Christmas Day is the NBA’s biggest regular-season event. Every year, the league bills Christmas as a showcase of its best teams, biggest rivalries and most enticing matchups. We get commercials and special jerseys and contrived storylines. The whole deal.
So naturally, according to SportsRadio 94WIP’s Spike Eskin, Christmas 2017 will feature a thrilling clash between… the Knicks and the Sixers.
Been told that the Sixers will play the Knicks on Christmas Day at Madison Square Garden.
— Spike Eskin (@SpikeEskin) August 9, 2017
If you’re a bit confused, you have good reason to be. The Knicks went 34-51 last season, while the Sixers were 28-54. Neither team came within 10 games of making the playoffs. Neither team has made offseason additions that have them dreaming of a title any time soon.
So the first reason for this somewhat ridiculous matchup is that the Knicks play on Christmas just about every year. It’s the type of tradition that no one has ever thought about long enough to realize its ridiculousness. Maybe there was a time when it made sense to have the nation’s biggest market in the spotlight on the NBA’s biggest day. But in 2017, the league’s most popular teams play in Cleveland and Oakland. Market size barely matters anymore to a television audience.
As for why the Knicks are matched against the Sixers, of all teams… we’re stumped. Maybe the league just doesn’t want a blowout?
Ok but actually, it’s possible the NBA is trying to set up a rivalry between Kristaps Porzingis and Joel Embiid, two young seven-footers with incredible skill-sets and endearing personalities. Or maybe it wants to showcase No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz as soon as possible. Or maybe it just wants to give fans in New York and Philadelphia something to get excited about.
Anyway, the rest of the Christmas Day games haven’t been announced yet, but based on what we’ve heard so far, it sounds like we’ll get Kings-Nets and Magic-Pistons or maybe Pacers-Suns.
Only kidding… we hope.