How Many Former Nba Players Are Jehovah's Witnesses?

The Influence of Religion in Sports

Sports and religion have always had an interesting relationship. Many athletes find comfort and inspiration in their faith, while some religious organizations use sports as a way to spread their message. Jehovah's Witnesses are one such group, and their presence in the NBA has been noted by fans and analysts alike. In this article, we'll explore how many former NBA players are Jehovah's Witnesses, and what impact their beliefs have had on their careers.

The Basics of Jehovah's Witnesses

Before we dive into the players themselves, let's take a quick look at what Jehovah's Witnesses believe. This Christian denomination was founded in the late 19th century, and its followers believe that only 144,000 people will go to heaven. The rest of humanity will be resurrected on Earth after the second coming of Jesus. Jehovah's Witnesses are also known for their door-to-door evangelism and their refusal to participate in many aspects of modern life, including blood transfusions, military service, and voting.

The NBA's Jehovah's Witnesses

So, how many former NBA players are Jehovah's Witnesses? It's difficult to say for sure, as many players may not publicly discuss their religious beliefs. However, there are a few players who have been open about their affiliation with the religion. One of the most well-known Jehovah's Witnesses in the NBA is Michael Adams. The former point guard played for several teams during his career, including the Denver Nuggets and the Washington Bullets. Adams has been a devoted member of the religion since his teenage years, and has even been known to use his platform as a professional athlete to spread Jehovah's Witnesses' message. Another former NBA player who is a Jehovah's Witness is Mark Jackson. Jackson played for several teams during his career, including the New York Knicks and the Indiana Pacers. He converted to the religion in the early 1990s, and has been a vocal advocate for its teachings ever since. Jackson has even been known to bring Jehovah's Witnesses literature with him on road trips, and has been known to engage in religious discussions with his teammates.

The Impact of Religion on NBA Careers

So, what impact has being a Jehovah's Witness had on these players' careers? It's difficult to say for sure, as every player's experience is unique. However, there are a few ways in which their beliefs may have affected their time in the NBA. Firstly, being a Jehovah's Witness may have led to certain lifestyle choices that could impact a player's performance. For example, the religion forbids blood transfusions, which could be a concern if a player were to suffer a serious injury on the court. Additionally, Jehovah's Witnesses are encouraged to avoid many aspects of popular culture, which could limit a player's ability to connect with fans and teammates. On the other hand, being a Jehovah's Witness could also provide players with a sense of purpose and motivation. Many athletes turn to religion as a way to find meaning beyond the world of sports, and this could help them stay focused and driven on the court. Furthermore, the religion's emphasis on evangelism could give players a sense of mission and purpose beyond just winning games.


In conclusion, it's difficult to say exactly how many former NBA players are Jehovah's Witnesses. However, the religion has had a noticeable presence in the league, with players like Michael Adams and Mark Jackson being vocal advocates for its teachings. While the impact of religion on NBA careers is difficult to quantify, it's clear that many players find comfort and inspiration in their faith. As long as sports and religion continue to intersect, we'll likely continue to see athletes who are proud to bring their beliefs onto the court.