run in a right way, I don't think your team will work.” -- Tim Hardaway

"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

"If there wasn't any business and it was just strictly basketball, then there would be no issue, it would probably be done by now. But the team has to protect.” -- Jason Kidd

"If they took the idea that they could escape poverty through education, I think it would make a more basic and long-lasting change in the way things happen. What we need are positive, realistic goals and the willingness to work. Hard work and practical goals.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome.” -- Michael Jordan

"If you can find people out there that can and want to play basketball, it's exciting. I believe the ABA can stabilize itself and grow to become one of the elite minor leagues.” -- Tim Hardaway

"If you do things with a certain type of result and cause a certain type of reaction or effect, then you increase your market value. It's very much a competition for the entertainment dollar, and that's never been more clearly evident than in today's NBA game.” -- Julius Erving

"If you don't do what's best for your body, you're the one who comes up on the short end.” -- Julius Erving

"If you get depressed about being the second-best team in the world, then you've got a problem.” -- Julius Erving

"If you got the game, you got the game. That's why Tiger Woods is out there playing golf with Greg Norman.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"If you have your business stuff together, you are going to make your team run well. If you don't, you can't participate.” -- Tim Hardaway

"If you look up the definition of greatness in the dictionary, it will say Michael Jordan.” -- Elgin Baylor

"If you tell one guy that he's going to play consistently, you're basically telling the other guy that no matter how hard he works, no matter what he does, you're not going to play him. Therefore your team can't improve, because you've guaranteed guys minutes even when they're playing bad.” -- Isiah Thomas

"If you want consistency, then you perform. This is a performance job. You get paid to perform. Your money is guaranteed, but your minutes are not.” -- Isiah Thomas

"If you're a basketball player, you've got to shoot.” -- Oscar Robertson

"If you're a competitive person, that stays with you. You don't stop. You always look over your shoulder.” -- Magic Johnson

"If you're going to have sex, use a condom.” -- Dennis Rodman

"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.” -- Michael Jordan

"If you've experienced having control, you don't want to be moved to a subordinate position, if you have your druthers.” -- Julius Erving

"I'll be the judge of my own manliness.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I'll continue to try to make changes to better improve the team.” -- Isiah Thomas

"I'll 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-winning shot.” -- Kobe Bryant

"I'm a football guy at heart; maybe I should have played football for a living instead, because I play a lot of football videogames, I'm really into them.” -- Jason Kidd

"I'm a high-risk taker on the court in the sense of trying to squeeze things in there.” -- Jason Kidd

"I'm done discussing Larry Brown.” -- Isiah Thomas

"I'm fighting against becoming soft. That's the worst thing you can say to a basketball player.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I'm from California and was used to sunshine and good weather, got out there for six gloomy months and it was tough.” -- Kevin Johnson

"I'm from there. You know, when you grow up with these people and see them every day and then you look at the numbers it was easy; it was a no-brainer. And when Sony took a look, it was a no-brainer to them, too.” -- Magic Johnson

"I'm going to come out and tell it like it is.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I'm going to learn a lot of coaching stuff and go from there. This is going to be a learning experience. Hopefully it will take me to the next level.” -- Tim Hardaway

"I'm hungrier than those other guys out there. Every rebound is a personal challenge.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I'm in good shape to play basketball. I'm in basketball shape!” -- Tim Hardaway

"I'm mainstream.” Always have been.” -- Bill Walton

"I'm no role model.” -- Charles Barkley

"I'm not comfortable being preachy, but more people need to start spending as much time in the library as they do on the basketball court.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"I'm not going to disappear.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"I'm not going to emphasize the sky-hook as much as work with the specific skills of the guys.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"I'm not one of those leeching sons of bitches. I want to earn everything I get.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I'm not trying to get back on a team, but I have tried to stay in shape just in case a team needs a point guard. A championship team. I wouldn't go to any other team.” -- Tim Hardaway

"I'm not upset that I didn't get a chance to win in the NBA, I'm just upset I didn't get the chance to end my career in Miami.” -- Tim Hardaway

"I'm nothing more than a sports slave.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I'm playing against great players, playing against the best in the world. The competition - that's what I've always wanted.” -- Kobe Bryant

"I'm sorry that the young athletes in basketball will not get the chance to play (in the Olympics) anymore, and live that dream.” -- Oscar Robertson

"I'm starting to see players copy what I do. I'm flattered.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I'm still my parent's child, I'm still me, but I made a choice. I evolved into Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. I think it has to do with evolution.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"I'm the basketball version of a gravedigger.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I'm tired of hearing about money, money, money, money, money. I just want to play the game, drink Pepsi, wear Reebok.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"I'm trying to find new ways to make this game more attractive.” -- Dennis Rodman

"In 1981, at age 31, I was voted the best player in basketball, and the most valuable player in the league.” -- Julius Erving

"In a lot of areas of my life, particularly in my teenage years, I began to think about the world, and to think about the universe as being a part of my conscious everyday life.” -- Julius Erving

"In athletics there's always been a willingness to cheat if it looks like you're not cheating.” I think that's just a quirk of human nature.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"In jail I was just like everybody else, I was sitting there praying, feeling caged.” -- Dennis Rodman

"In the Western standards of modesty, there are different guidelines.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"Indiana gets credit for having the most rabid basketball fans in the union, but Maine is a very, very active basketball state.” -- Bob Cousy

"Initially when I stopped playing, I had accumulated some burnout.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"Instead of me telling them what they need to work on, I wanted to hear from them what they needed to work on.” -- Isiah Thomas

"It also didn't take me long to decide that Tri-Cities wasn't for me, and that I wasn't going to go there to play basketball.” -- Bob Cousy

"It doesn't matter who scores the points, it's who can get the ball to the scorer.” -- Larry Bird

"It just wasn't right the way they were behind by 25 points and then they're told to hold the ball.” -- Wilt Chamberlain

