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NBA players part of new Christian sports apparel company

Mar 30, 2012, 3:06 PM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v New York Knicks Getty Images

There are some very devout Christians playing and coaching in the NBA. Maybe the most visable is Warriors coach Mark Jackson, who also is minister of a church in Los Angeles. But the NBA does not have a guy whose faith is so tied to his persona as is the case with Tim Tebow.

But some of those players — including the Knicks’ Jeremy Lin — have found a new way to wear their faith in public. Literally.

Minnesota’s Anthony Tolliver along with D-Leaguer Lanny Smith have launched a new Christian sporting apparel line, as he told the Associated Press.

Lin is a big supporter, wearing Active Faith wristbands emblazoned with “IJNIP” — In Jesus’ Name I Play — during games. And the two friends have already recruited Golden State Warriors star guard Stephen Curry and San Diego Padres pitcher Micah Owings as investors in a company that is owned exclusively by athletes.

“It kind of blew up on us overnight and it turned from something that me an Anthony were working on growing step by step to something that turned global,” Smith said.

Sports apparel is a tough market to penetrate — it’s a crowded field. But as far as I know this is a different approach, one that might both appeal to a segment of the market and cut through the clutter.

Plus, there’s not much better or bigger marketing these days than Lin.

But Tolliver says it’s not about that.

“I never, ever, in a million years thought I would be involved in a clothing company,” Tolliver said. “I was like nah, I would never do that. This is something that’s way more meaningful than just making money.”

  1. sfm073 - Mar 30, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    Using religion is the easiest way to make money in this country.

    • illegalblues - Mar 30, 2012 at 4:08 PM

      you know you’re probably right when you have a massive amount of likes and dislikes coming your way.

    • losangelasbasketball - Mar 31, 2012 at 10:17 AM

      if Lin wants to drink jesus juice during the timeouts it wouldn’t bother me… just as long as some miracles happened…. like him driving to the left….

  2. bearsstillsuck - Mar 30, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Mark 10:25

    • bigmeechy74 - Mar 30, 2012 at 7:37 PM

      Is that one of the verses that condones slavery? Or is it one of the ones where god wipes out entire civilizations or kills the first born child in every family? I am too lazy to look it up. I don’t like reading hateful, depressing books.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Mar 30, 2012 at 8:54 PM

        It’s the one that never happened.

      • jizzojames - Mar 31, 2012 at 8:14 AM

        By your ignorance and laziness to read and understand something you define yourself!! You say you “don’t like reading hateful, depressing books”, but how can you call it such if you’ve never read it? You have shown your ignorance and idiocracy all in one statement, and it sums you up really nicely. You know if you read the good book you might find out a little something about yourself idiot!!

      • deadeyedesign23 - Mar 31, 2012 at 10:33 AM

        @jizzo.

        Likely no more than I would learn about myself if I read any other allegoric work of fiction. Though if you’re a believer I’d imagine that calling someone an idiot is not a good Christian thing to do.

      • jimeejohnson - Mar 31, 2012 at 2:24 PM

        It’s a good hypocrite, I mean Christian, thing!

  3. frankenderek - Mar 30, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    Flying Spaghetti Monster 4:20

  4. gmsalpha - Mar 30, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    Air Jesus.

  5. 303bengalguy - Mar 30, 2012 at 11:31 PM

    I dislike anyone that professes their religious beliefs in public. Steph Curry? Really??? Anyone associated w this is a player I just can’t bring myself to like.

  6. mistercharitystripe34 - Mar 31, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    Instead of practicing the J, these fellas pray for it to improve.

  7. piperpaul18 - Mar 31, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    “1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
    nice work guys continue to inspire!

  8. 24thesho - Mar 31, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    @frankenderek

    I think he was being sarcastic; but also, are you claiming what deadeyedesign23 wrote is not true? Because that would be really ignorant to believe.

  9. pastorstevelarson - Mar 31, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    Guys like Lin and Tebow make it fun for me to watch pro sports. They aren’t shoving anything down anyone’s throats, they just believe strongly and love to share what they believe because it is working. These men and others like them exude character and class. Rather than reading about them cheating on their wives or having sexual exploits, or shooting themselves or others; we read about guys making peace with reporters who made a mistake, or doing some awesome things for kids.

    For me, those are the stories that encourage my heart.

    This country is great because it permits you to live your faith, but it doesn’t force you to live my faith. That’s one reason I think we have one of the greatest countries in the world.

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