NBA and Christmas, a basketball tradition since 1947

December 25 is a date that is already identifiable with many things: from Christmas morning and the classic overheated in the thousands of homes in Mexico and the world, besides that basketball takes an important role on the screens of many.

Since 1947, the NBA has made Christmas Day one of its most important dates thanks to NBA on Christmas Day, an event as representative as Thanksgiving in the NFL or Boxing Day in the Premier League.

And for the NBA it is an important event, since it generates many profits and media attention., in large part because it is the only one of the four major leagues in the United States with regular activity on that day: the NFL only schedules games on December 25 if they fall on the weekend; Major League Baseball is in the offseason and NHL hockey is rarely played between December 24-26.

It was in 1947 when the New York Knicks beat the Providence Steamrollers (89-75) at Madison Square Garden, the so-called cathedral of basketball. Since then, it has become a great opportunity for basketball to be an attraction at such an important time for everyone, especially since it is when families often get together.

Jack Ramsay, who along with the legendary Phil Jackson shares the top of Christmas triumphs for a coach (11), considered that “Christmas meant being home with the family and having a game that we always win,” said the man who gave the Portland Trail Blazers their only title in 1977.

Generates great interest

Faced with stiff competition throughout the year, the NBA takes advantage of this exclusivity at Christmas to have its highest audience levels for the season. Right now, the 2004 game between the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers is the most watched in the history of this holiday, cwith 7.3 rating and 13.18 million viewers, largely for being the first meeting of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, after the latter’s departure from LA to Miami.

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For this year, tWe will endorse several references in the league such as LeBron James, who will face the Brooklyn Nets in one of the most attractive games of the season; the Phoenix Suns and the Golden State Warriors, who fight atop the Western Conference and They have in Devin Booker and Stephen Curry two of the best players on the floor, they will have an explosive crash over the top of the coast in the Pacific Ocean.

Everything is ready to see five high-level games and a whole day full of the best basketball in the world.

A Christmas full of dunks

NBA on Christmas Day is a traditional billboard valid since 1947; a date in which some of the stars of the League have left great performances

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Atlanta Hawks vs New York Knicks

Time: 11:00

Venue: Madison Square Garden

Records at Christmas

Atlanta: 9-11

New York: 22-31

Latest games at Christmas

Atlanta: 1989 (won 115-104 vs. Cleveland)

New York: 2018 (lost 109–95 to Milwaukee)

Boston Celtics vs Milwaukee Bucks

Time: 13:30

Venue: Fiserv Forum

Records at Christmas

Boston: 15-19

Milwaukee: 4-3

Latest games at Christmas

Boston: 2020 (lost 123–95 vs. Brooklyn)

Milwaukee: 2020 (won 138-99 vs. Golden State)

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Golden State Warriors vs Phoenix Suns

Time: 16:00

Venue: Footprint Center

Records at Christmas

Golden State: 13-17

Phoenix: 12-6

Latest games at Christmas

Golden State: 2020 (lost 138-99 vs Milwaukee)

Phoenix: 2009 (won 124–93 vs. LA Clippers)

Brooklyn Nets vs Los Angeles Lakers

Time: 19:00

Venue: Staples Center

Records at Christmas

Brooklyn: 5-5

Los Angeles: 24-23

Latest games at Christmas

Brooklyn: 2020 (won 123-95 vs Boston)

Los Angeles: 2020 (won 138-115 vs. Dallas)

Dallas Mavericks vs Utah Jazz

Time: 21:30

Venue: Vivint Smart Home Arena

Records at Christmas

Dallas: 2-2

Utah: 5-2

Latest games at Christmas

Dallas: 2020 (lost 138-115 vs LA Lakers)

Utah: 2018 (won 117-96 vs Portland)

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First game in history

December 25, 1947

One year after the founding of the NBA. Providence 75-89 New York Knicks Steamrollers

The NBA is the only league in the United States which schedules games on a regular basis on December 25th.

16 Games

Kobe Bryant played at Christmas, is the player with the most appearances on NBA star date.

Doc Rivers

He played Christmas 1992 with the New York Knicks in 1992 and he managed the Boston Celtics (2008-2012) and the Los Angeles Clippers (2013-2016 and 2019).

Phil Jackson

He played for the New York Knicks and managed the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers; in 2008 he won his 1000th win.

NBA and Christmas a basketball tradition since 1947

Best performances

Points | Player | Year

60 Bernard King 1984

59 Wilt Chamberlain 1961

50 Rick Barry 1966

47 Jerry West 1963

46 Tracy McGrady 2002

Bounces | Player | Year

36 Wilt Chamberlain 1961

34 Bill Russell 1965

34 Wilt Chamberlain 1959

33 Bill Russell 1958

31 Bill Russell 1964

Assists | Player | Year

18 Nate Archibald 1972

18 Guy Rodgers 1966

17 Oscar Robertson 1961

16 Nate Archibald 1975

16 Oscar Robertson 1965

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Historical moments


Wilt Chamberlain scores 59 points and grabs 36 rebounds, but the Philadelphia Warriors they lost to the New York Knicks in double overtime (136-135).


Nate Archivald gets 18 assists in loss of Kansas Kings City-Omaha against the Milwaukee Bucks (104-99)


Bernard King scores 60 points in the New York Knicks’ loss to the New Jersey Nets. It is the current record on December 25th.


Rookie Patrick Ewing leads the New York Knicks, They recovered from a 25-point deficit and beat the Boston Celtics with double overtime (113-104).

nineteen ninety five

Rematch of the NBA Finals; the Orlando Magic beat the defending champion Houston Rockets (92-90).

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Shaquille O’Neal and the Miami Heat defeated Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, in their first meeting after Shaq’s trade the previous offseason.


The Los Angeles Lakers ended a 19-game winning streak to the thread of the Celtics of Bo0ton, when beating them 92-83.


LeBron James makes his Christmas debut with a triple-double (27 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists) and the Miami Heat beat the Los Angeles Lakers 96-80.


Another reissue of the Finals: the Cleveland Cavaliers, defending NBA champions, they defended themselves from a revenge attempt and beat the Golden State Warriors (109-108).


Third straight match between Warriors and Cavaliers at Christmas; Klay Thompson scored a decisive triple with 1:33 for playing and broke the tie at 92 points; Golden State won 99-92



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NBA and Christmas, a basketball tradition since 1947