"It was a challenge to my teammates to help me.” -- Wilt Chamberlain

"It was a different sexual situation going on than it is in the '80s and '90s, and I did a very poor job of describing that.” -- Wilt Chamberlain

"It was important to me to believe, because if I don't believe, how can I expect them to believe? -- Isiah Thomas

"It wasn't about the X's and the O's and the strategy; it was more about keeping 12 guys focused and committed to a task. That group dynamic, and then helping them to grow as people and basketball players.” -- Isiah Thomas

"It's a sad commentary when I have to say that sometimes in our country we are real sensitive to race.” -- Oscar Robertson

"It's all about what they can get out of me.” -- Dennis Rodman

"It's been made clear to all of us that a player should never leave the playing field and go into the stands.” -- Isiah Thomas

"It's hard to get people to overcome the thought that they have to take care of themselves first. It's hard to get players to give in to the group and become selfless as opposed to selfish.” -- Isiah Thomas

"It's hard when your father's the coach. Sometimes you don't know where one leaves off and the other begins.” -- Pete Maravich

"It's important for us, if we're going to be a good team, to be a good defensive team in the fourth quarter.” -- Steve Nash

"It's like all guys want to do is make a dunk, grab their shirt and yell out and scream - they could be down 30 points but that's what they do. Okay, so you made a dunk. Get back down the floor on defense! -- Oscar Robertson

"It's not tough at all as long as the fans are yelling, screaming and hollering.” -- Bill Laimbeer

"It's unfair because the people booing, I believe, wouldn't want to have their child booed. Fans don't understand our lives and what we go through. They don't look at us as humans. We love the fans because they support and love the game, but at the same time it hurts when they turn their back on us.” -- Allen Iverson

"It's unfortunate that you don't see the loyalty from management to players and players to management like we used to see in the old days.” -- Kevin Johnson

"I've always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come. I don't do things half-heartedly. Because I know if I do, then I can expect half-hearted results.” -- Michael Jordan

"I've always thought if it's not broke, why fix it? -- Tim Hardaway

"I've been around a while. I kinda know these things.” -- Larry Bird

"I've been doing a couple projects here in Phoenix as well as in Sacramento, doing some developing, doing some youth activities, looking to take a couple classes.” -- Kevin Johnson

"I've been homeless. I've worked at 7-Eleven.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I've been in pressure situations before. All my life it's been about pressure and having to get it done. Just because you say it publicly, it does not make me afraid of it or make me shy away from it.” -- Isiah Thomas

"I've been in this situation before in Indiana where they were rebuilding and the first year they were in transition and a 500 team, and the second year that was when we really started the rebuilding phase and got a little younger and we ended up going to the playoffs all three years.” -- Isiah Thomas

"I've done a lot of basketball drills, not a whole lot of competitive stuff. I have basically been in the gym everyday working on my game, working on the time off that I've had from the game, just getting myself prepared mentally and physically for the season.” -- Grant Hill

"I've enjoyed that, being a person that everywhere you go you don't always have to deal with questions from the media and your life always being in the spotlight.” -- Kevin Johnson

"I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” -- Michael Jordan

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

"I've got to give Larry Bird his due; he was a great player. He knew the game and he was smart.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I've got to play free agency out, and I've got to look at all of my options.” -- Jason Kidd

"I've had a desire to coach for years. This was something I felt I should do.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"I've had enough success for two lifetimes, my success is talent put together with hard work and luck.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six 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.” -- Michael Jordan

"I've never been afraid to fail.” -- Michael Jordan

"I've now been in this country for thirteen years, since I was seventeen. So this is my second home.” -- Hakeem Olajuwon

"I've played in a lot of basketball games at a lot of different levels and nothing's like the Finals.” -- Kevin Johnson

"Jackie Robinson, as an athlete and as someone who was trying to make a stand for equality, he was exemplary.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"Just because it is an All-Star Game doesn't mean that you are playing as efficiently as you should.” -- Oscar Robertson

"Just fundamental things - I played guard and I played forward, so you get into a position where you are pivoting out on the court.” -- Oscar Robertson

"Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game." -- Michael Jordan

"Karl Malone's too high-class for a bum like me.” -- Dennis Rodman

"Kerner decided to trade my rights to the Chicago Stags, which sounded better to me than Tri-Cities, but the Stags folded up almost immediately.” -- Bob Cousy

"Kev has these old Boston drills, where you all have to talk to each other, and interact, and it's helped us.” -- Kevin Garnett

"Kev has these old Boston drills, where you all have to talk to each other, and interact, and it's helped us.” -- Kevin Garnett

"Kids are great. That's one of the best things about our business, all the kids you get to meet. It's a shame they have to grow up to be regular people and come to the games and call you names.” -- Charles Barkley

"Kobe enjoys that situation. Stepping up and making the big basket or being involved in a key play.” -- Jason Kidd

"Kobe's an incredibly talented athlete, and there are many more like him among today's players.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"Larry Brown thought Steve Francis was a Larry Brown type of player.” -- Isiah Thomas

"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

"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

"Life is about growth. People are not perfect when they're 21 years old.” -- Bill Walton

"Look, I think you should promote the game, but I think you should make it what it ought to be. Not some kind of a side-show.” -- Oscar Robertson

"Madonna wasn't an acrobat or anything, but the sex was good.” I could tell she liked it.” -- Dennis Rodman

"Many people think sports are totally physical, that you don't have to think, everything is done for you and you're catered to, I found that to be so far removed from the truth that it's almost a joke. The ones who become stars are the ones who have a head on their shoulders and know how to use it.” -- Julius Erving

"Maybe my life isn't great. We don't have all the answers. Look at it from my side.” -- Dennis Rodman

"Me being a third receiver isn't really what I had planned.” -- Kevin Johnson

"Me shooting 40% at the foul line is just God's way to say nobody's perfect.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"Meadowlark was the most sensational, awesome, incredible basketball player I've ever seen.” -- Wilt Chamberlain

