100+ of Kobe Bryant’s most inspirational quotes

Often referred to as one of the best basketball players in the history of the game, Kobe Bryant played in the NBA, with the Los Angeles Lakers for 20 seasons before his retirement in 2016.

Kobe was never a stranger to the game since his father was also a professional basketball player. He spent most of his childhood in Italy after his father retired from the NBA and moved his family to Rieti to continue his career, but at a lower level.

Bryant started shooting hoops when he was only three years old and earned national recognition in high school, after moving back to the US. He was soon traded to the Lakers and became the second youngest NBA player in history.

For several years, Bryant constantly competed with his teammate Shaquille O’Neal for the title of Lakers’ greatest player. When talented O’Neal left the team, Kobe finally got the chance to prove that he can still perform brilliantly and led the Lakers to two consecutive championships.

In 2003, Kobe’s reputation was seriously tarnished after he was accused of sexual assault. Luckily all charges were dropped and he maintained his innocence.

Kobe Bryant is one of the best basketball players in the history of the game. He is a 5-time NBA champion, Most Valuable Player, 2-time Finals MVP, 2-time scoring champion, and has 7 NBA Championship appearances.
Kobe Bryant’s most inspirational quotes

He is one of the most recognizable sports icons on the planet.

Here are 100 Memorable Kobe Bryant Quotes:

1. “People just don’t understand how obsessed I am with winning.” – Kobe Bryant

2. “Friends can come and go, but banners hang forever.” – Kobe Bryant

3. “The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.” – Kobe Bryant

4. “I don’t want to be the next Michael Jordan, I only want to be Kobe Bryant.” – Kobe Bryant

5. “June 2010, after winning his fifth title: “I just got one more than Shaq. So you can take that to the bank.” – Kobe Bryant

6. “Winning takes precedence over all. There’s no gray area. No almosts.” – Kobe Bryant

7. “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

8. “As I sit here now, when I take off my shoe and I look down at my scar, I see beauty in it. I see all the hard work, all the sacrifices. I see the journey that it took to get back to this point of being healthy. And I see beauty in that struggle. That’s what makes it beautiful.” – Kobe Bryant

9. “Because I don’t want chumps, I don’t want pushovers, and if you’re a chump and a pushover, I will run over you.” – Kobe Bryant

10.  “After ESPN ranked him the 40th-best player in the NBA: “I’ve known for a long time they’re a bunch of idiots… I tend to use things as motivation that tend to be in the realm of reality.” – Kobe Bryant

11. “The last time I was intimidated was when I was 6 years old in karate class. I was an orange belt and the instructor ordered me to fight a black belt who was a couple years older and a lot bigger. I was scared s—less. I mean, I was terrified and he kicked my ass. But then I realized he didn’t kick my ass as bad as I thought he was going to and that there was nothing really to be afraid of. That was around the time I realized that intimidation didn’t really exist if you’re in the right frame of mind.” – Kobe Bryant

12. “When I have the chance to guard Michael Jordan, I want to guard him. I want him. It’s the ultimate challenge.” – Kobe Bryant

13. “There’s certain players that I’ve made cry. If I can make you cry by being sarcastic, then I really don’t want to play with you in the playoffs.” – Kobe Bryant

14. “I’m here. I’m not going anywhere. No matter what the injury – unless it’s completely debilitating – I’m going to be the same player I’ve always been. I’ll figure it out. I’ll make some tweaks, some changes, but I’m still coming.” – Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant Quotes

15. “Better learn not to talk to me. You shake the tree, a leopard’s gonna fall out.” – Kobe Bryant

16. “Boos don’t block dunks.” – Kobe Bryant

17. “I’m reflective only in the sense that I learn to move forward. I reflect with a purpose.” – Kobe Bryant

18. “Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise.” – Kobe Bryant

19. “I’ve played with IVs before, during and after games. I’ve played with a broken hand, a sprained ankle, a torn shoulder, a fractured tooth, a severed lip, and a knee the size of a softball. I don’t miss 15 games because of a toe injury that everybody knows wasn’t that serious in the first place.” – Kobe Bryant

