View Full Version : NBA has rich Christmas Day history.

12-24-2011, 04:02 PM
Kobe Claus

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, assuming he's available, will make a record 14th appearance on Christmas, surpassing Dolph Schayes, Earl Monroe and former teammate and TNT analyst Shaquille O'Neal, who each played in 13 Christmas games.

Santa's team

The New York Knicks will make their 47th Christmas appearance. New York helped tip off the tradition of the NBA on Christmas in 1947. The Lakers will have played on Christmas 38 times, and the Boston Celtics will be making their 28th appearance.

Are we there yet?

After calling the Miami Heat at Dallas Mavericks game on ABC, announcers Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy will travel 1,719 miles to Oakland to call the nightcap of the five-game NBA Christmas marathon. Their former ESPN colleague, Mark Jackson, is making his head coaching debut.

Christmas by the numbers

1947: First NBA games played (three games)

207: All-time number of games played

5: Most nationally televised games (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011)

5: NBA MVPs playing this year on Christmas (Derrick Rose, 2010-2011; LeBron James, 2008-09, 2009-10; Bryant, 2007-08; Dirk Nowitzki, 2006-07; Kevin Garnett, 2003-04).

30: NBA All-Stars who will be playing on Christmas (Boston, 5; Chicago, 3; Dallas, 4; Miami, 4; L.A. Clippers, 4; L.A. Lakers, 3; New York, 2; Oklahoma City, 2; Orlando, 2; Warriors, 1).

Christmas bests

377 points: Most by a player in a career: Oscar Robertson

321 points: Most by an active player: Kobe Bryant (2nd all-time)

60 points: Best single-game scoring performance: Bernard King (New York Knicks vs. New Jersey Nets, 1984).

21: Most wins by a team: New York Knicks (L.A. Lakers: 20).

82.3%: Best winning percentage: Portland Trail Blazers (14-3)

International Christmas, 2011

215: Games will air in 215 countries and territories in 46 languages

15: Number of international players on Christmas Day teams, representing 12 countries

Christmas memories

Pistol Pete: Atlanta Hawks rookie Pete Maravich scores 28 points in a losing effort against the Phoenix Suns, 127-115, in 1970.

Clyde: Recently acquired Walt Frazier scores 24 points for his new team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, in a 111-105 win over the Buffalo Braves in 1977.

Bernard: Bernard King sets the Knicks' single-game scoring record and the NBA Christmas Day scoring mark in 1984 when he registers 60 against his former team, the New Jersey Nets, who take the game 120-114.

Patrick: In 1986, Patrick Ewing of the New York Knicks and Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls duel throughout the game before Ewing hits a put-back jumper at the buzzer to give New York a one-point win over Chicago.

Scottie: Chicago and New York meet again in 1994. The Knicks' Hubert Davis hits a remarkable three with less than a second remaining to force overtime, but Scottie Pippen leads the Bulls on both ends of the court and seals the game with two blocks on three-point attempts in the final seconds.

Rasheed: The Trail Blazers beat the Lakers 109-104 in 2000 behind a 33-point performance from Rasheed Wallace.

Shaq: In 2004, Shaquille O'Neal plays his first game in Los Angeles after being traded to Miami, but Wade steals the show with a strong second-half performance as the Heat win by two in overtime.