"Michael Jordan and Magic and myself all learned how to play the game in college programs that emphasized the team.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"Michael was a rare breed. There's no question about that. He did things that a lot of players could never do, and still to this day players can't do those things, so the honors that he's had are definitely deserved.” -- Dominique Wilkins

"Most people who are healthy, and I'm healthy, can't even live my life. Trust me. I get up 530-6 every morning. I'm in the gym. I run a couple miles. I lift weights, and then I'm at work until 8-9 o'clock at night.” -- Magic Johnson

"Most players in this league say they want consistency.” -- Isiah Thomas

"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.”-- Michael Jordan

"My best move is probably my pull up jump shot.” -- Steve Nash

"My biggest win was getting the meal money bumped from $5 to $7.” -- Bob Cousy

"My body could stand the crutches but my mind couldn't stand the sideline.” -- Michael Jordan

"My choosing Islam was not a political statement; it was a spiritual statement.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"My closest friends in the league are Dirk Nowitzki and Rex Chapman. Although I think Michael Finley and I will be friends forever.” -- Steve Nash

"My diet is mostly chicken and fish. I make sure I get a lot of vegetables, a lot of fruit. I am a big fruit man, I am a vegetable man anyway. And I also get a lot of rest. That's the key I may be up early, but I'm in bed early too.” -- Magic Johnson

"My family got all over me because they said Bush is only for the rich people. Then I reminded them, 'Hey, I'm rich'.” -- Charles Barkley

"My family was poor, my father drove a cab for a living, but we felt normal because everybody else was in the same boat.” -- Bob Cousy

"My father was a soccer player. All my friends played basketball though, so I stuck with basketball.” -- Steve Nash

"My father was a soccer player. All my friends played basketball though, so I stuck with basketball.” -- Steve Nash

"My favorite Knicks moment was when we beat Indiana in Game 7 to reach the NBA Finals. We worked so hard as a team to reach that moment that it was very satisfying to beat Indiana and reach the Finals.” -- John Starks

"My favorite Knicks moment was when we beat Indiana in Game 7 to reach the NBA Finals. We worked so hard as a team to reach that moment that it was very satisfying to beat Indiana and reach the Finals.” -- John Starks

"My feet are like gnarled old tree branches.” -- Dennis Rodman

"My first choice was to work it out with Larry Brown. I needed Larry and I gave him 50 million bucks. This is a situation that I'm in and I'll handle it and I'll make it work.” -- Isiah Thomas

"My free time at home is usually spent emailing, listening to music, reading and talking on the phone. I wish I was on the phone less, but I have been fortunate to stay in touch with so many incredible friends.” -- Steve Nash

"My greatest gift that I have in life is basketball.” -- Isiah Thomas

"My heroes are and were my parents. I can't see having anyone else as my heroes.” -- Michael Jordan

"My ideal day would be to get a good work out in, listen to music, talk to my family and friends on the phone, read and go to a good movie.” -- Steve Nash

"My initial response was to sue her for defamation of character, but then I realized that I had no character.” -- Charles Barkley

"My last year with the Spurs, I was late to practice one time.” -- Dennis Rodman

"My life had no meaning at all. I found only brief interludes of satisfaction. It was like my whole life had been about my whole basketball career.” -- Pete Maravich

"My life is very simple. I like simplicity and for my time to be my own, so that I have the freedom to devote the majority of it to Islam.” -- Hakeem Olajuwon

"My mom is one of 14 children. She's a great lady. She's a Taurus. Has been a profound influence in my life, still is to this day. Born in meager surroundings in rural South Carolina.” -- Julius Erving

"My most memorable moment came in 1985 as we beat the Boston Celtics.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"My musical background is like almost every non classical musician in the world. One day a special record was heard and that was it. I was hooked, started trying to play various instruments and was off to bar land to become a rock star. What else?” -- Kevin Johnson

"My parents are my backbone. Still are. They're the only group that will support you if you score zero or you score 40.” -- Kobe Bryant

"My role model was my grandfather. He instilled in me the feeling that no matter how successful you are you have a responsibility to help others.” -- Kevin Johnson

"My role models in the business were the older guys on my team when I first got there: Gray Scott, Adrian Smith, Roland Taylor. These were the guys who took me under their wing, and really schooled me in terms of what the business was about.” -- Julius Erving

"My rookie year, I was very immature.” -- Dennis Rodman

"My thought has always been completion. Maybe you have to rebound better, shoot better, hit free throws, handle the ball, defend better. You have to do all those things in the course of a game.” -- Isiah Thomas

"Nate Robinson has a lot of jumping ability, but I don't see Josh losing.” -- Dominique Wilkins

"No matter what you say, you can have as many receivers as you want; there are enough balls to go around.” -- Kevin Johnson

"No matter whether you are new or an old team member, you need time to adjust to one another.” -- Yao Ming

"Nobody roots for Goliath.” -- Wilt Chamberlain

"Not only do I admire Jordan's accomplishments and his phenomenal basketball ability, but also the way he has conducted himself on and off the court. I don't think there will ever be another player to have the same impact on the game of basketball as Michael Jordan.” -- Elgin Baylor

"Now, I guess, people want stars. People are trying to invent stars.” -- Oscar Robertson

"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.” -- Michael Jordan

"Once you are labeled the best you want to stay up there, and you can't do it by loafing around. If I don't keep changing. I'm history.” -- Larry Bird

"One lucky shot deserves another.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"One of the commitments that I personally have now is to a diverse approach to buying businesses, and the operation of those businesses.” -- Julius Erving

"One of the things in the back of my mind is that, after my sports experience, I never want to be, totally consumed by any one endeavor, other than my family life.” -- Julius Erving

"One word is passion. They are passionate about their team. We win we're great, lose and we're the worst. But you can't overreact to the fans.” -- Isiah Thomas

"Our centers spread the floor, shoot the three and block shots. We can play pick and pop.” -- Steve Nash

"Our offense is like the pythagorean theorem: There is no answer! -- Shaquille O'Neal

"People are threatened by me. Rich white, rich blacks, it doesn't matter.” -- Dennis Rodman

