Sports Figures / Coaches

75 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Quotes (INSPIRATIONAL)

Top 10 Most Famous Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Quotes (BEST)

One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.
One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.
You can't win unless you learn how to lose.
You can’t win unless you learn how to lose.
I think that the good and the great are only separated by the willingness to sacrifice.
I think that the good and the great are only separated by the willingness to sacrifice.
Five guys on the court working together can achieve more than five talented individuals who come and go as individuals.
Five guys on the court working together can achieve more than five talented individuals who come and go as individuals.
Good thoughts are no better than good dreams, unless they are executed.
Good thoughts are no better than good dreams, unless they are executed.
I try to do the right thing at the right time. They may just be little things, but usually they make the difference between winning and losing.
I try to do the right thing at the right time. They may just be little things, but usually they make the difference between winning and losing.
Great players are willing to give up their own personal achievement for the achievement of the group. It enhances everybody.
Great players are willing to give up their own personal achievement for the achievement of the group. It enhances everybody.
Fundamental preparation is always effective. Work on those parts of your game that are fundamentally weak.
Fundamental preparation is always effective. Work on those parts of your game that are fundamentally weak.
I can do something else besides stuff a ball through a hoop. My biggest resource is my mind.
I can do something else besides stuff a ball through a hoop. My biggest resource is my mind.
Your mind is what makes everything else work.
Your mind is what makes everything else work.

9 Inspirational Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Quotes About Life

“Each story, novel, poem and play presents a vision of the world that illuminates the dark cave of life we stumble through. We can see better where we’re going, what sudden drop to avoid, where the cool water is running.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Some stuff can be fixed, some stuff can’t be. Deciding which is which is part of maturing.
Some stuff can be fixed, some stuff can’t be. Deciding which is which is part of maturing.

“Learn from others and never cease trying to be the best you can possibly be. If you get yourself too engrossed in things over which you have no control, it’s going to adversely affect the things over which you have control.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
What we need are positive, realistic goals and the willingness to work. Hard work and practical goals.
What we need are positive, realistic goals and the willingness to work. Hard work and practical goals.

“I like to think about that story sometimes because it reminds me that, although we like to think of our heroes as perfect, the harsh truth is that they became heroes by making mistakes and learning from them. To me, that makes them even more heroic.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.

“Coach John Wooden [UCLA] taught me that sports wasn’t just about making us better athletes, but about making us better people. Compassion, kindness, and morality were more important than a championship season. Fame wasn’t an accomplishment, it was an opportunity to show our gratitude to the community that we are a part of by changing it for the better.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Today's youth are told to get rich or die trying and they really shouldn't take that attitude forward with them.
Today’s youth are told to get rich or die trying and they really shouldn’t take that attitude forward with them.
As a parent, I have a job as a role model to my children, and by extension, to other young people.
As a parent, I have a job as a role model to my children, and by extension, to other young people.

15 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Quotes that Will Make You Think

“I could have skated by as an athlete, but the world is so much bigger and more interesting than any one thing. I didn’t want to be pigeonholed as just a jock. I’m also an author, a student of history, and I collect memorabilia from the Wild West. I’m also a son, a father, and a friend.”

