Bobby Jones made a name for himself as an NBA forward when he became the first recipient of the league's Sixth Man of the Year award in 1983, now the vocal Christian is reflecting about his faith helping the NBA form chapel services throughout the league.
Although Jones credits Rev. John Tolson for starting a chapel service with the Houston Rockets before he decided to do the same in Philadelphia, former 76ers manager Pat Williams insists that the forward who won a championship with the team in 1983 helped broaden the chapel service.
"That has grown to the point where every team in the NBA now has a pregame chapel service," Williams said in a Courier Post Online report. "That really started with Bobby Jones 30-some years ago."
While Jones' team reached the NBA finals three times, the former NBA All-Star turned middle-school coach for a boys basketball team at Carmel Christian School in Charlotte, N.C., described how a chapel service helped his team overcome a tough losses in the 1981-1982 NBA finals.
"We were in L.A. and we were down three games to two (in the best-of-seven series). We had a chapel guy. And the Lakers wouldn't allow us to have a chapel service in The Forum,"Jones said in the Courier Post report. "They thought that was just stupid. So we had it in the hotel room."
The chapel leader emphasized the importance of glorifying God no matter the outcome of the game saying, "Win or lose tonight, I would like you guys to come back to this room and thank the Lord for this game."
Although the Lakers ended up beating the 76ers, the teams faced one another the very next year to compete in the NBA Finals.
"And so I contrast that with exactly one year later. We were back in L.A., same hotel, same chapel speaker, and he says, 'I told you this last year, but I want you to in some way thank the Lord, win or lose,'" Jones explained. "Now we're up three-games-to-none in the series at this time. The other interesting thing is of the six guys (in the room the previous year), the one guy who didn't come back was no longer on the team. He missed that blessing."
After winning the 1983 championship, Jones recalled glorifying God.
"When that game was over, we didn't go back to the hotel," Jones said. "Julius and Clint (Richardson) and I went into the shower area and just held hands and prayed and thanked the Lord for the win and for the championship. That was a special thing."
Jones put in 12 years during his professional career where he became an ABA All-Star, a four-time NBA All-Star and an eight-time member of the NBA All-Defensive first team. During his championship year, the devout Christian told NBA Today how the bible influenced his game.
"In the Bible, it says we're supposed to give 100 percent in whatever it is we do-and that's what I do," Jones said.