"People don't realize the amount of stress you put on your body both physically and mentally from just the wear and tear of a season.” -- Grant Hill

"People have always doubted whether I was good enough to play this game at this level. I thought I was, and I thought I could be. What other people thought was really always irrelevant to me.” -- Steve Nash

"People have been killing because of racial differences since the time of Adam and Eve, but in this country racism has been primarily aimed at African Americans.” -- Bob Cousy

"People say that, but I think the NBA was bigger than Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.” -- Oscar Robertson

"People still cheat on their wives, that hasn't fallen out of fashion. We all speak of it badly, but it has not fallen out of fashion.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"People will think there are no other great ballplayers. Look at Garnett. Look at Duncan, Shaq, Kobe. Look at the players with Sacramento. The have a really good basketball team.” -- Oscar Robertson

"People will think there are no other great ballplayers. Look at Garnett. Look at Duncan, Shaq, Kobe. Look at the players with Sacramento. The have a really good basketball team.” -- Oscar Robertson

"Personally I just want to win a championship.” -- Allen Iverson

"Push yourself again and again. Don't give an inch until the final buzzer sounds.” -- Larry Bird

"Race wasn't an issue. My family was French, but Yorkville was a melting pot of races and cultures.” -- Bob Cousy

"Research your idea. See if there's a demand. A lot of people have great ideas, but they don't know if there's a need for it. You also have to research your competition.” -- Magic Johnson

"Right now, you know, it's not about the refs or anything else, it's about hitting first, getting on the run and never looking back.” -- Bill Walton

"Right up until the time I retired at age 37, I felt like there were still things that I could do better.” -- Julius Erving

"Russell joined the team in December, 1956, following the Olympics. -- Bob Cousy

"Scoring 100 points is a lot, but I maybe could have scored 140 if they had played straight-up basketball.” -- Wilt Chamberlain

"So I am confident and very secure in working with young players and helping them develop and helping them move along the path.” -- Isiah Thomas

"So much of becoming a good athlete involves bringing other things to the table, other than physical skills. It involves intelligence, it involves many of the things that you learn during the process of being educated. How to analyze, how to assess, how to equate, how to reason.” -- Julius Erving

"So we take a lot of pride in that. It's really on us to turn this thing around. I think this last month we've done just that. We've pointed ourself in the direction that we want to be, and I think we're starting to head towards that. Right now we're in a nice rhythm.” -- Kevin Garnett

"Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” -- Michael Jordan

"Some people want to have controversy between the races.” -- Dennis Rodman

"Some players are more physical than others, some play with more finesse. Some are just really great all-around players. So you have to change your game.” -- Oscar Robertson

"Some things you just can't question. Like you can't question why two plus two is four. So don't question it, don't try to look it up. I don't know who made it, all I know is it was put in my head that two plus two is four. So certain things happen. Why does it rain? Why am I so sexy? I don't know.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"Somebody hits me, I'm going to hit him back. Even if it does look like he hasn't eaten in a while.” -- Charles Barkley

"Someday I might have to put down a basketball and have a regular 9-to-5 like everybody else.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"Sometimes I do wonder what college would have been like. But I made my decision.” -- Kobe Bryant

"Sometimes I'm not even satisfied when I got 6 points and 22 rebounds, because I'm always looking to do more.” -- Dennis Rodman

"Stephon Marbury is the one that is most similar to my game when I played.” -- Kevin Johnson

"Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” -- Michael Jordan

"Teachers are sort of faced with a thankless task, because no matter how good they are, unless they find a way to personally rationalize the rewards of their effort, nobody else is really going to do it for them en masse.” -- Julius Erving

"That challenge of working through it, keeping guys motivated, keeping the group together, overcoming obstacles, all of that; I really got into it.” -- Isiah Thomas

"That doesn't bother me because if I won a championship, which is my goal, then no matter what kind of recognition you get or don't get, it wouldn't really matter.” -- Kevin Johnson

"That is why one day I said my game will be like the Pythagorean Theorem - hard to figure out. A lot of people really don't know the Pythagorean Theory. They don't make them like me anymore. They don't want to make them like that anymore.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"That seemed to be the case with most of the teams based in the smaller towns - the fans were more rabid, and they wanted to literally kill the opposition.” -- Bob Cousy

"That was just my own personal program: I didn't want to get too high over the good moments because I didn't want to be saddened and depressed when things didn't go as I had planned.” -- Julius Erving

"That's a dream of mine, to be able to coach at the NBA level.” -- John Starks

"That's my tag, whether I like it or not.” -- Wilt Chamberlain

"That's the key to our team. We have so many weapons. You can just pick your poison.” -- Steve Nash

"That's what makes it so fun to be on a team. You're sitting at your house, thinking up this wild, crazy stuff as to how it's going to go, and the other guys are sitting at their houses doing the same thing.” -- Bill Walton

"The 50 greatest players don't matter when you're in the Hall of Fame. We all know that I was not one of the 50 greatest, I was one of the 25 greatest - in my mind.” -- Dominique Wilkins

"The 76ers currently play very good basketball, and we don't. However, we are still only one win behind them. If we continue to improve, we should be on the top of our division at the end of the regular season.” -- Jason Kidd

"The beautiful thing about when you go through a slide is that you learn from it. Not just saying that you learn from it, but applying the things that you have learned.” -- Kevin Garnett

"The best player I ever played with was Dennis Johnson.” -- Larry Bird

"The best players will play. That's the way it will always be.” -- Larry Bird

"The biggest difference is in the leadership. It was better for us. We had more coaches and mentors to help us. A lot of the younger players today suffer from a lack of direction.” -- Isiah Thomas

"The Bulls talked to just about every person who ever met me.” -- Dennis Rodman

"The business always gets in the way of basketball.” -- Jason Kidd

"The constant expansion has diluted the talent. Other than that, it's still the same game.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"The crowd gives us so much energy and we are able to really feed off of it. Hitting those shots and having the crowd go crazy helps boost our confidence. We love our fans.” -- Steve Nash