20th Kobe Bryant Quote – “The topic of leadership is a touchy one. A lot of leaders fail because they don’t have the bravery to touch that nerve or strike that chord. Throughout my years, I haven’t had that fear.” – Kobe Bryant
21. “I can’t relate to lazy people. We don’t speak the same language. I don’t understand you. I don’t want to understand you.” – Kobe Bryant

22. “I’m chasing perfection.” – Kobe Bryant

23. “I love going one-on-one with someone. That’s what I do. I’ve never lost. It’s a whole different game, just to have them right in front of you and be able to do whatever you want.” – Kobe Bryant

24. “I’m extremely willful to win, and I respond to challenges. Scoring titles and stuff like that… it sounds, well, I don’t care how it sounds – to me, scoring comes easy. It’s not a challenge to me to win the scoring title, because I know I can.” – Kobe Bryant

25. “These young guys are playing checkers. I’m out there playing chess.” – Kobe Bryant

26. “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

27. “The most important thing is you must put everybody on notice that you’re here and you are for real. I’m not a player that is just going to come and go. I’m not a player that is going to make an All-Star team one time, two times. I’m here to be an all-time great. Once I made that commitment and said, ‘I want to be one of the greatest ever’, then the game became everything for me.”  – Kobe Bryant

28. “There’s a choice that we have to make as people, as individuals. If you want to be great at something, there’s a choice you have to make. We all can be masters at our craft, but you have to make a choice. What I mean by that is, there are inherent sacrifices that come along with that. Family time, hanging out with friends, being a great friend, being a great son, nephew, whatever the case may be. There are sacrifices that come along with making that decision.” – Kobe Bryant

29. “I’ve shot too much from the time I was 8 years old. But ‘too much’ is a matter of perspective. Some people thought Mozart had too many notes in his compositions. Let me put it this way: I entertain people who say I shoot too much. I find it very interesting. Going back to Mozart, he responded to critics by saying there were neither too many notes or too few. There were as many as necessary.” – Kobe Bryant

30. “I focus on one thing and one thing only – that’s trying to win as many championships as I can.” – Kobe Bryant

31.  “I have self-doubt. I have insecurity. I have fear of failure. I have nights when I show up at the arena and I’m like, ‘My back hurts, my feet hurt, my knees hurt. I don’t have it. I just want to chill.’ We all have self-doubt. You don’t deny it, but you also don’t capitulate to it. You embrace it.” – Kobe Bryant

32. “I’m playing against great players, playing against the best in the world. The competition – that’s what I’ve always wanted.” – Kobe Bryant

33. On Shaq: “It used to drive me crazy that he was so lazy. You got to have the responsibility of working every single day. You can’t skate through s–.” – Kobe Bryant

34. “On being forced to retire if his hand fell off: “Even then, you could still play with one hand.” – Kobe Bryant

35.  “After scoring 44 points on 34 shots in 31 minutes during a Lakers blowout loss: “I’d rather not have to do that, but you can’t sit back and watch crime happen in front of you.” – Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant Quotes

36. “On LeBron asserting that the 2012-13 Lakers would never experience the level of scrutiny his Miami Heat did: “What does it matter? What does he want, a cookie for that?” – Kobe Bryant

37. “I don’t give a [expletive] what you say. If I go out there and miss game winners, and people say, ‘Kobe choked, or Kobe is seven for whatever in pressure situations.’ Well, [expletive] you.” – Kobe Bryant

38. “I would go 0-for-30 [from the floor] before I would go 0-for-9. 0-for-9 means you beat yourself, you psyched yourself out of the game. … The only reason is because you’ve just now lost confidence in yourself.” – Kobe Bryant

39. “Hi, I’m Kobe Bryant. And I have decided to take my talent to, uh… I have decided to skip college and take my talent to the NBA.” – Kobe Bryant

40th Kobe Bryant Quote – “On Grinnell’s Jack Taylor scoring 138 points in one game: “Would people be celebrating me if I scored 138 points? You know how it is; some people would, some people wouldn’t. They can all kiss my a– as I’m sure he feels the same way. If you score 138 points, you kind of have a license to tell people to f— off.” – Kobe Bryant
Memorable Kobe Bryant Quotes

