Sports Figures / Coaches

70 Inspirational Jerry West Quotes (BASKETBALL)

Top 10 Most Famous Jerry West Quotes (BEST)

“The trick in writing children’s books is to set up danger, mystery and excitement on page one. Force the kid to turn the page. Then in the middle of each chapter there’s a dramatic point of excitement, and at chapter’s end, a cliffhanger.”

Jerry West
I would hope that racism is something that just does not work in this day and age, but I know otherwise.
I would hope that racism is something that just does not work in this day and age, but I know otherwise.
Anything can happen with hard work and dedication.
Anything can happen with hard work and dedication.
When time is running out and the score is close, most players are thinking, I don't want to be the one to lose the game, but I'm thinking, What do I have to do to win
When time is running out and the score is close, most players are thinking, I don’t want to be the one to lose the game, but I’m thinking, What do I have to do to win?
I'm just ultracompetitive. I will be till they put me in the grave.
I’m just ultracompetitive. I will be till they put me in the grave.
[The NBA] used to be a small band of basketball groupies. Now there are a lot more corporate-type people working in the league.
[The NBA] used to be a small band of basketball groupies. Now there are a lot more corporate-type people working in the league.
I don't think people fully appreciate the trauma associated with losing. It takes a lot out of you, year after year.
I don’t think people fully appreciate the trauma associated with losing. It takes a lot out of you, year after year.
As a player, all you can do is play within yourself, even in the context of a team sport.
As a player, all you can do is play within yourself, even in the context of a team sport.
I’ve never seen a better coach than Gregg Popovich.
I’ve never seen a better coach than Gregg Popovich.
I was not a great ballhandler. I just worked very hard at it, and I got to be a good ballhandler-a competent ballhandler-but never a great ballhandler.
I was not a great ballhandler. I just worked very hard at it, and I got to be a good ballhandler-a competent ballhandler-but never a great ballhandler.

6 Inspirational Jerry West Quotes About Life

“Anything you can do to help someone, I just think it’s so important because there’s a lot of kids that look up athletes of all size and shapes in a lot of different fields, not necessarily in the basketball field. They get involved emotionally with those people because there’s something about certain athletes that people rally around.”

Jerry West
You can't get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.
You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.
Don't let talent get in way of team performance. Great players do what's outstanding for team, not what makes them stand out.
Don’t let talent get in way of team performance. Great players do what’s outstanding for team, not what makes them stand out.
Confidence is a lot of this game or any game. If you don't think you can, you won't.
Confidence is a lot of this game or any game. If you don’t think you can, you won’t.
Fear of failure, it's the greatest motivational tool. It drives me and drives me and drives me.
Fear of failure, it’s the greatest motivational tool. It drives me and drives me and drives me.
You need lofty goals. Then cement it with a great work ethic.
You need lofty goals. Then cement it with a great work ethic.

11 Jerry West Quotes that Will Make You Think

“The support this city and our fans have shown the Grizzlies made my decision to stay in Memphis an easy one. Memphis deserves a championship team, and I am committed to that.”

Jerry West
I'm still very much a West Virginia boy. I haven't forgotten my roots, because that's really who I am.
I’m still very much a West Virginia boy. I haven’t forgotten my roots, because that’s really who I am.
I like to keep people guessing.
I like to keep people guessing.
I'm a Gemini. Know what that means There are two very different sides to me.
I’m a Gemini. Know what that means? There are two very different sides to me.

“I’m at the point where you look back on your life and reflect. I’ve always been an unbelievable critic of me. If we lost a game, I blamed myself every night. I’m very proud of some of the things I did as an athlete, as an executive.”

Jerry West
I often do things that surprise me, not to mention others.
I often do things that surprise me, not to mention others.
To be candid with you, free agency hurts all sports. It's great for athletes making an enormous amount of money. But to say it helps the sports, I don't believe that.
To be candid with you, free agency hurts all sports. It’s great for athletes making an enormous amount of money. But to say it helps the sports, I don’t believe that.

“I’ve always been really nationalistic, and I had a brother killed in Korea. And I think the ‘Star Spangled Banner,’ even today – and I’ve heard it a heckuva lot of times, OK – has always been a significant feeling to me.”

