Though NBA teams are more than 25 games into the 2021-22 campaign, Christmas Day is the unofficial start of the pro basketball season for many fans.

The NBA is doing all it can to take ownership of the holiday, once again scheduling five games for Christmas Day. And this year, the league faces competition from the NFL, which has a Christmas doubleheader scheduled. But will the NFL come up with a commercial promoting its Dec. 25 slate of games as entertaining as what the NBA has with its “NBA Lane” series of ads for its 75th anniversary?

Titled “Family Dinner on NBA Lane,” the NBA’s spot features a variety of basketball stars and celebrities, most of whom have a connection to the 10 teams playing on Christmas Day. Among those appearing in the ad are Desus and Mero, Baron Davis, Dominique Wilkins, Robert Parish, Shawn Marion, and Sue Bird.

Check out the 30-second spot, narrated by Anthony Anderson (Black-ish) and airing nationally beginning Dec. 11 (during ABC’s Warriors-76ers telecast):

Robert Parish looks great at 68! That probably shouldn’t be surprising since he’s always taken nutrition seriously. Hail to The Chief.

If you want to take the time to really take a closer look at the “Family Dinner on NBA Lane” ad and watch it repeatedly, the NBA boasts that the spot includes 23 hidden references to the league, basketball pop culture moments, and the teams playing on Christmas Day.

For instance, the centerpiece ham on the dining table is shaped like a Wilson basketball and the side dishes are inspired by NBA players or basketball lingo, like Draymond’s Greens, T-Mac and Cheese, and Jae Crowder Chowder.

The NBA’s five-game Christmas Day schedule is as follows:

  • Atlanta Hawks at New York Knicks (12 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks (2:30 p.m. ET, ABC)
  • Golden State Warriors at Phoenix Suns (5 p.m. ET, ABC)
  • Brooklyn Nets at Los Angeles Lakers (8 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN)
  • Dallas Mavericks at Utah Jazz (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

About Ian Casselberry

Ian is a writer, editor, and podcaster. You can find his work at Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He's written for Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation.