The 46 Best Larry Bird Quotes

Larry Bird is one of the most celebrated basketball players by basketball fans. His fascinating skills and dedication to the game made him an amazing player to watch and a wonderful coach to have. He was born Larry Joe Bird on December 7, 1956. Bird played for the Boston Celtics since 1978 and enjoyed thirteen seasons. During his playing era, he was able to interact with notable players who had earned a name for themselves in the game. These players include the legendary Robert Parish who was a central player and the forward Kevin McHale.

Bird enjoyed an amazing career but back problems were to deny him adequate playing time. As a result in 1992, he retired from the NBA altogether. However, he earned himself a title due to his numerous achievements and contributions in the game. He was a great motivator for the team and the opponents as well.

As a result of his retirement in 1996, he was voted to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998. His contributions cannot be underestimated and his love for the game both verbally and physically made him outstanding. The following are some of the most inspiring quotes credited to him.

Larry Bird Quotes

1. “When I was a kid, I never thought about anything. Never had to think about where I was going to school or what I was going to do. I just lived minute to minute.”—Larry Bird

2. “It’s been a journey, the NBA. It’s taken me a lot farther than I ever expected.”—Larry Bird

3. “The best players will play. That’s the way it will always be.”—Larry Bird

4. “Practice habits were crucial to my development in basketball. I didn’t play against the toughest competition in high school, but one reason I was able to do well in college was that I mastered the fundamentals. You’ve got to have them down before you can even think.”—Larry Bird

5. “I have always been confident in my skills and once the game got going I knew I was probably the best player on the floor most of the time whether it was junior high, high school or college. I knew I had control of the game.”—Larry Bird

6. “There are many times when you are better off practicing than playing; but most people just don’t understand that.”—Larry Bird

7. “I’ve got a theory that if you give 100% all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end.”—Larry Bird

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8. “Push yourself again and again. Don’t give an inch until the final buzzer sounds.”—Larry Bird

9. “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

10. “I wasn’t real quick, and I wasn’t real strong. Some guys will just take off and it’s like, whoa. So I beat them with my mind and my fundamentals.”—Larry Bird

11. “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

12. “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

13. “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

14. “I used to love the feeling of running, of running too far. It made my skin tingle.”—Larry Bird

15 “When I was a kid, like 14 or 15, I played with the waiters from the hotel, ’cause that was the best game. And these guys, they’d let me play. And they were black guys.”—Larry Bird

16. “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

17. “Eminem. My son was listening to that and I was like, “What is that junk?” Then I started listening and I thought, You know, that kid is pretty good. It’s the storytelling.”—Lady Bird

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18. “When I go to the line I’m thinking ‘All net.’ When I don’t think that, I’m likely to miss.”—Larry Bird

19. “I was always making decisions and they were easier decisions because I had control of the game, I had control of the ball. As a coach you sort of put the ball in other player’s.”—Larry Bird

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20. “In the closing seconds of every game, I want the ball in my hands for the last shot – not in anybody else’s, not in anybody else’s in the world.”—Larry Bird

21. “I don’t know if I practiced more than anybody, but I sure practiced enough. I still wonder if somebody – somewhere – was practicing more than me.”—Larry Bird

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

23. “Once you are labeled ‘the best’ you want to stay up there, and you can’t do it by loafing around.”—Lady Bird

24. “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

25. “What’s better? Dogs or broomsticks? I mean will the world really ever know?”—Larry Bird

26. “The best player I ever played with was Dennis Johnson.”—Larry Bird

27. “I’ve been around a while. I kinda know these things.”—Lady Bird

28. “The best players will play. That’s the way it will always be.”—Lady Bird

29. “I like being by myself.”—Lady Bird

30. “You never make any of the shots you never take. 87% of the ones you do take, you’ll miss too. I make 110% of my shots.”

31. “Coaches can talk and talk and talk about something, but if you get it on tape and show it to them, it is so much more effective.”—Lady Bird

32. “The more you win, the better you’re gonna get. It grows on itself.”—Larry Bird

33. “I hate to lose more than I like to win.”—Larry Bird

34. “First master the fundamentals.”—Larry Bird

35.“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

36. “Don’t let winning make you soft. Don’t let losing make you quit. Don’t let your teammates down in any situation.”—Larry Bird

37. “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

38. “I don’t think that once you get to one level, you can relax. You’ve got to keep pushing.”—Larry Bird

39. “You’re all playin’ for second place.”—Larry Bird

40. “I think a lot of blue collar people related to me because a lot of people work for their money.”—Larry Bird

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41. “When I was a player, I didn’t expect my teammates to play the way I did. I did expect them to work hard hard every day and get better. And I never learned anything by losing.”—Larry Bird

42. “I knew I was as good as anybody. That’s not really bragging; it’s just that I’d put the time in.”—Larry Bird

43. “I’m a firm believer that you play the way you practice.”—Larry Bird

44. “You can make all the excuses you want, but if you’re not mentally tough and you’re not prepared to play every night, you’re not going to win.”—Larry Bird

45. “But it is a black man’s game, and it will be forever.”—Larry Bird

46. “Guys like Larry Bird — he played so hard, he wants everybody else to play hard. That’s not unreasonable. Any coach would want that and demand that.”—Larry Bird

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Video: Larry Bird’s Most SAVAGE Moments

Besides being an amazing basketball player, Larry was a legendary trash talker. Check out this fun, fast paced video to see quick highlights of his top 10 trash talking moments.




Larry Bird was an outstanding player in basketball who showed great quality and dedication to the game. His words and actions portray a man of great passion, ambition, and self-drive. His words reveal a man in love with the game and willing to support the game. His reputation as both a player and a coach speaks much of his commitment to the success of the game and this is illustrated by the above quotes which say much about the man’s love for the game.

Image Credit: Steven Carter from Northern New England, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons



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