Jerry West
A shot is a lever; it's all it is. You don't open a car door differently each time. A car door is efficient - it opens and closes. So is a shot.
A shot is a lever; it’s all it is. You don’t open a car door differently each time. A car door is efficient – it opens and closes. So is a shot.
I see people that have success, and I see how poised and polished they are and how they handle it. I wonder inside if they feel the same way that I feel.
I see people that have success, and I see how poised and polished they are and how they handle it. I wonder inside if they feel the same way that I feel.
I'm not one who likes to be honored, to be honest with you. That's never been who I am.
I’m not one who likes to be honored, to be honest with you. That’s never been who I am.

10 Jerry West Quotes on Winning

“You can’t imagine how much good luck is involved in winning, but all of a sudden, you get in a situation where every break goes your way, every call goes your way, every ball that rolls around drops in instead of out. It feels magical.”

Jerry West
I've seen a lot in my life. I've seen a lot of winning. I've seen a lot of testing times. I think when you're tested, you really find out what you're made of.
I’ve seen a lot in my life. I’ve seen a lot of winning. I’ve seen a lot of testing times. I think when you’re tested, you really find out what you’re made of.

“You can’t ever totally know what’s inside of someone else, or see the kind of will someone like Magic has. You have to rely on your instincts to find people who hate losing and know how to win.”

Jerry West
The passion to win games, the incredible, focused energy and also the camaraderie of the team were all things that I really loved.
The passion to win games, the incredible, focused energy and also the camaraderie of the team were all things that I really loved.

“I’d go fishing and always pretend I would catch the biggest fish. I’d stay out there for hours after everybody else left until I caught something. When I shot baskets, I was always the coach and star player and always made the winning shot.”

Jerry West
The only thing I care about is winning. That's all. If you don't want to win, you don't want to be around me.
The only thing I care about is winning. That’s all. If you don’t want to win, you don’t want to be around me.

“You have to win games by scoring points, of course, so that’s important. But when you’re having nights against a good defensive team, you have to win in a different manner. You have to win a defensive-type game.”

Jerry West
I enjoy winning, but more importantly I enjoy the people I'm around.
I enjoy winning, but more importantly I enjoy the people I’m around.

“A lot of people would be happy that they got through a long career and had a chance to play as many times in the finals. To me, I wanted to win for the franchise and for the people. And when you can’t do that, it’s devastating, particularly for someone like me.”

Jerry West
You get so addicted to winning that you don't want that feeling to stop.
You get so addicted to winning that you don’t want that feeling to stop.

11 Jerry West Quotes on Playing Basketball

“The season is a beast within itself. It’s not the quickest race; it’s a marathon. In the playoffs – if you’re fortunate enough to make the playoffs – that’s more like a dash. You have to concentrate on one opponent. When they’re done, you have to concentrate on another one.”

Jerry West
I don't really want to go into my problems with the team at the time except to say that no one's ever had to pay me to play basketball.
I don’t really want to go into my problems with the team at the time except to say that no one’s ever had to pay me to play basketball.

“If I’m not nervous, if I don’t have at least a little bit of the same self-doubt and anxious feelings I had when I started playing, then it will be time for me to go on. I must have that tension.”

Jerry West
Basketball came to me and for some reason it gave me an opportunity to live a life that I didn't dream possible. But it did let me live my dreams.
Basketball came to me and for some reason it gave me an opportunity to live a life that I didn’t dream possible. But it did let me live my dreams.
I always wanted the ball in my hands with a game on the line, as I think any real competitor does.
I always wanted the ball in my hands with a game on the line, as I think any real competitor does.

“I know when I left the game, I could have played more. There is no question. I think I could have played at a very high level, too. But I could not play the way everyone wanted me to play. And I was not willing to compromise what I felt was a standard that I had established in this league and, particularly, for our fans at home.”

Jerry West
I'm surprised when the ball doesn't go into the hoop. I think I should make every shot.
I’m surprised when the ball doesn’t go into the hoop. I think I should make every shot.

“I hated to miss games at the height of my career, I missed a lot of games due to just a hamstring pull. And I hated sitting out. I just hated it. You play for your team, but you also play for the people who attend the games.”

Jerry West
In the playoffs, the best players are supposed to play better. I did. It made no difference.
In the playoffs, the best players are supposed to play better. I did. It made no difference.
Defensively, from a team standpoint, I didn't feel I played very well. Very rarely was I satisfied with how I played.
Defensively, from a team standpoint, I didn’t feel I played very well. Very rarely was I satisfied with how I played.
You need to possess more than a little nastiness to play basketball at the highest level.
You need to possess more than a little nastiness to play basketball at the highest level.

