National Basketball Association Christmas games

The first NBA game played on December 25 came 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 with games each year on Christmas Day except in 1998 (when a lockout canceled half of the 1998–99 year ). By comparison, Major League Baseball is at its own off-season throughout Christmas, the National Football League only schedules Christmas games when Christmas falls on the weekend (and even then only programs games on Christmas occasionally) and the National Hockey League’s collective bargaining agreement forbids playing matches on Christmas Day (and, except when 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 one year, its replacement, the Hawaii Bowl). The NBA is the only league.
From the early days, regional proximity dictated the majority of the matchups. Teams would play with their competitions to allow them to have additional time with their families and also to decrease holiday travel. Based on Dr. Jack Ramsay, who coached the Portland Trail Blazers from 1976–77 (their only championship season) to 1986,”Christmas meant being at home with the family and using a game we always won. That was a perfect Christmas to me.” He set the record for most coaching victories on Christmas Day with 11, an achievement that Phil Jackson afterwards matched in 2008.
The New York Knicks put on a show three years. In 1 game (1984), hall-of-fame forward Bernard King scoring 60 points–the most ever scored by a participant on Christmas Day, Together with the dawn of television and the excitement brought on by these games, the NBA decided to scheduled matches over the vacation that showcased the best teams and players.

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