If you’re looking to get better (but practise isn’t working), consider changing your mindset. To do so, study these Bruce Lee quotes for basketball players.
Bruce Lee is an idol to many NBA players.
And not just to Asian basketball players, like Wat Misaka was. Lee inspired people of every ethnicity and community.
But, you may be wondering, what can a martial artist and movie star offer basketball players?
Well, I’m glad you asked…
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Bruce Lee
In 1967, the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar met Lee. Kareem, who was still at UCLA, was looking to continue his martial arts studies and was recommended to Lee.
Kareem says that through their training and conversations, Lee taught him the spirit of martial arts.
These teachings helped Kareem play competitively in the league for 20 years by preventing major injuries. It also showed him how to move efficiently (which prevents injuries).
“I first met Bruce when I was a student at UCLA looking to continue my martial arts studies, which I started in New York City. We quickly developed a friendship as well as a student-teacher relationship. He taught me the discipline and spirituality of martial arts, which was greatly responsible for me being able to play competitively in the NBA for 20 years with very few injuries.”
Kobe Bryant on Bruce Lee
A few decades later, another Lakers legend admitted to being influenced by Bruce Lee’s teachings.
In a 2017 tour in China, Kobe Bryant said that Lee’s teachings helped him adapt better to unexpected situations, as this is a core tenet of Jeet Kune Do (Lee’s martial art).
It also taught him the importance of the fundamentals and why he should always be ready to use them.
Via Republic World:
“[I] learned from him that ‘the philosophy of Jeet Kune Do is being able to adapt’. Kobe Bryant added that Lee taught him to have fundamental skills available all the time so one is ready to react to any situation.”
Bruce Lee Quotes for Basketball Players
Through his art and philosophies, Bruce Lee expressed the value of being fluid; having the ability to adjust to any environment. He also taught the importance of not wasting movements.
These principles, and many more, have benefitted many professional athletes. It affects how they move, react, think, and behave on the court or field.
So, to up your basketball skills to the next rung, I implore you to study the following Bruce Lee quotes and apply them to your game:
1) “Don’t fear failure. — Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.”
2) “The great mistake is to anticipate the outcome of the engagement; you ought not to be thinking of whether it ends in victory or defeat. Let nature take its course, and your tools will strike at the right moment.”
3) “It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”
4) “Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
5) “…good technique includes quick changes, great variety, and speed. It may be a system of reversals much like a concept of God and the Devil.
In the speed of events, which one is really in charge?…to put the heart of martial arts in your own heart and have it be a part of you means total comprehension and the use of a freestyle. When you have that you will know that there are no limits.”
6) “To me, the extraordinary aspect of martial arts lies in its simplicity. The easy way is also the right way, and martial arts is nothing at all special; the closer to the true way of martial arts, the less wastage of expression there is.”
7) “Everything you do, if not in a relaxed state will be done at a lesser level than you are proficient. Thus the tensed expert marksman will aim at a level less than his/her student.”
8) “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
9) “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”
10) “Take things as they are. Punch when you have to punch. Kick when you have to kick.”
11) “If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”
12) “Preparation for tomorrow is hard work today.”
These are the 12 Bruce Lee quotes I think every basketball player should examine.
The philosophies range from physical performance to mindset.
Study and apply them and improve in basketball.