BILL RUSSELL AND WILT CHAMBERLAIN

“If we played Boston four on four, without Russell, we probably would have won every series. The guy killed us. He's the one who prevented us from achieving true greatness.”
-- L.A. Lakers forward "Hot Rod" Hundley

  • More on Chamberlain and Russell
  • WINNING AND LOSING
    “I once heard that Paul Seymour said as much as winning an NBA Championship, he’d like to see the Celtics lose a game after Auerbach brought out the cigar so he could go up to Arnold and stuff the cigar in his face.”
    -- Bob Cousy

  • More on winning and losing

  • DEFENSE
    “In many ways, my job in soccer was like my job in basketball now. I had to protect the goal. That was the name of the game, not letting the other team score.”
    -- Hakeem Olajuwon

  • More on defense

  • DUNKING
    “What excites me the most is when a coach calls a timeout and chews out his forward because I just dunked on his head.”
    -- Karl Malone

  • More on dunking
  • GREAT MOMENTS
    “We cut him off and there was nowhere for him to go but out of bounds … It’s still the greatest move I’ve ever seen in basketball, the all-time greatest.”
    -- Magic Johnson, on Julius Erving's layup from behind the basket in the 1980 NBA Finals

  • More on great moments

  • THE GAME OF BASKETBALL
    “Basketball can serve as a metaphor for ultimate cooperation. It is a sport where success ... requires that the dictates of community prevail over selfish impulses.”
    -- Bill Bradley

  • More on the game

  • MAGIC JOHNSON AND LARRY BIRD

    “Larry, you only told me one lie. You said there will be another Larry Bird. Larry, there will never, ever be another Larry Bird.”
    -- Magic, at Bird's retirement party

  • More on Johnson and Bird
  • CHARLES BARKLEY
    “I don’t create controversies. They’re there long before I open my mouth. I just bring them to your attention.”
    -- Charles Barkley

  • More from Sir Charles

  • THE LIGHTER SIDE
    “We all get heavier as we get older because there’s a lot more information in our heads. Our heads weigh more.”
    -- Vlade Divac

  • More from the lighter side

  • DOUG MOE
    “Cafeterias are my favorite place to eat out. A lot of people wouldn't be caught dead in a cafeteria. ... Where else can you inspect a prepared entree before ordering it?”
    -- Doug Moe

  • More from Doug Moe
  • MICHAEL JORDAN

    “Once Michael gets up there he says, ‘Well, maybe I’ll just hang up here in the air for a while, just sit back.’ Then all of a sudden, he says, ‘Well, maybe I’ll 360. No I changed my mind. I’ll go up on the other side.’ He’s just incredible.”
    -- Magic Johnson

  • More on M.J.