9 Jerry West Quotes on Basketball Players

“The league is changing, and we don’t have many back-to-the-basket players. We now have a game that requires skill and versatility. A lot of that is about being able to think. It makes all the difference in the world to have a player in there with a high basketball IQ who can make the right decision.”

Jerry West
There are many players who don't measure up to their marketability.
There are many players who don’t measure up to their marketability.

“We talk about players of yesteryear, guys who could play or couldn’t play, and I think it’s ridiculous to try to even compare people. The things that you can do in basketball today that you couldn’t even do then you can carry the ball; you walk all over the place.”

Jerry West
There's been so many unbelievable players in Los Angeles, maybe the best of the best.
There’s been so many unbelievable players in Los Angeles, maybe the best of the best.

“I hate to say it’s not a Laker but Michael Jordan. He’s been the greatest player I’ve ever seen. And I’m probably a harsh judge of talent in the sense that I admire players that are really good defensive players and really good offensive players.”

Jerry West
Kevin Garnett was a great player, but he wasn't Kobe Bryant.
Kevin Garnett was a great player, but he wasn’t Kobe Bryant.

“I’ve always been a very harsh judge of talent because if you don’t play the game on both ends of the court, and if you don’t play hard every night, I’m probably not going to be in love with you as a player. I’m going to respect you because you’re good, but these players are unique.”

Jerry West

“The advent of so much dribbling has created a different kind of player, and it starts at a very early age. We have so many gifted ball handlers. Everything is pick-and-roll. Unless he’s a catch-and-shoot guy, a player is going to put it on the floor and attack. Kevin Durant is a wonderful ball handler.”

Jerry West

“Some guys lay their fannies out there every night – they play the game at such a high level, and they give so much that, frankly, they don’t get credit for it. And I think it’s tragic sometimes.”

Jerry West

5 Jerry West Quotes on Basketball Teams

“For some reason, I always wanted to work in an environment where things weren’t so good. I’m no messiah, but I always wanted to try and make a difference where a team hadn’t prospered.”

Jerry West
It's discouraging for me to come out there and watch the lack of fan support for a good team.
It’s discouraging for me to come out there and watch the lack of fan support for a good team.
To have harmony on a team, you need a coach who can get inside the head of every player and get them all pulling in one direction.
To have harmony on a team, you need a coach who can get inside the head of every player and get them all pulling in one direction.
Everyone always says you have to be on the best team, the team that wins. Oh, no, no, no. I disagree with that.
Everyone always says you have to be on the best team, the team that wins. Oh, no, no, no. I disagree with that.
A couple teams will grind the shot clock down. Most of the time coaches do that, it's usually a talent deficit. They can't compete against the better teams.
A couple teams will grind the shot clock down. Most of the time coaches do that, it’s usually a talent deficit. They can’t compete against the better teams.

4 Jerry West Quotes on the Lakers

“I remember, years ago, if I had had an opportunity to leave the Lakers, I would have left for one reason: because I did not like an owner that was not telling me the truth. And it would have made no difference what they would have offered me; I would have left.”

Jerry West
I don't know anything else but the Lakers. This has certainly been more than a job for me as a player. It has certainly meant more to me than just an occupation.
I don’t know anything else but the Lakers. This has certainly been more than a job for me as a player. It has certainly meant more to me than just an occupation.
The Lakers had been home to me, unlike the home I had grown up and felt apart from.
The Lakers had been home to me, unlike the home I had grown up and felt apart from.
I have often wondered why I was never captain of the Lakers.
I have often wondered why I was never captain of the Lakers.

2 Jerry West Quotes on Self-Esteem

“Self-esteem is something I still battle. People look at me and say, ‘You’ve got fame. You’ve got admiration. You’ve done this; you’ve done that.’ As far as I’m concerned, I haven’t done anything. I’ve just fulfilled a dream of competing.”

Jerry West

“Even though I felt, at times, ‘My goodness, you’re among the upper echelon,’ there is still a huge void there. A huge void. It is about self-esteem. That’s a thing that has always been a real complex part of my life.”

Jerry West

2 Jerry West Quotes on Walking Away

“I would never stay under circumstances where I felt I was a figurehead and might look good in your team media guide. I don’t want to be that. I do want to contribute, and if I don’t contribute, I’ll walk away from it. If I don’t feel welcomed, I’ll walk away from it.”

Jerry West
When it's time for me to walk away from something, I walk away from it. My mind, my body, my conscience tell me that enough is enough.
When it’s time for me to walk away from something, I walk away from it. My mind, my body, my conscience tell me that enough is enough.

(MUST READ) West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life

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