Players publicly practicing religion has become a common occurrence in the NBA. Post-game interviews often end with divine thanks, and tattoos of crosses or bible passages are ubiquitous on the court. Last year's MVP Steph Curry credited his Christian faith for inspiring his on-court performance, and during his playing career Hakeem Olajuwon would fast during Ramadan.
Viewers, however, are unlikely to hear overt religious proclamations from Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard Allen Crabbe. In an article published earlier today, The Columbian's Erik Gundersen revealed that Crabbe rarely joins his teammates in the chapel. Gundersen goes on to reveal that Crabbe's absence at players' services is not indicative of a lack of faith. Crabbe, the son of a pastor, is a devout Christian, but prefers to practice his faith differently than other players:
"I’m real particular about who I listen to, what I listen to," Crabbe said. "I’m not saying I have anything against new people or that I’m not open to hearing new people talk. But, like I said, my grandfather and my uncle are both pastors. I’ve been listening to them all my life. I just wait until I can hear them pretty much."
Despite spending most of the season away from his native Los Angeles, modern technology has helped Crabbe practice his faith with his family while on the road:
"I miss [my family's services], but they have online service where you can broadcast and stream it on Sunday’s so that’s what I do," Crabbe said.
Gundersen also notes that even though Crabbe has embraced the Internet as a means of staying in touch with religious family members, fans are unlikely to see him quoting biblical passages on social media.
"You won’t see me on Twitter or Instagram or anything like that," Crabbe said. "Just sometimes you see a lot of people broadcasting (their faith) and you sit back and wonder: ‘Well, is that only because something good has happened for you?’ "
For even more Erik Gundersen, check out his conversation with Chris Lucia on the weekend edition of the Blazer's Edge podcast.