Christmas Day is like, well, Christmas Day for the NBA. It’s when the league gets to show off its product with marquee matchups that last from morning to night. This year’s slate of games is especially appealing to fans of the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks get the day’s foremost primetime billing as they take on the Los Angeles Lakers.
For Dallas, it’s the first time the organization has played on Christmas since 2011, after winning the championship that June. Now they’ll get to face LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the rest of the reigning champs.
It’s easy to see why this game is getting the national spotlight, airing simultaneously on both ABC and ESPN (Disney owns both networks). It’s a meeting between James, still the face of the NBA after so many years, and MVP-frontrunner Luka Doncic.
From statistics to accomplishments to on the court competitive respect for one another, there’s plenty linking the two stars together. However, while James knows his place in the league’s hierarchy, Doncic is just happy to be fulfilling a dream.
“It’s a long way to go to be one of the faces of the league,” Doncic says. “But it’s something special [to play on Christmas]. We play the champions so it’s going to be something special. I always wanted to play on Christmas Day.”
The matchup is generating some significant buzz among fans, naturally. Who wouldn’t want to see a duel between Doncic and James? It’s a better gift than the wool socks you asked for, even if it won’t keep you as warm.
According to SB Nation’s poll results, 35 percent of fans league-wide are most looking forward to watching the Mavericks and Lakers.
There are some other good games to watch too. Hopefully, the entertainment they bring fans will be a nice distraction from a world replete with uncertainty.
So, on this Christmas, be thankful for LeBron and Luka. But more importantly, be sure to cherish the little things with friends and family. And don’t forget to talk a little trash to the Lakers fans in your life.