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

“When I was 17, I worked in a mentoring program in Harlem designed to improve the community. That’s when I first gained an appreciation of the Harlem Renaissance, a time when African-Americans rose to prominence in American culture. For the first time, they were taken seriously as artists, musicians, writers, athletes, and as political thinkers.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Don’t hope. Hope is for people who aren’t prepared.
Don’t hope. Hope is for people who aren’t prepared.
If not shown appreciation, it gets to you.
If not shown appreciation, it gets to you.
High school dropouts are forfeiting their opportunity to pursue the American Dream.
High school dropouts are forfeiting their opportunity to pursue the American Dream.
My mother had to send me to the movies with my birth certificate, so that I wouldn't have to pay the extra fifty cents that the adults had to pay.
My mother had to send me to the movies with my birth certificate, so that I wouldn’t have to pay the extra fifty cents that the adults had to pay.
I just like seeing the world, and it doesn't matter where.
I just like seeing the world, and it doesn’t matter where.
The '80s made up for all the abuse I took during the '70s. I outlived all my critics. By the time I retired, everybody saw me as a venerable institution. Things do change.
The ’80s made up for all the abuse I took during the ’70s. I outlived all my critics. By the time I retired, everybody saw me as a venerable institution. Things do change.
Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them
Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?
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.
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.
I got all A's and was hated for it; I spoke correctly and was called a punk.
I got all A’s and was hated for it; I spoke correctly and was called a punk.
The transition was difficult. It's hard to stop something that you've enjoyed and that has been very rewarding.
The transition was difficult. It’s hard to stop something that you’ve enjoyed and that has been very rewarding.
My opponent now is myself, my inclination toward laziness.
My opponent now is myself, my inclination toward laziness.
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.
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.

3 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Quotes on Other Athletes

LeBron James can get a shot off under any and all circumstances and he makes them.
LeBron James can get a shot off under any and all circumstances and he makes them.
Jackie Robinson, as an athlete and as someone who was trying to make a stand for equality, he was exemplary.
Jackie Robinson, as an athlete and as someone who was trying to make a stand for equality, he was exemplary.
Michael Jordan and Magic and myself all learned how to play the game in college programs that emphasized the team.
Michael Jordan and Magic and myself all learned how to play the game in college programs that emphasized the team.

4 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Quotes on History

The saying, "Those that don't learn from history are condemned to repeat it" doesn't just apply to politicians and world leaders, it applies to all of us on a daily basis.
The saying, “Those that don’t learn from history are condemned to repeat it” doesn’t just apply to politicians and world leaders, it applies to all of us on a daily basis.
The person unaware of history is like a rudderless boat just floating out in the middle of the ocean, hostages to the waves and currents.
The person unaware of history is like a rudderless boat just floating out in the middle of the ocean, hostages to the waves and currents.
Black people don't have an accurate idea of their history, which has been either suppressed or distorted.
Black people don’t have an accurate idea of their history, which has been either suppressed or distorted.
In a typical history book, black Americans are mentioned in the context of slavery or civil rights. There's so much more to the story.
In a typical history book, black Americans are mentioned in the context of slavery or civil rights. There’s so much more to the story.

4 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Quotes on Sickness and Medicine

“At times when I am feeling low, I hear from a friend and then, my worries start to go away, and I am on the mend. No matter what the doctors say, and their studies never end. The best cure of all, when spirits fall, is a kind word from a friend.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
If not for the success that medicine has made, I might be part of a much different story right now.
If not for the success that medicine has made, I might be part of a much different story right now.

“The word ‘leukemia’ is a very frightening word. In many instances, it’s a killer and it’s something that you have to deal with in a very serious and determined way if you’re going to beat it.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
When the doctor told me I had cancer, I was scared.
When the doctor told me I had cancer, I was scared.

4 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Quotes on Intellectual Development

Music rhythms are mathematical patterns. When you hear a song and your body starts moving with it, your body is doing math. The kids in their parents’ garage practicing to be a band may not realize it, but they’re also practicing math.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
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.
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.

“Sports and entertainment are the only places where inner-city kids see themselves being able to succeed. Their intellectual development is something they don’t relate to.”

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

3 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Quotes on Coaching

“I looked down the line of the wonderfully successful people on either side of me and wondered if each of them had a Coach Wooden who, to quote President Obama, “helped make me who I am.” I hoped so, because without Coach, my life would have been so much less. Less joyous. Less meaningful. Less filled with love.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
I always thought I could do a good job coaching, but the opportunities have not presented themselves.
I always thought I could do a good job coaching, but the opportunities have not presented themselves.
I have been coaching recently. I coached high school basketball in Arizona, and I hope that more opportunities become available.
I have been coaching recently. I coached high school basketball in Arizona, and I hope that more opportunities become available.

