Sports Figures / Coaches

40 Bill Russell Quotes on Life & Love (BASKETBALL)

Top 10 Most Famous Bill Russell Quotes (BEST)

“I don’t have very many regrets, not because I lived a perfect life but because life is a bunch of rolling hills, not mountains, or speed bumps instead of stop signs, and so you come to a situation and it’s neither good or bad, it just is, and what it means to you is what’s your take on it. But the second part of the equation is what are you going to do about it. A lot of times I’m completely wrong, but all you do is back up and start over.”

Bill Russell
The most important measure of how good a game I played was how much better I’d made my teammates play.
The most important measure of how good a game I played was how much better I’d made my teammates play.

“To me, the most important part of winning is joy. You can win without joy, but winning that’s joyless is like eating in a four-star restaurant when you’re not hungry. Joy is a current of energy in your body, like chlorophyll or sunlight, that fills you up and makes you naturally want to do your best.”

Bill Russell
Commitment separates those who live their dreams from those who live their lives regretting the opportunities they have squandered.
Commitment separates those who live their dreams from those who live their lives regretting the opportunities they have squandered.
Learning is a daily experience and a lifetime mission. I truly believe in the saying We work to become, not to acquire.
Learning is a daily experience and a lifetime mission. I truly believe in the saying “We work to become, not to acquire.”

“Heart in champions has to do with the depth of our motivation and how well your mind and body react to pressure – that is, being able to do what you do best under maximum pain and stress.”

Bill Russell
If you really have integrity, there are very few people who can insult you, or honor you.
If you really have integrity, there are very few people who can insult you, or honor you.
If a guy pays you five dollars, you give him seven dollars worth of work.
If a guy pays you five dollars, you give him seven dollars worth of work.
You can do anything you want to do if you want it bad enough.
You can do anything you want to do if you want it bad enough.
Create unselfishness as the most important team attribute.
Create unselfishness as the most important team attribute.

5 Motivational Bill Russell Quotes on Success

“I hope I epitomize the American dream. For I came against long odds, from the ghetto to the very top of my profession. I was not immediately good at basketball. It did not come easy. It came as the result of a lot of hard work and self-sacrifice. The rewards, where they worth it? One thousand times over.”

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

“I’ve been fortunate to meet and work with a lot of really smart people. The thing that strikes me most about them is how they continue to explore and learn every day. I have tried to apply that approach in my modest career as well.”

Bill Russell
Concentration and mental toughness are the margins of victory.
Concentration and mental toughness are the margins of victory.
If you can take something to levels that very few other people can reach, then what you're doing becomes art.
If you can take something to levels that very few other people can reach, then what you’re doing becomes art.

10 Bill Russell Quotes To Ponder

“You got to have the killer instinct. If you do not have it, forget about basketball and go into social psychology or something. If you sometimes wonder if you’ve got it, you ain’t got it. No pussycats, please.”

Bill Russell
My most prized possession was my library card from the Oakland Public Library.
My most prized possession was my library card from the Oakland Public Library.

“I envy Muhammad Ali. He faces a possible five years in jail and he has been stripped of his heavyweight championship, but I still envy him. He has something I have never been able to attain and something very few people I know possess. He has an absolute and sincere faith. I’m not worried about Muhammad Ali. He is better equipped than anyone I know to withstand the trials in store for him. What I’m worried about is the rest of us.”

Bill Russell
Durability is part of what makes a great athlete.
Durability is part of what makes a great athlete.

“Boston itself was a flea market of racism. It had all varieties, old and new. The city had corrupt, city hall-crony racists, brick-throwing, send-’em-back-to-Africa racists, and in the university areas phony radical-chic racists. Other than that, I liked the city.”

Bill Russell
The magic to a great meeting is all of the work that's done beforehand.
The magic to a great meeting is all of the work that’s done beforehand.
What's more important than who's going to be the first black manager is who's going to be the first black sports editor of the New York Times.
What’s more important than who’s going to be the first black manager is who’s going to be the first black sports editor of the New York Times.
On females officiating in the NBA - Incompetence should not be confined to one sex.
On females officiating in the NBA – Incompetence should not be confined to one sex.
This monument is going to be built as a symbol.
This monument is going to be built as a symbol.
We overreached our decision power. Sometimes our decisions have to fit the reality of the outside world.
We overreached our decision power. Sometimes our decisions have to fit the reality of the outside world.

3 Bill Russell Quotes on Love

“We learn to make a shell for ourselves when we are young and then spend the rest of our lives hoping for someone to reach inside and touch us. Just touch us—anything more than that would be too much for us to bear.”

Bill Russell
To love someone is nothing, to be loved by someone is something, to love someone who loves you is everything.
To love someone is nothing, to be loved by someone is something, to love someone who loves you is everything.
Most people have a harder time letting themselves love than finding someone to love them.
Most people have a harder time letting themselves love than finding someone to love them.

2 Bill Russell Quotes on Friendship

Friendship is a full-time job.
Friendship is a full-time job.
The most important thing to me is the friends that I've made.
The most important thing to me is the friends that I’ve made.

10 Bill Russell Quotes on Playing Basketball

“After I played him for the first time, I said ‘Let’s see. He’s four or five inches taller. He’s 40 or 50 pounds heavier. His vertical leap is at least as good as mine. He can get up and down the floor as well as I can. And he’s smart. The real problem with all this is I have to show up.”

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

“A rebounder, or a shot-blocker for that matter, is always at a disadvantage if he tells himself the only way he can succeed is by out jumping the guy next to him. Sometimes he will have to, but most of the time he will not. Most of my rebounds came from positioning, where I was able to get the ball while in heavy traffic.”

Bill Russell
What distinguishes a great player is his presence. When he goes on to the court, his presence dominates the atmosphere.
What distinguishes a great player is his presence. When he goes on to the court, his presence dominates the atmosphere.

“The morale and the camaraderie that we had for one another earlier in the year is starting to come under duress because of all the losses. Some of the guys are feeling the pressure now from the last year when they were not successful.”

Bill Russell
If Shakespeare can compare all of life to a stage, maybe it's not odd to believe that part of the play can take place on a basketball court.
If Shakespeare can compare all of life to a stage, maybe it’s not odd to believe that part of the play can take place on a basketball court.
Remember that basketball is a game of habits. If you make the other guy deviate from his habits, you've got him.
Remember that basketball is a game of habits. If you make the other guy deviate from his habits, you’ve got him.
I think what has happened to our basketball team, we've been badly distracted. They're not reading too many positive things in the paper.
I think what has happened to our basketball team, we’ve been badly distracted. They’re not reading too many positive things in the paper.
The only important statistic is the final score.
The only important statistic is the final score.
Don't knock the ball in the stands, keep it in your hands!
Don’t knock the ball in the stands, keep it in your hands!

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