The NBA season really doesn't begin until Christmas Day.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: But what you may not know is that the tradition of the NBA on Christmas started all the way back in 1947.
The current format of five games on Christmas Day started in 2008- prior to then, the most ever played was three on Christmas Day. Tomorrow when the Knicks play the Lakers, it will be the 48th time the Knicks play on Christmas which is the most of any NBA franchise. The game will be the 39th all-time for the Lakers (second most). When the Celtics visit Brooklyn to play the Nets, it will be their 29th appearance on Chrsitmas, third most all-time.
The Knicks have played in nine more games than any other franchise and have also won the most Christmas Day games, by a margin of 22 to 20 over the Lakers.
Love him or hate him, Kobe Bryant has made as significant impact to Christmas Day games as any player in history. Tomorrow will be his record extending 15th Christmas game. Dolph Schayes, Shaq and Earl "The Pearl" Monroe all played in a total of 13.
"The Big O" Oscar Robertson is the all-time leading Christmas Day scorer with a total of 377 points. Kobe, who is in second with 349, could eclipse this record tomorrow. The highest all time individual performance? Bernard King's 60 point perfromance in 1984.
Like King's 60 point game, there have been some other memorable performances on Christmas Day.
In 1992, Michael Jordan scored 42 points against a Patrick Ewing led Knicks squad en route to a 89-77 victory. 40 years ago, Tiny Archibald set a Chrstmas Day record with 18 assists. That same year he would be teh first player to ever lead the NBA in scoring and assists in the same season. 25 years ago Dominique Wilkins had 45 points, nine rebounds and three assists in a 106-100 Hawks victory over the 76ers.
As the popularity of the NBA has grown, so has the interest worldwide. Tomorrow's games will be broadcast in 215 countries in 47 languages and will feature 23 playes from 16 countries.
Merry Christmas to everyone! Hopefully Santa doesn't fill your stockings with coal, homeboy! In the spirt of that, here's a classic Chrstmas joint from Run-DMC that I'm sure we will hear during the games tomorrow: