NBA Finals: Warriors and Cavaliers Prayed Together

What's the most surprising thing about the NBA Finals? The answer has nothing to do with who won. 

Posted in , Jun 27, 2016

Golden State's Stephen Curry closely guards Cleveland star LeBron James

By now you've probably heard that the Cleveland Cavaliers prevailed over the Golden State Warriors in a memorably hard-fought battle for the NBA title. The Cavs were the first team in history to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the best-of-seven championship series, and they won Game 7 on the Warriors' home court, to boot. 

But for all the competitiveness, trash talking and physical play fans witnessed in this historic series, there was a spiritual side to the proceedings, too.

Members of both teams attended a private chapel service, together, before each of the games.

"We don't even think about basketball," Golden State's team chaplain, the Rev. Earl Smith, told The San Jose Mercury News. "Our talks are life talks. It's just a break to calm their inner selves down." To that end, inspiring quotes, poetry and scripture were shared when the competitors gathered, an hour before tip-off.


"It was a great time," Smith said. "There was a sense in that moment that 'OK, we can relax and be together.' We pray for good health and the ability to do what we do best."

There may have been no love lost between the two teams on the court, but a deeper kind of love and understanding was shared in a space just down the hall from the team’s locker rooms, where fierce competitors gathered to share in faith and fellowship.

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