"The disconnect lasted too long. I think people got the idea I was sullen and couldn't communicate, which wasn't true.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"The doors fly open when you're a professional athlete.” -- Dennis Rodman

"The extra pass and the extra effort on defense always get the job done.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"The fans in Dallas were hard on me my first year, but after having a great year last year they are now supporting me. It feels great to have my hard work pay off, especially when the fans made it hard for me.” -- Steve Nash

"The Finals are about a test of wills.” -- Bill Laimbeer

"The first professional game that I ever played remains, to me, the most exciting moment of my professional career.” -- Julius Erving

"The first year was hard for me to deal with. The second year was a little bit easier, but still difficult. It took me five years to get it out of me. It was a difficult moment, a difficult time.” -- Magic Johnson

"The game has basically not changed since I ended my career.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"The game is my wife. It demands loyalty and responsibility, and it gives me back fulfillment and peace.” -- Michael Jordan

"The important thing is this Just because I'm doing well doesn't mean that they're going to do well if they get HIV. A lot of people have died since I have announced. This disease is not going anywhere.” -- Magic Johnson

"The Lakers fans have been great, even folks in the supermarket are welcoming me back! -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"The Lakers were able to maintain a certain level of talent and success, and so were the Celtics. It became part of people's sports lore.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"The last couple of practices, all we've been doing is a lot of defensive things. We've been going over some drills that make all of us have to communicate.” -- Kevin Garnett

"The last couple of practices, all we've been doing is a lot of defensive things. We've been going over some drills that make all of us have to communicate.” -- Kevin Garnett

"The life I was leading was changing me into someone I didn't even know.” -- Dennis Rodman

"The Miami Heat has the best fans.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"The MVP award was very satisfying in terms of personal accomplishments, but the championship was the most important thing of all.” -- Bob Cousy

"The NBA believes if you play for a team and get paid by a team, you're the property of that team for 24 hours a day.” -- Dennis Rodman

"The NBA has the best point guards in the world, so it is important that I come ready to play every night.” -- Steve Nash

"The NBA is a big family, and I think of all these rookies as my brothers. I still believe I am blue collar among the All-Stars.” -- Yao Ming

"The NBA wasn't a big deal at that time, so it wasn't really in my career plans.” -- Bob Cousy

"The NBA's chosen ones think I'm setting a bad example? I think they need to look around and stop taking themselves so seriously.” -- Dennis Rodman

"The Olympics were great, because you had to make the team, and then go to the games. Now, I don't know, these guys today don't want to do anything like that.” -- Oscar Robertson

"The one thing I do that nobody else does is jump three and four times for one rebound.” -- Dennis Rodman

"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

"The only difference between a good shot and a bad shot is if it goes in or not.” -- Charles Barkley

"The only time I'd played organized basketball was my sophomore year in high school, when I barely made the junior varsity team.” -- Dennis Rodman

"The people at the top of the league think they need to rein me in so I don't become another Michael Jordan, somebody they aren't able to mold and shape and make their puppet.” -- Dennis Rodman

"The players have no real self-esteem when it comes to putting the best image out there in a real competitive fashion.” -- Oscar Robertson

"The players have to come and play. Today we did.” -- Bill Laimbeer

"The playoffs are the playoffs. You just play who is put in front of you.” -- Steve Nash

"The real story is that I had unprotected sex. That's that.” That's easy.” -- Magic Johnson

"The rivalry between the Lakers and Celtics endured for about eight years, and the interest grew each year.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"The Spurs couldn't put everything aside and just play the damn game.” -- Dennis Rodman

"The thing that is worse is that it is so commercialized and there is so much emphasis on selling product as opposed as building skills.” -- Kevin Johnson

"The three things that really come to mind for me are the relationships and the camaraderie that you have with your teammates when there's guys on the team that you enjoy being with, enjoy their presence and their company. You can't replace that.” -- Kevin Johnson

"The toughest opponents to defend are Iverson, Marbury and Payton. They are all very talented and can shoot at anytime from anywhere.” -- Steve Nash

"The transition was difficult. It's hard to stop something that you've enjoyed and that has been very rewarding.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"The triple-double is just a stat. It's a test of your strength and stamina and playing ability, really.” -- Oscar Robertson

"The type of athletes we draft still need types of versatility on the defense side of the ball, run the offense. You should still be concerned on the offense side of the ball.” -- Isiah Thomas

"The worst moment from all of this was driving from that doctor's office, to tell my wife that I was HIV positive.” -- Magic Johnson

"There are many really good teams in our conference this season. Miami, Indiana and Detroit will be our fiercest opponents this year. But we just have to focus on our game and be patient with the realistic hope that we'll be on top after all is said and done.” -- Jason Kidd

"There are not too many times when you can say that you have a meeting with the President.” -- Kevin Johnson

"There are rap groups that have a positive outlook in their art. These groups should be shown as an alternative to gangsta rap.”  -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"There is a lot of pressure put on me, but I don't put a lot of pressure on myself. I feel if I play my game, it will take care of itself.” -- LeBron James

"There is no "i" in team but there is in win.”" -- Michael Jordan

"There is not a player on this roster now, who doesn't understand or believe that if he is not performing, I don't have problems getting rid of them.” -- Isiah Thomas

"There is nothing wrong with dedication and goals, but if you focus on yourself, all the lights fade away and you become a fleeting moment in life.” -- Pete Maravich

"There is so much hypocrisy in sports.” -- Dennis Rodman

"There was nothing magical that the coaching staff did. This is about the players.” -- Bill Laimbeer

"There were riots in just about every game we played with Syracuse.” -- Bob Cousy

"There's always room for improvement. We have a nucleus that's pretty good. You want players that will help.” -- Jason Kidd

"There's more impact if you burn somebody with your eyes, look straight into him and let him know with a look.” -- Dennis Rodman

