The first NBA game played on December 25 Arrived in 1947, a year after the NBA’s Beginning, when the New York Knicks beat the Providence Steamrollers at Madison Square Garden 89–75.
Since then, the NBA has played games each year on Christmas Day except in 1998 (when a lockout canceled half the 1998–99 season). By comparison, Major League Baseball is in its off-season during Christmas, the National Football League only programs Christmas games when Christmas falls on the weekend (and even then just programs games on Christmas sometimes ) and the National Hockey League’s collective bargaining agreement forbids playing matches on Christmas Day (and, except if it falls on a Saturday, Christmas Eve too ). In college football, the only bowl game traditionally scheduled for Christmas has been the defunct Aloha Bowl (and also for a single year, its replacement, the Hawaii Bowl). The NBA is the only league.
In the first days proximity dictated most of the matchups. Teams and their geographic rivals would perform to cut down on holiday travel and also to allow them to have time with their families. Based on Dr. Jack Ramsay, who coached the Portland Trail Blazers from 1976–77 (their only championship season) into 1986,”Christmas meant being at home with all the family and having a match we won. That was a great Christmas to me.” He set the record for most coaching victories on Christmas Day with 11, an achievement that Phil Jackson later matched in 2008.
The New York Knicks placed three years. In one game (1984), hall-of-fame ahead Bernard King scoring 60 points–the most ever scored by a participant on Christmas Day, Together with the dawn of television and the excitement caused by these games, the NBA decided to scheduled matches over the vacation which showcased the best teams and players.
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