41. “All the training and sacrifice just flew out the window with one step that I’ve done millions of times! The frustration is unbearable. The anger is rage. Why the hell did this happen?!? Makes no damn sense. Now I’m supposed to come back from this and be the same player or better at 35?!? How in the world am I supposed to do that?? I have NO CLUE. Do I have the consistent will to overcome this thing? Maybe I should break out the rocking chair and reminisce on the career that was. Maybe this is how my book ends. Maybe Father Time has defeated me…Then again maybe not!” – Kobe Bryant

42. “I don’t f— with bees, man. Other than that, I’m not afraid of nothing.” – Kobe Bryant

43. “It’s an intentional pass to oneself, so it’s an assist. That way people can’t say all I do is shoot.” – Kobe Bryant

44. “What people see on court is another side of me; it’s not me.” – Kobe Bryant

45. “Are you willing to push the right buttons even if it means being perceived as the villain? … I’d rather be perceived as a winner than a good teammate. I wish they both went hand in hand all the time but that’s just not reality. … I have nothing in common with lazy people who blame others for their lack of success.” – Kobe Bryant

46. “One thing you gotta know about me is I have absolutely no filter. I have no problem saying what the hell I think of someone.”  – Kobe Bryant

47. “My brain . . . it cannot process failure. It will not process failure. Because if I sit there and have to face myself and tell myself, ‘You’re a failure’ . . . I think that’s almost worse than death.” – Kobe Bryant

48. “I remember feeling the silence. I remember feeling the fear. I’m like, ‘This could be a wrap.’ And that’s what the silence was. It was like, ‘This could really be a wrap for you.’” – Kobe Bryant

49. “I had to organize things. So I created the ‘Black Mamba’. So Kobe has to deal with these issues, all the personal challenges. The Black Mamba steps on the court and does what he does. I’m destroying everybody that steps on the court.” – Kobe Bryant

50. “There’s a choice that we have to make as people, as individuals. If you want to be great at something, there’s a choice you have to make. We all can be masters at our craft, but you have to make a choice. What I mean by that is, there are inherent sacrifices that come along with that. Family time, hanging out with friends, being a great friend, being a great son, nephew, whatever the case may be. There are sacrifices that come along with making that decision.” – Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant Quotes

51. “If you’re afraid to fail, then you’re probably going to fail.” – Kobe Bryant

52. “I’m more than comfortable just sitting back and scoring 21, 22 points or whatever and getting 10, 11 assists whatever the case might be. More than comfortable with that. It’s just a matter of the pieces that you have around you and what you can do to elevate everybody else.” – Kobe Bryant

53. “Take it all in. Sit back and watch and listen and hear all the hate that’s being thrown at us and remember every person that’s kicking you when you’re down, because next year it ain’t gonna be this way. Appreciate it now. Let it sit in now, because revenge is sweet and it’s quick.” – Kobe Bryant

54. “The most important thing is you must put everybody on notice that you’re here and you are for real. I’m not a player that is just going to come and go. I’m not a player that is going to make an All-Star team one time, two times. I’m here to be an all-time great. Once I made that commitment and said, ‘I want to be one of the greatest ever’, then the game became everything for me.” – Kobe Bryant

55. “The people who truly know me know what I’m like. There have been people who try to say things that aren’t fair, and I check them. And then they don’t like me because I checked them.” – Kobe Bryant

56. “Everyone looks at your watch and it represents who you are, your values and your personal style.” – Kobe Bryant

57. “The Black Mamba collection of watches is me: It is my alter ego, so to speak. As I mentioned before, it is sharp, cutting edge and sleek which are characteristics I try to apply when I’m out there on the basketball court.” – Kobe Bryant


58. This is the moment I accept the most challenging times will always be behind me and in front of me.

59. Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise.