"There's nothing less than that. I don't care about just going to the playoffs; I've been to the playoffs before.” -- Allen Iverson

"There's one thing everyone should understand: I like my character.” -- Dennis Rodman

"There's so many young peoople who start to play basketball and never learn the fundamentals.” -- Oscar Robertson

"There's the typical books, Moby Dick and, I guess in my adult life I began to read biographies more than fiction. I started to want to relate to other people's lives, things that had really happened.” -- Julius Erving

"These are my new shoes. They're good shoes. They won't make you rich like me, they won't make you rebound like me, they definitely won't make you handsome like me. They'll only make you have shoes like me. That's it.” -- Charles Barkley

"These days I smile benignly at the fights that I see in NBA games. There aren't any broken noses or black eyes, which happened quite often when I played.” -- Bob Cousy

"These people didn't know anything about black people, so the only thing they could imagine was the worst thing.” -- Dennis Rodman

"They are taking steps, but they are baby steps.” -- Julius Erving

"They didn't have a problem with me being wild and crazy when it came time to fill the arenas.” -- Dennis Rodman

"They scored 26 points in three quarters.” That's solid defense.” -- Bill Laimbeer

"They shot the ball well early. What comes out of the microwave hot doesn't always stay hot. I know, because I eat bagels in the morning.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"They should have a rule: in order to be a sportswriter, you have to have played that sport, at some level; high school, college, junior college, somewhere. Or, you should have had to have been around the game for a long time.” -- Oscar Robertson

"They were so clever finding ways to get me the ball. They had to do more than just give up open shots. They had to avoid fouls and pass me the ball in traffic.” -- Wilt Chamberlain

"They were willing to do anything to stop me.” -- Wilt Chamberlain

"They're really aggressive. They're like roaches on bread - you drop some on the floor and, boom, they're on it.” -- Kevin Garnett

"This is a tough game. There are times when you've got to play hurt, when you've got to block out the pain.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"This is like a tribute to them, the people who helped me to get here.” The thing that makes me feel good about the whole thing is, the fans voted me here.” -- Allen Iverson

"This is the thing you dream about when you're a kid, even before getting into the league.” -- Allen Iverson

"This is where young players today want to land. They want to be NBA players because of the money.” -- Oscar Robertson

"This life is like a swimming pool. You dive into the water, but you can't see how deep it is.” -- Dennis Rodman

"This whole huddle thing really pisses me off.” -- Dennis Rodman

"To all the positions, I just bring the determination to win. Me being an unselfish player, I think that can carry on to my teammates. When you have one of the best players on the court being unselfish, I think that transfers to the other players.” -- LeBron James

"To be honest, even to this day, when I look at the statistics and the success I've had, it's hard to believe that I've done that.” -- Kevin Johnson

"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.” -- Michael Jordan

"To come over here to Baltimore and get an opportunity to start, get an opportunity to play with a team that's definitely going to playoffs, at a minimum, just to help those guys get over the hurdle and get the ring, that's what it's all about.” -- Kevin Johnson

"To hang out in a gay bar or put on a sequined halter top makes me feel like a total person.” -- Dennis Rodman

"Too much coffee. Too much coffee and Gatorade. It's a hell of a mix. If you're ever tired in the morning, just try that mix, and tell me what you think.” -- Kevin Garnett

"We came in today with a chip on our shoulder to prove who we are.” -- Bill Laimbeer

"We decided to either try trades or just go with older players. If you do that and let contracts expire you can be in the lottery for about four or five years and expect your fans to be patient.” -- Isiah Thomas

"We decided to go the way of trading and getting younger players.” -- Isiah Thomas

"We don't have selfish guys here, which sometimes leads to problems.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"We had a lot to do with Randy being fired.” If we were to do a lot better, then it probably wouldn't have happened.” -- Allen Iverson

"We had a strong relationship with Walter Brown, and felt that he was the best owner in the league.” -- Bob Cousy

"We have guys who are not selfish and guys that know the more games you win, the more important each game is.” -- Kevin Johnson

"We hung out on the streets, played stickball, and did all of the things that other kids did.” -- Bob Cousy

"We joke around a lot with our ballclub.” -- Bill Laimbeer

"We know that in order for us to turn this around, it doesn't matter how many coaches they bring in here, assistants, weight trainers, whoever, we're the ones that are going to have turn it around. And I think just took that responsibility on ourselves.” -- Kevin Garnett

"We lived in Yorkville until 1940, at which point we moved into the St. Albans neighborhood of Queens.” -- Bob Cousy

"We lived in Yorkville, which is located on the East End of Manhattan. It's further east than Hell's Kitchen, and back then it was the kind of place where the roaches and cockroaches were big enough to carry away small children.” -- Bob Cousy

"We love playing together and we love adversity. You know, back-to-back, the two best teams in the East.” -- Steve Nash

"We needed Larry Brown. Me more so than anyone. I wanted Larry to do a great job for us and I thought he would and I thought he could.” -- Isiah Thomas

"We play a different style than other teams. It's effective, but different.” We run the floor, block shots and create turnovers.” -- Steve Nash

"We played every night. Sometimes we'd stay overnight after a game, but we'd usually drive on to our next destination.” -- Bob Cousy

"We ran an up-tempo, transition-style of game at Boston College - very similar to what we ran when I played for Arnold.” -- Bob Cousy

"We should because when coaches get fired, the players have a lot to do with it.” -- Allen Iverson

"We succeeded in doing what other franchises try to do in terms of rebuilding on the fly. We were changing the engine while flying 30,000 feet above the ground. We did it with young guys who hadn't really played before and a blend of veteran guys who are more or less on the downside of their career.” -- Isiah Thomas

"We want to win. We want to win big. We want to win the whole thing.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"We were able to get after the rebounds. We were able to control the paint. We were able to be physical down there.” -- Bill Laimbeer

"We were excited to win, staying undefeated is just the icing.” -- Steve Nash

"We were going to have to experiment, and we needed to develop our younger players. And a lot of the changes were because of injuries. But that's where I give a lot of credit to the group in terms of being able to maintain things.” -- Isiah Thomas

