The year is 2005, Steve Nash is the league mvp for the season and Tim Duncan is finals mvp. Its the same year that one of the greatest basketball movies was released, the film was Coach Carter.
Coach Carter has memorable quotes throughout the movie, perhaps the most emphatic was the ‘what is your deepest fear quote’. Although this is a great quote, is it the greatest quote in the movies, I’m not sure. We run down the ten best quotes in Coach Carter.
10. Make them play Richmond Oiler ball quote
This is a solid starter for ten quite from the movie. The Richmond oilers are down in a pivotal game at the invitational basketball tournament. Coach Carter calls a time out and comes out with this gem of a quote.
When we step on the floor every second that clock is ticking, we are pedal to the metal, we run the ball, we pressure the ball, and most importantly we control the tempo of the game, we make them play Richmond Oiler ball.
9. Rich What?
The Oilers team had a call before or after the game of:
Rich What? Richmond
Following this moving, particularly in the UK, their were cringey moments when basketball teams would adopt the same call for the area which they lived in. It didn’t work and yeah wasn’t very original. Where as in Coach Carter it was cool AF.
8. I tied that
The Richmond Oilers have been winning a lot of games and are starting to get a little big for their boots with the trash talking against other opponents. In a training session Worm tells Coach Carter that his shoe lace is undone.
Worm: Hey Coach your shoe is untied sir.
Coach Carter: Thanks Mr Worm. Wooo Look at that bow, I tied that, I tied that shit. Can I get something on the bow (Coach Carter walks over to give worm a high five and then stops). Are you crazy? What is wrong with you? What’s wrong with all of you? Since when is winning is not enough? When’s playing hard is not enough? No you have to humiliate your opponents.
Coach Carter makes the players realise that they were once in the position that the teams they were playing used to be in. There is no reason to humiliate people playing the sport you love.
7. Teachers aren’t supposed to touch students
Coach Carter is introduced to the Richmond Oilers for the first time. The team are not really interested that they have a new basketball coach and when Coach Carter speaks they fire off hand remarks his way. Timo Cruz gives one of these remarks and Coach Carter requests Cruz to leave his gym.
Coach Carter: Ok Mr. Cruz leave my gym right now.
Cruz: For what?
Coach Carter: I’ll ask you one more time to leave my gym, before I help you leave.
Cruz: Before you what? Do you even know who I am?
Coach Carter: From what I can see a very confused and scared young man.
Cruz: Scared of who? Scared of you? I’m supposed to be scared of you? I ain’t scared of nobody.
Coach Carter: I don’t think so.
Cruz goes to leave the gym but as he walks past Coach Carter he goes to punch him. Coach Carter grabs Cruz and pushes him against the wall.
Cruz: What you doing? Get off of me. Teachers ain’t supposed to touch students.
Coach Carter: I’m not a teacher, I’m the new basketball coach.
6. You won’t need to fire me I’ll Quit
At the school board hearing, Coach Carter gives a passionate speech on the message the school board is giving students if they prioritse sport over their education. Ultimately, Coach Carter failed in his quest in the locout being ended by the school.
You really need to consider the message you’re sending this boys by ending the lockout. It’s the same message that we as a culture send to our professional athletes; and that is that they are above the law. If these boys cannot honor the simple rules of a basketball contract, how long do you think it will be before they’re out there breaking the law? I played ball here at Richmond High 30 years ago. It was the same thing then; some of my teammates went to prison, some of them even ended up dead. If you vote to end the lockout, you won’t have to terminate me; I’ll quit.
5. I came to Coach Basketball Players
The fairy tale ending for the Richmond Oilers didn’t happen in the film. However, all players that featured in the film did go to college which meant Coach Carter completed his aim. In a poignant ending Coach Carter reflects on what the players have achieved and how they have grown as players.
I came to coach basketball players, and you became students. I came to teach boys, and you became men.
4. Coach Carter Statistics Quote
Coach carter likes an honest truth and he has got some statistics to make his team realise that basketball can give them a way to a different life. It’s iconic and makes the players realise there is another way.
Well let me tell you what I see, I see a system, that is designed for you to fail, now I know that all of you like stats so let me give you some, Richmond high only graduates 50% of it’s students, and of those that do graduate only 6% go to college, Which tells me when I walk down these halls and look in your class rooms, maybe only one student is going to go to college, Well damn Coach Carter if I ain’t going to college where am I going to go? Well that’s a great question and the answer for young African-American men in here is this, probably to prison, in this county 33% of black males between 18-24 get arrested, so look at they guy on your left, now look at the guy on your right, one of you is going to get arrested, growing up here in Richmond you’re 80% more likely to go to prison than college, those are the numbers, those are some stats for ya ass, now I want you to go home and look at your life’s tonight, look at your parents lives, and ask yourself do I want better, if the answer is yes I’ll see you here tomorrow, and I promise you, I’ll do everything in my power to get you to college, and to a better life.
3. What is your Greatest Fear Quote
What is your greatest fear, although this quote is probably the quote most associated with he movie, I personally don’t think it is the best quote. This is quoted when the basketball team decided not to play and instead study. TImo Cruz states up and says:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
2. I wanna come back on the team
In what is probably the most traumatic scene of the movie, Cruz turns up at Coach Carters house in the middle of the night covered in blood. This is following the incident in the street where Cruz’s cousin is gunned down. Cruz goes to the one part of stability in his life, his basketball coach and his basketball team.
Cruz: You don’t understand. I wanna come back on the team. What do I gotta do to play?
Coach Carter: Don’t worry about that, son. Just come inside.
Cruz: Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do it, okay?
Coach Carter: Okay. Okay. I got you. Come on. Come on. You’re back with us now.
1. One person triumphs, we all triumph quote
This is my favourite quote of the entire movie, why because it optimises a team. In the scene Timo Cruz comes back to the Richmond Oilers basketball team, as punishment for leaving the team int he lurch Cruz has to complete his punishments. Coach Carter set’s Cruz an unrealistic target of suicides and press ups by the end of the week. It’s like coach Carter was setting Cruz up to fail to see if his team mates rallied around him.
When I was a teenager, would of I forgiven a team mate for walking out on a team and wanting to come back, probably not. Would I have wanted to run suicides and do press ups for them, defintley not. The most iconic element of this quote and scene is that it is Channing Tatums character Jason Lyle, who is Cruz frenemy (friendly enemy), who offers to help Cruz and essentially resolves their differences. Jason Lyle asks to help Cruz by using the following quote.
You said we’re a team. One person struggles, we all struggle. One person triumphs, we all triumph.