Spring 2021 Magazine

Warriors and Cavs share pre-game prayer before NBA Finals

The NBA Finals — and 2016 NBA season — came to a close last night in Oracle Arena after the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors, 93-89, in Game 7. Before the ball was even tipped in Oakland for Game 1, however, something bigger was happening between the two teams.

According to San Jose, California’s The Mercury News, the Warriors and Cavs gathered before every NBA Finals game to “study a biblically inspired theme.” The pre-game chapels would involve Scripture reading, poetry, prayer and spiritual intimacy among fellow believers.

Rev. Earl Smith, the Warriors team chaplain, said one of the players, from either team, would suggest a topic of prayer — humility, confidence, forgiveness, focus — and the players would go from there.

“It’s the one accepted time that you can just get together and share the experience of a relationship with Christ,” Smith told The Mercury News.

While most people — spectators, media and analysts — were focused on the outcome of the game, players from both sides recognized that winning isn’t the most important thing.

To read the full article from The Mercury News, click HERE. The Cavaliers defeated the Warriors, 93-89, in Game 7 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night — bringing Cleveland its first major championship, in any sport, since 1964.