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 in Madison Square Garden 89–75.
Since that time, the NBA has played games each year on Christmas Day except in 1998 (when a lockout canceled half of the 1998–99 season). By comparison, Major League Baseball is in its off-season during Christmas, the National Football League only schedules Christmas games when Christmas falls on the weekend (and even then just schedules games on Christmas occasionally) 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 as well). 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). Thus, the NBA is the only league.
From the early days closeness dictated the majority of the matchups. Teams and with their geographic rivals would perform to cut down on holiday travel and to let them have more time with their families. According to Dr. Jack Ramsay, who coached the Portland Trail Blazers from 1976–77 (their only championship season) to 1986,”Christmas supposed being at home with the family and using a game we always won. That was a great Christmas for me personally.” He set the record for most coaching victories on Christmas Day with 11, an achievement that Phil Jackson later matched in 2008.
In the 1980s, the New York Knicks placed on a show three years in a row. In 1 game (1984), hall-of-fame ahead Bernard King scoring 60 points–the most ever scored by a player on Christmas Day, Together with the advent of television and the excitement brought on by these games, the NBA decided to scheduled games over the vacation that showcased the best players and teams.
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