"Well, (Michael) Jordan was definitely one of the kings of the game. There's no question that he was one of the more dominant figures. If you look at the top ten players of all time, he was certainly one of the most dominant guys.” -- Dominique Wilkins

"Well, I loved the Madhouse on McDowell.” -- Kevin Johnson

"Well, my favorite band is Radiohead. But, you know, I am pretty fascinated in general with music. I love music. It is definitely an interest.” -- Steve Nash

"Well, we've made some changes on this tour. We're no longer sleeping in the parking lots and swimming in the fountains. We've been staying in hotels most of the way, though I will say some hotels have declined to take us because we're just having too much fun.” -- Bill Walton

"We're all Americans trying to compete. Magic was competing for his team and Larry for his team.” -- Oscar Robertson

"We're all fascinated by the numbers, as we were about the 100 points.” -- Wilt Chamberlain

"We're going to turn this team around 360 degrees.” -- Jason Kidd

"We're just going to come out and play. We know that we're supposed to win all the games, but if we don't, we just have to take the next game and focus on what we did wrong in the game before and just try to do better at the next game.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"We've been playing ugly.” Without all of our bodies, we've been kicking it all over the shop, but fortunately we've been able to make the big buckets and rely on our defense for once.” -- Steve Nash

"We've got very few bodies right now so we were tired, but we've also got a lot of character and we want to win.” -- Steve Nash

"We've turned down a lot of teams. You have to have your business stuff together in order to make it work. You have to have a team that can play.” -- Tim Hardaway

"What happened in the past is just that, the past.” Champion or not.” -- Steve Nash

"What I learned in my time isn't necessarily being taught now, and I'd like to help impart that knowledge to a new generation of players.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"What I'm doing right now, I'm chasing perfection.” -- Kobe Bryant

"What I've talked about the entire series and throughout this playoffs is about intensity and effort, desire and will of our players.” -- Bill Laimbeer

"What's better? Dogs or broomsticks? I mean will the world really ever know? -- Larry Bird

"When a high-profile personality lives like I do, everybody thinks that person is fated to die young.” -- Dennis Rodman

"When a rap song glorifies violence, death and sadness and loss is inflicted because of the violence.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"When handling the ball, I always would look for daylight, wherever there was daylight.” -- Julius Erving

"When I came into the league, once a team drafted you, they owned you forever. If they didn't like the clothes you wore, or the car you drove, they could blackball you.” -- Oscar Robertson

"When I got traded to Phoenix it wasn't just basketball I was happy about, it was the climate and the change of scenery.” -- Kevin Johnson

"When I hit bottom, I can attack the problem and get to where I want to be.” -- Dennis Rodman

"When I look at the system here and look at my position - not just as a basketball player, but when I look around me at the values of the people and the culture and compare them with the values of where I came from - I feel so blessed to be from Africa.” -- Hakeem Olajuwon

"When I started playing, I wasn't fast, I was gangly, my jumpshot was terrible.” -- Oscar Robertson

"When I was 3, my father stopped coming home.” -- Dennis Rodman

"When I was a kid, no one would believe anything positive that you could say about black people. That's a terrible burden.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"When I was a little kid I used to play with guys twice my age, so, I was the last one picked, so if I picked I knew that I had to get the ball to the scorer if I wanted to stay on the court, so that was pretty much my job.” -- Jason Kidd

"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

"When I went to Philadelphia I was 26 years old and really sitting on top of the world. Family life, a professional career, plenty of friends and associates, and a good reputation, a wish list that could be the envy of many.” -- Julius Erving

"When it gets down to it, basketball is basketball.” -- Larry Bird

"When the crowd appreciates you, it encourages you to be a little more daring, I think.” -- Julius Erving

"When the line started to blur between the fans and the players, sometimes things can get ugly.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"When they gave me that trophy, bro, I cried.” -- Dennis Rodman

"When we went up against teams that were better, I just hoped that we could steal the victories.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"When you can't play physically sometimes, you have to use your mind a little bit more to compete and to achieve certain things.” -- Kevin Johnson

"When you flop, that's just another message that you don't know how to play me. Stand up and take your medicine like a man.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"When you get to that level, it's not a matter of talent anymore - because all the players are so talented - it's about preparation, about playing smart and making good decisions.” -- Hakeem Olajuwon

"When you go into a game on offense, you make a couple moves and see what the defender is going to do. Then you pretty much can figure out what he is going to do against you - whether he carries his hands low or high, whether he is bumping or pushing, those type of things.” -- Oscar Robertson

"When you go out there and do the things you're supposed to do, people view you as selfish.” -- Wilt Chamberlain

"When you hear Kobe (Bryant) and Shaq (O'Neal) talk now, it's all about growing, it's all about sharing, it's all about giving.” That's what the deal is. My guys were talking like that.” -- Isiah Thomas

"When you look at the way teams are playing and shooting the three ball, you really have to extend your defense.” -- Isiah Thomas

"When you play against different people from all walks of life you can't do the same thing against every player defensively or offensively. You have to change up the way you go at a player.” -- Oscar Robertson

"When your team drops out, you make the ABA look bad.” -- Tim Hardaway

"Where we sit now, I don't think we have the luxury of the 20 teams before us. I think we are going after the best players we can get on the board.” -- Isiah Thomas

"Wherever there's money, there's drugs, so to say drugs don't exist in the NBA would be stupid.” -- Dennis Rodman

"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

"Who do I think was the greatest? This might shock you: Elgin Baylor.” He did so many great things. Nobody could guard him, playing in the forward spot. I'd love to see some of today's greats playing against Elgin. They couldn't guard him. Nobody could.” -- Oscar Robertson

"Why don't you bring your face up here and let me punch it? Then you can tell me (if I'm stronger).” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"Why should I try to make you believe the things I believe in? -- Dennis Rodman

