Christmas day is always one of the most anticipated days in the NBA regular season, much like Thanksgiving for the NFL. Thanksgiving football has been a long tradition, the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys always host a Thanksgiving game annually, and for a while there, the Lions always losing the game was part of the tradition. In their defense, they were able to defeat the Aaron Rodgers-less Green Bay Packers in this year's Thanksgiving game.
As big of a deal Thanksgiving football is to the NFL, Christmas day basketball is just as big to the NBA...if not bigger.
In fact, one Christmas Day game last year drew more viewers than every single NBA Playoff game (not including the Finals) last year except for one...and that was Game 7 between Miami & Indiana.
Yes, a somewhat "meaningless" NBA game in December drew more viewers than nearly every game from the Playoffs last year prior to the NBA Finals.
For some people, Christmas day might be the first time they have watched a single second of NBA basketball all season long (gasp!).
But how was this year's NBA Christmas Day? Did it live up to the standards?
In my opinion, there is only one way to answer this question and that's with a NO!! Not just any ordinary no, but with one in all caps, bold ink, and with exclamation points.
It wasn't just the games that was disappointing, but words cannot describe how ugly the jerseys were this year. Apparently the NBA is trying to win the ugliest Christmas sweater competition.
For this article, I am only going to concentrate on the first 3 games.
Anyway, lets begin with the game that started the day:
At the beginning of the season this may have seemed like a marquee matchup, but it was anything but that. The Brooklyn Nets have been a total train-wreck, and Derrick Rose is injured again and out for another extended period of time. That is all that really needs to be said about this game, and yet the worst part about this game was...the jerseys.
The second game featured only one disappointment: The Oklahoma City Thunder vs. The New York Knicks...I'll let you guess who the disappointment is.
This game was tolerable since the Thunder were actually healthy, but that could not be said about the Knicks as Carmelo Anthony sat out the game because of ankle problems, but he probably just didn't want to wear the ugly Christmas jerseys and I cannot blame him. I would talk about the game between the Thunder and Knicks..but there wasn't much of one, as Oklahoma City won 123-94.
Miami Heat at Los Angeles Lakers
In my opinion this was the most entertaining game by far, and this alley oop does all the talking:
Out of all the spectacular Dwyane Wade to LeBron James alley oops, this has got to rank near the top. Despite Kobe Bryant not playing in this game, Nick Young made the game watchable from a Lakers perspective, and kept the game close until the very end, something the first two games could not do.
Were today's games great games? Eh, not really.
Was it better than nothing? Yes.
It was just bad luck to have the Bulls-Nets in a Christmas Day game, two disappointing teams plagued by injuries and just being way too old.
In conclusion, Christmas is a very important day to the NBA, more important than you might have thought. And the first game was not a very good way to draw more fans to the sport. Put the Indiana Pacers and the Portland Trail Blazers in there instead. Have some flex scheduling, Jalen Rose mentioned this in NBA Countdown. Indiana and Portland are a lot more deserving of the game, and will be more entertaining.
I'm sure the NBA got high ratings again this year, but as important as Christmas Day is to the NBA they need to go the extra mile and make sure they are displaying the best teams they possibly can.