The NBA on Christmas is developing into a sports-holiday tradition similar to the NFL on Thanksgiving. The league showcases some of its top teams and best storylines on Dec. 25 each year, which leads to many of the usual suspects regularly on Christmas. While the Christmas Day tradition is great for fans, it kind of sucks for the players who are asked to play on the holiday each year.
The Los Angeles Lakers have played on Christmas Day 14 straight years, and they are hosting a game for the sixth straight year. This season, they play at 12:00 p.m. PT against the New York Knicks. The game is right in the middle of the day, so it pulls the Lakers players away from their families in the morning, and keeps them from returning home until the late afternoon.
Lakers forward Metta World Peace has been with the team since 2009, and he says the Christmas Day games are not sitting well with his family.
“My kids don’t like it. My youngest doesn’t like it at all,” World Peace told the LA Times. “I’m to a point now I forget it’s Christmas, to tell you the truth. I buy the presents and I’m never home, so I totally forget about Christmas.”
Playing on holidays is just one of the sacrifices some teams have to make. In a way it’s an honor because that means your team is really good, and because you get to appear on such a large national stage. But for some of the older players for whom this has become routine, it must be a drag. You think David Stern gives them time-and-a-half to make up for the inconvenience?Google+