"Wilt Chamberlain lied when he said he had 20,000 women.” -- Dennis Rodman

"With all of you men out there who think that having a thousand different ladies is pretty cool, I have learned in my life I've found out that having one woman a thousand different times is much more satisfying.” -- Wilt Chamberlain

"With me, everything's right on the table.” -- Dennis Rodman

"With the crowds on your side, it's easier to play up to your potential.” -- Julius Erving

"Without question, no hesitation, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the best player I ever played against.” -- Bill Walton

"Yeah, I play a lot of their games. Going way back to Bulls vs. Lakers to the later Live stuff, I go at it quite a bit. More than anything tough, I play Madden.” -- Jason Kidd

"You can love me or you can hate me.” - Dennis Rodman

"You can't win if you don't play as a unit.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"You can't win unless you learn how to lose.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"You don't cut anywhere, don't pick down anywhere, don't double screen, no weak side picking. All these things that should happen in a game of basketball don't happen anymore.” -- Oscar Robertson

"You don't cut anywhere, don't pick down anywhere, don't double screen, no weak side picking. All these things that should happen in a game of basketball don't happen anymore.” -- Oscar Robertson

"You don't see as many well rounded players in basketball as you did back in the day.” -- Kevin Johnson

"You have to be able to center yourself, to let all of your emotions go. Don't ever forget that you play with your soul as well as your body.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"You have to develop your whole game to completion.” -- Isiah Thomas

"You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.” -- Michael Jordan

"You have to look at how chemistry develops.” -- Tim Hardaway

"You have to remember that coaching wasn't sophisticated back then - you didn't have the camps, clinics and all the technical advances that are available today - so from that standpoint, playing with a cast on my arm was a fortunate event in my life.” -- Bob Cousy

"You have to teach now - tell a kid how to box out, tell him how to pass, teach him footwork. Players don't understand that anymore.” -- Oscar Robertson

"You know it's going to hell when the best rapper out there is white and the best golfer is black.” -- Charles Barkley

"You know when I played, you had me and Kevin (McHale) and some others throughout the league. I think it's good for a fan base because as we all know the majority of the fans are white America. And if you just had a couple of white guys in there, you might get them a little excited.” -- Larry Bird

"You know, my two closest friends have probably been Mark West and A.C. Green.” -- Kevin Johnson

"You look at today, it's a different situation.” You have a game that has been transformed into a game where almost every shot is either an outside shot - a three-point shot - or a dunk.” -- Oscar Robertson

"You must understand as a kid of color in those days, the Harlem Globetrotters were like being movie stars.” -- Wilt Chamberlain

"You need a teaching coach who understands the game of basketball, not just some guy coming on the court talking about Xs and Os.” -- Oscar Robertson

"You realize you can't change the world but it shouldn't stop you from trying.” -- Kevin Johnson

"You see what happens in college and high school games today - a three-point shot or a dunk.” I think that's the reason that you see a lot of that in the pros today.” -- Oscar Robertson

"You should be able to voice your opinion and respect the voice of the other side.” You should be willing to educate yourself and know what it is you're dealing with.” -- Steve Nash

"You watch some teams these days and you wonder if they just met on the playground and decided to choose up sides.” -- Dennis Rodman

"Young people want you to be real with them.” -- Magic Johnson

"Your best athletes might give basketball a try just when they think, geez, this might be something that pays off for me in the end.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"Your mind is what makes everything else work.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"Your team has to understand that coming into the ABA, you have to have your investments right and sponsorships and people ready to give you money so they can back you up.” -- Tim Hardaway

"You're always at war with the guy on the other bench.” You pick up their patterns.” That's what I got the most out of this year.” I know what other coaches like to do.” -- Isiah Thomas

"And I remember leaving my place in L.A. and - my father is a big fight fan - and I said, 'Dad, I got a couple of days off and I'm getting ready to go to Houston to sign to fight Muhammad Ali.” -- Wilt Chamberlain

"I don't fit into the mold of the NBA man, and I think I've been punished financially for it.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I expect more people from China and Asia to end up in the NBA.” -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

I went from five foot eleven to six foot eight, and the more ball I played, the more I caught on to the game.” -- Dennis Rodman

"I'm very excited about my new agreement with the Heat. This contract allows me to address all of my family's long-term financial goals while allowing the Heat the ability to acquire those players that we need to win a championship.” -- Shaquille O'Neal

"Obviously you have a lot of anxiety built up going into the preseason games.” -- Kevin Johnson

"So you're dealing with a coach, and you're dealing with a guy who's actually experienced NBA basketball from a player's perspective and actually goes about it that way.” -- Kevin Garnett

"That's how we like to play basketball, is be physical down there in the paint and force teams to the perimeter.” -- Bill Laimbeer

"The Hall of Fame has strong people.” -- James Worthy

"The thing about it is almost everyone could pass that way, but we were kept from doing it by our coaches.” -- Oscar Robertson

"They don't pay you a million dollars for two-hand chest passes.” -- Pete Maravich

"They say Elvis is dead. I say, no, you're looking at him. Elvis isn't dead; he just changed color.” -- Dennis Rodman

"When you play guard, you're not going to block a lot of shots. Inside, you're going to block shots.” -- Oscar Robertson

"Yeah, I'm excited about it, my teammates are telling me to look at the basket, so that's what I'm trying to do.” -- Jason Kidd

"You've got to learn the footwork, the positioning, how to box out, how to pass, how to shoot your free throws.” All these things are necessary, not to be the No.” 1 player in the world, but maybe you can play against him.” -- Oscar Robertson

Championship Basketball Playbook

Championship Basketball PlaybookComplete system needed to Excel as a basketball coach

Transition Offense
Motion Offense
Flex Offense
Zone Offense
Offensive Plays
Inbound Plays
Press Breaker Offense
Full-court Press Defenses
Zone Defenses
Junk Defenses
Man to Man Defense
Game Strategy
Basketball Coaching Manual

"All really successful coaches have a system." - Jim Valvano

Basketball Playbook

In Search of Excellence