#23 Says | The Best Michael Jordan Quotes

best michael jordan quotesMichael Jordan just turned 50 years old this past Sunday. That fact makes me feel really mortal. I mean, when I watch Jordan’s high-flying acrobatics, it makes me feel invincible. Knowing the god of basketball is aging actually makes me ponder life. I’ve been looking up the best Michael Jordan quotes and have found some pretty timeless wisdom from Number 23 himself.




Never say never. Because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.

He summed up his career, and what drove him to such fierce competition when he stated this at his Hall of Fame acceptance speech. He closed his speech with the quote above, then added these final words: “Thank you very much. Looking forward to it.”

And I just have this horrible itch to know, what did he mean when he said “Looking forward to it?”

See Michael Jordan’s Hall of Fame speech and the full transcript and text of it here.


There’s no “I” in team, but there is in “win”.

In response to his coach, Doug Collins, stating to him there’s no “me” in “team”.


The minute you get away from fundamentals – whether it’s proper technique, work ethic or mental preparation – the bottom can fall out of your game, your schoolwork, your job, whatever you’re doing.


 You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.


Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it or work around it.


 I can accept failure, I can’t accept not trying.


best michael jordan quotes


The game of basketball has been everything to me. My refuge. My place I’ve always gone when I needed to find comfort and peace. It’s been a source of intense pain, and a source of most intense feelings of joy and satisfaction. And one that no one can even imagine.

Michael Jordan stated this during his 2009 Hall of Fame acceptance speech. I like to chew on it. Basketball is Michael Jordan’s refuge. For a man that once completely owned the sport, at age 50, how does he go to it as his refuge now?

See Michael Jordan’s Hall of Fame speech and the full transcript and text of it here.


I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
-Michael Jordan

Interestingly, Michael Jordan said he didn’t actually count how many times he’d been trusted with the game winning shot to have missed it. Still, it’s a powerful thing to hear from the ultimate Alpha Dog. Hear him say it in his own words:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgW48mBQJ14?rel=0]


  1. Gotta love Jordan. I am actually not a fan of some of his lifestyle choices, but the man is second to none when it comes to work ethic and putting it all on the line. I lived in ACC country as a young kid so I got to watch him play at UNC a lot and lived in Chicago for most of his career…watching his highlights still gives me chills down my spine.

    • Nothing compares to his sheer athleticism, and the work ethic that allowed him to reinvent himself into his mid-30s. It is strange to think how that discipline doesn’t always extend into other areas of life.

  2. MJ had some of the best quotes ever. I love them (and have hung them everywhere at times). He also worked harder than anyone else; like I posted a few days ago…it’s not easy being incredible. People think he was charmed, but it is way more than that. He was a mindful craftsman who never gave up. Maybe we will see him at 50 on the court!!

  3. I always like witty comebacks to “there is no I in team” My favorite is, “but there is a me”

    • Yeah, I absolutely hate “there’s no ‘I’ in team”. Whether it’s football or basketball, there’s a point person. As for baseball, being at bat is solely about your individual performance and contribution to the team.

  4. I used to love watching the slam dunk championships. I couldn’t even tell you who has won one in the past ten years, but they were really exciting to watch back then. I can’t believe he’s 50, but I guess I’m almost 40. We’re all getting old.

    • I was just watching some old dunk contests while researching for this post! I noticed that modern dunk contests are admittedly more advanced. Back in the 80s the dunks were just high-flying. Simple as that. And as athletes have become bigger beasts, I think the skinny era of Jordan and other dunkers made them look more graceful when they dunked.

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