60. The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.

61. Winning takes precedence over all. There’s no gray area. No almosts.

62. Once you know what failure feels like, determination chases success.

63. I realized that intimidation didn’t really exist if you’re in the right frame of mind.

64. I’m reflective only in the sense that I learn to move forward. I reflect with a purpose.

65. I’m extremely willful to win, and I respond to challenges. It’s not a challenge to me to win the scoring title, because I know I can.

66. My parents are my backbone. Still are. They’re the only group that will support you if you score zero or you score 40.

67. The beauty in being blessed with talent is rising above doubters to create a beautiful moment.
Kobe Bryant Quotes

68. A lot of leaders fail because they don’t have the bravery to touch that nerve or strike that chord.

69. The moment you give up, is the moment you let someone else win.

70. I can’t relate to lazy people. We don’t speak the same language. I don’t understand you. I don’t want to understand you.

71. If you’re afraid to fail, then you’re probably going to fail.

72. Pain doesn’t tell you when you ought to stop. Pain is the little voice in your head that tries to hold you back because it knows if you continue you will change.

73. Use your success, wealth and influence to put them in the best position to realize their own dreams and find their true purpose.

74. If you want to be great at something, there’s a choice you have to make. What I mean by that is, there are inherent sacrifices that come along with that. Family time, hanging out with friends, being a great friend, being a great son, nephew, whatever the case may be.

75. We all have self-doubt. You don’t deny it, but you also don’t capitulate to it. You embrace it.

76. My brain . . . it cannot process failure. It will not process failure. Because if I sit there and have to face myself and tell myself, ‘You’re a failure’ . . . I think that’s almost worse than death.

77. The most important thing is you must put everybody on notice that you’re here and you are for real.

78. Trust me, setting things up right from the beginning will avoid a ton of tears and heartache…

79. I create my own path. It was straight and narrow. I looked at it this way: you were either in my way, or out of it.

80. We can always kind of be average and do what’s normal. I’m not in this to do what’s normal.

81. Haters are a good problem to have. Nobody hates the good ones. They hate the great ones.
Kobe Bryant Lakers

82. It’s the one thing you can control. You are responsible for how people remember you—or don’t. So don’t take it lightly.

83. The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do. Kobe Bryant
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/kobe-bryant-quotes


  • Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash on January 26th, 2020. He was 41 years old.
  • Bryant was one of the all-time great NBA players, known for his dedication and work ethic.
  • He will be remembered for his family values and charity work as much as his sporting prowess.
  • Read 9 of Kobe Bryant’s most inspirational quotes below.

100+ of Kobe Bryant’s most inspirational quotes

On failure

“When we are saying this cannot be accomplished, this cannot be done, then we are short-changing ourselves. My brain, it cannot process failure. It will not process failure. Because if I have to sit there and face myself and tell myself, ‘You’re a failure,’ I think that is a worse, that is almost worse than death.”

On not being afraid of failure

“I don’t mean to sound cavalier when I say that, but never. It’s basketball. I’ve practiced and practiced and played so many times. There’s nothing truly to be afraid of, when you think about it … Because I’ve failed before, and I woke up the next morning, and I’m OK. People say bad things about you in the paper on Monday, and then on Wednesday, you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread. I’ve seen that cycle, so why would I be nervous about it happening?”
“If you’re afraid to fail, then you’re probably going to fail.”

On making sacrifices

“There’s a choice that we have to make as people, as individuals. If you want to be great at something there is a choice you have to make. We can all be masters at our craft, but you have to make a choice. What I mean by that is, there are inherent sacrifices that come along with that – family time, hanging out with your friends, being a great friend. being a great son, nephew, whatever the case may be. There are sacrifices that come along with that.”

On working hard

“I never looked at [basketball] as work. I didn’t realize it was work until my first year in the NBA. When I came around, I was surrounded by other professionals and I thought basketball was going to be everything to them and it wasn’t. And I was like, ‘This is different.’ I thought everybody was so obsessive about the game like me. It was like, no? Oh, that’s hard work. I get it now.”
“I want to learn how to become the best basketball player in the world. And if I’m going to learn that, I gotta learn from the best. Kids go to school to be doctors or lawyers, so forth and so on and that’s where they study. My place to study is from the best.”

