The NBA is as synonymous with Christmas Day as the NFL is to Thanksgiving Day. Since the league’s inception in 1947, there has only been one time that an NBA game has not been played on Christmas. That came during the 1998-1999 season due to a lockout. That season didn’t start until February.
The first NBA Christmas day game was played in 1947 between the New York Knickerbockers and the Providence Steamrollers. New York won the game, 89-75. The first televised Christmas game took place in 1967 between the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Diego Rockets. New York holds the record for most games played on on Christmas Day.
They also have the most wins and losses on Christmas, respectively. Kobe Bryant holds the record for playing in the most Christmas day games with 16. Doc Rivers and Phil Jackson are the only people who have coached as well as played on Christmas day.
There have been some memorable games as well as moments on Christmas day from battles between Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James just to name a few.
Some rivalries have also occurred on Christmas day such as the Chicago Bulls vs the New York Knicks rivalry during the 1990s.
The NBA’s Christmas Day tradition is still going strong as ever and this year’s matchups were as good as could be.
This tradition is a thing that fans have enjoyed and it is very unlikely that there will be any changes to games on Christmas day for a long time.
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