NBA on Christmas Day 2013 by the numbers

NBA games on Christmas Day have become a global tradition. Here is an historical look at the NBA teams and players that have made Dec. 25 memorable throughout the past six decades:

NBA Stars Shine Bright on Christmas Day

  • 36 – All-Stars on Christmas Day team rosters (Brooklyn – 6; Miami – 5; New York – 5; Chicago – 4; Golden State – 3; L.A. Clippers – 3; L.A. Lakers – 3; San Antonio – 3; Houston – 2; Oklahoma City – 2).
  • 11 – MVP awards on Christmas Day rosters (LeBron James – 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013; Tim Duncan – 2002, 2003; Steve Nash – 2005, 2006; Kobe Bryant – 2008; Kevin Garnett – 2004; Derrick Rose – 2011).
  • 5 – Five of the NBA’s top six scorers this season will take to the floor on Christmas Day (Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, James Harden and Stephen Curry).

A Yuletide Tradition 

  • 33 million – The NBA on Christmas is one of the most-watched days on the NBA calendar, averaging more than 33 million unique U.S. viewers over the past three years, the most-viewed Christmas Days in league history.
  • 1947 – First NBA games played on Christmas Day (three games).
  • 222 – All-time number of games played (includes 2013).
  • 30 – More than 30 ESPN NBA commentators will provide comprehensive Christmas Day coverage across ESPN and ABC platforms as part of ESPN’s 12th consecutive year of presenting NBA Games on Dec. 25th.
  • 49 – The Knicks will make their league-leading 49th Christmas Day appearance. Other top team appearances include the Lakers (40), Pistons (32), Celtics and Kings (29), and Warriors (22) – (includes 2013).

NBA Around the Globe on Christmas

  • 215 – Games will air in 215 countries and territories in 47
  • 35 – Number of international players on Christmas Day rosters, representing 24 countries and territories (San Antonio – 10, Golden State – 4, Houston – 4, L.A. Lakers – 4, Oklahoma City – 4, Brooklyn – 3, New York – 3, Chicago – 2, Miami – 1).

Kobe Bryant to Extend Christmas Day Record to 16 Games

  • 16 – The Lakers’ Kobe Bryant will make his 16th appearance on Dec. 25, extending his record for most games played on Christmas Day. Dolph Schayes, Earl Monroe and NBA TV/TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal each played in 13 Christmas Day classics.
  • 383 – Most all-time points by a player on Christmas Day: Kobe Bryant
    • Other active scoring leaders: Dwyane Wade (204), LeBron James (196), Kevin Durant (130).10
  • 10 million – The NBA’s Jingle Hoops spot featuring NBA stars recreating the wintertime classic “One-Horse Open Sleigh” has been viewed more than 10 million times by fans on the NBA YouTube Channel and combined.

NBA Cares Season of Giving

As part of  the NBA Cares Season of Giving, the league, teams and players provided holiday cheer around the country:

  • 275,000 children and families impacted through more than 500 community events and activities hosted by the NBA including hospital visits, holiday parties, basketball and fitness clinics, special in-game experiences, toy drives and serving holiday meals.

Ghosts of Christmas Past

The following NBA legends have delivered some memorable Christmas Day performances:

  • Clutch: 50 years ago, Los Angeles’ Jerry West erupted for 47 points – the fourth-highest Christmas Day point total – against the New York Knicks, leading the Lakers to a 134-126 victory at Madison Square Garden.
  • Bernard: In 1984, Bernard King set the Knicks single-game and Christmas Day scoring mark with 60 points, in a losing effort against his former team, the New Jersey Nets (120-114).
  • Sir Charles: 20 years ago, reigning MVP Charles Barkley compiled a 38-point, 18-rebound, four-assist stat line as the Phoenix Suns handled the Houston Rockets, 111-91.
  • T-Mac: 10 years ago, Tracy McGrady of the Orlando Magic dropped 41 points and dished out 11 assists vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers, to overcome a 34-point effort by a young LeBron James, in his first Christmas Day appearance, for a 113-101 Magic win.
  • Dynamic Duo: In 2008, Tim Duncan (25 pts.) and teammate Tony Parker (27 pts.) combined for 52 of the San Antonio Spurs’ points in their 91-90 win over the Phoenix Suns.


Game                                      Time                Network          Broadcast Team

Chicago at Brooklyn             Noon ET          ESPN               Ryan Ruocco, Doris Burke, Chris Broussard

Oklahoma City at New York 2:30 p.m. ET    ABC                Mike Breen, Hubie Brown, Lisa Salters

Miami at L.A. Lakers              5:00 p.m. ET   ABC                Mike Tirico, Jeff Van Gundy, Heather Cox

Houston at San Antonio         8:00 p.m. ET    ESPN               Mark Jones, George Karl,  Israel Gutierrez

L.A. Clippers at Golden State            10:30 p.m. ET  ESPN               Dave Pasch, Jon Barry, J.A. Adande