3 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Quotes on Young Athletes

I tell kids to pursue their basketball dreams, but I tell them to not let that be their only dream.
I tell kids to pursue their basketball dreams, but I tell them to not let that be their only dream.
It's hard for young players to see the big picture. They just see three or four years down the road.
It’s hard for young players to see the big picture. They just see three or four years down the road.
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.
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.

5 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Quotes on Playing Basketball

“I don’t get a big charge out of being the leading scorer. The object of competing is winning. I just try to do what has to be done for us to win. That might be anything at the time – defense, rebounding, passing. I get great satisfaction out of being a team player.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
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.
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.
When we went up against teams that were better, I just hoped that we could steal the victories.
When we went up against teams that were better, I just hoped that we could steal the victories.
I didn't really seek attention. I just wanted to play the game well and go home.
I didn’t really seek attention. I just wanted to play the game well and go home.
The extra pass and the extra effort on defense always get the job done.
The extra pass and the extra effort on defense always get the job done.

3 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Quotes on Teamwork

“A lot of young players don’t really know much about the history of the game and a lot of them are missing out on what the game is all about, especially the whole concept of sportsmanship and teamwork.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
A lot of players think the game is all about individual performances when it's really all about a team game.
A lot of players think the game is all about individual performances when it’s really all about a team game.
You can't win if you don't play as a unit.
You can’t win if you don’t play as a unit.

6 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Quotes on Religion

“Many people are born into their religion. For them it is mostly a matter of legacy and convenience. Their belief is based on faith, not just in the teachings of the religion but also in the acceptance of that religion from their family and culture. For the person who converts, it is a matter of fierce conviction and defiance. Our belief is based on a combination of faith and logic because we need a powerful reason to abandon the traditions of our families and community to embrace beliefs foreign to both. Conversion is a risky business because it can result in losing family, friends and community support.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
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.
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.
If ISIS represents Islam, then the KKK represents Christianity.
If ISIS represents Islam, then the KKK represents Christianity.
I saw Islam as the correct way to live, and I chose to try to live that way.
I saw Islam as the correct way to live, and I chose to try to live that way.
My choosing Islam was not a political statement; it was a spiritual statement.
My choosing Islam was not a political statement; it was a spiritual statement.
Islam is about finding your own space.
Islam is about finding your own space.

3 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Quotes on Being an Author

There are a lot of authors in the world, so it's difficult to find a unique niche to present your take on things. That is always a challenge for any author.
There are a lot of authors in the world, so it’s difficult to find a unique niche to present your take on things. That is always a challenge for any author.
My biggest accomplishment has been making a transition from athlete to author.
My biggest accomplishment has been making a transition from athlete to author.
I have always thought that writers come with any variety of attributes. Some are capable and some aren't.
I have always thought that writers come with any variety of attributes. Some are capable and some aren’t.

3 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Quotes on Race

“Racists often take their cues on how to act from the way the government behaves. If the government is actively campaigning against racism, they hide their feelings and do nothing. If the government is indifferent to racism by not prosecuting it, then they feel it’s okay to come out of hiding and attack.”

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

(MUST READ) Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court

Also read:

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Quotes (INSPIRATIONAL) - Gracious Quotes

Explore More Quotes

52 David Beckham Inspirational Quotes (LOVE)

Jeremiah Say

38 Inspirational Joe Greene Quotes (FOOTBALL)

Erwin Morillo

45 Kobe Bryant Quotes About Life (BLACK MAMBA)

Jeremiah Say

40 Inspiring Kevin Durant Quotes (HARD WORK)

Jeremiah Say

Top 8 James Naismith Quotes (BASKETBALL)

Jeremiah Say

36 Inspirational Sebastian Vettel Quotes (RACING)

Jeremiah Say