As One Christian Warrior Celebrates Finals Victory with First Drink, Another Abstains

LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Harrison Barnes
The Associated Press

Harrison Barnes spent his first 23 years and 17 days on planet earth without imbibing a sip of alcohol. The forward’s drought ended alongside Golden State’s on Tuesday night.

“That’s over. I’m celebrating,” Barnes remarked. He let loose after the win by drinking champagne but remained cautious in doing so while wearing protective goggles.

“One of my proudest moments was when [Harrison] was in third grade,” his mother reflected when he played as a high school phenom. “He was the only person in our church to go to Sunday school 52 weeks consecutively and he got an award for that. I think that is the only time any person has ever done that.”

“When people look at me, I don’t want them to just say, ‘There is a good basketball player,’” Barnes told Iowa State Daily before he committed to North Carolina. “I’d rather them say, ‘He’s a good Christian.’”

“They didn’t get me,” fellow forward Andre Iguodala boasted. Iguodala stayed alcohol free for a Tuesday night celebration that lasted well into Wednesday morning.

“[We’ve] got a team full of believers,” Iguodala said after the game. “We all say God has a way for you and a purpose for you. I want to be just like Steph [Curry] when I grow up — just a God fearing man.”

Like Barnes, Iguodala famously lives life as a teetotaler. He purchased a stake in a Washington, D.C., strip club, but apparently did so because of the land rather than the club, transferring control of the venue to an associate but retaining rights to the ground on which it sits. A man who can own a strip club without peeking inside and attend Playboy‘s #4 “party school” while remaining a committed Christian can also, apparently, celebrate in a locker room flooded with champagne without taking a sip.

That’s the discipline it takes to win a Finals MVP award.