On leadership

“Leadership is lonely … I’m not going to be afraid of confrontation to get us to where we need to go. There’s a big misconception where people thinking winning or success comes from everybody putting their arms around each other and singing kumbaya and patting them on the back when they mess up, and that’s just not reality. If you are going to be a leader, you are not going to please everybody. You have to hold people accountable. Even if you have that moment of being uncomfortable.”
“A lot of leaders fail because they don’t have the bravery to touch that nerve or strike that chord.”

On chasing success

“When you make a choice and say, ‘Come hell or high water, I am going to be this,’ then you should not be surprised when you are that. It should not be something that is intoxicating or out of character because you have seen this moment for so long that … when that moment comes, of course it is here because it has been here the whole time, because it has been [in your mind] the whole time.”

On perseverance

“I’ve played with IVs before, during and after games. I’ve played with a broken hand, a sprained ankle, a torn shoulder, a fractured tooth, a severed lip, and a knee the size of a softball. I don’t miss 15 games because of a toe injury that everybody knows wasn’t that serious in the first place.”
“I create my own path. It was straight and narrow. I looked at it this way: you were either in my way, or out of it.”
“Pain doesn’t tell you when you ought to stop. Pain is the little voice in your head that tries to hold you back because it knows if you continue you will change.”

On mindset

“The last time I was intimidated was when I was 6 years old in karate class. I was an orange belt and the instructor ordered me to fight a black belt who was a couple years older and a lot bigger. I was scared s–less. I mean, I was terrified and he kicked my ass. But then I realized he didn’t kick my ass as bad as I thought he was going to and that there was nothing really to be afraid of. That was around the time I realized that intimidation didn’t really exist if you’re in the right frame of mind.”

On laziness

“I can’t relate to lazy people. We don’t speak the same language. I don’t understand you. I don’t want to understand you.”
“I have nothing in common with lazy people who blame others for their lack of success. Great things come from hard work and perseverance. No excuses.”

On picking himself up

“Be sad. Be mad. Be frustrated. Scream. Cry. Sulk. When you wake up you will think it was just a nightmare only to realize it’s all too real. You will be angry and wish for the day back, the game back THAT play back. But reality gives nothing back and nor should you.”

On life

“Have a good time. Life is too short to get bogged down and be discouraged. You have to keep moving. You have to keep going. Put one foot in front of the other, smile and just keep on rolling.”
“Use your success, wealth and influence to put them in the best position to realize their own dreams and find their true purpose.”

On being a team player

“There’s been a lot of talk of me being a one-man show but that’s simply not the case. We win games when I score 40 points and we’ve won when I score 10.”
“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.”

On being himself

“I don’t want to be the next Michael Jordan, I only want to be Kobe Bryant.”

On being a role model

“The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great at whatever they want to do.”

On family

“My parents are my backbone. Still are. They’re the only group that will support you if you score zero or you score 40.”

On feeling fear

“The last time I was intimidated was when I was 6 years old in karate class. I was an orange belt and the instructor ordered me to fight a black belt who was a couple years older and a lot bigger. I was scared s–less. I mean, I was terrified and he kicked my ass. But then I realized he didn’t kick my ass as bad as I thought he was going to and that there was nothing really to be afraid of. That was around the time I realized that intimidation didn’t really exist if you’re in the right frame of mind.”

On self-doubt

“I have self-doubt. I have insecurity. I have fear of failure. I have nights when I show up at the arena and I’m like, ‘My back hurts, my feet hurt, my knees hurt. I don’t have it. I just want to chill.’ We all have self-doubt. You don’t deny it, but you also don’t capitulate to it. You embrace it.”
“I’m extremely willful to win, and I respond to challenges. It’s not a challenge to me to win the scoring title, because I know I can.”

On the present moment

“This is the moment I accept the most challenging times will always be behind me and in front of me.”
“Trust me, setting things up right from the beginning will avoid a ton of tears and heartache…”

On setting boundaries

“The most important thing is you must put everybody on notice that you’re here and you are for real.”
“Haters are a good problem to have. Nobody hates the good ones. They hate the great ones.”

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