The Knicks are playing on Christmas Day, so get over it
The New York Knicks will be once again playing on Christmas Day, get over it. That’s it. That’s the article.
But for real, NBA fans have gone crazy for what feels like the 100th year in a row about seeing the Knicks on the Christmas schedule. New York will take on the Philadelphia 76ers, and of course, the game will be held at Madison Square Garden.
As Marc Stein mentioned above, the NBA will be competing with the National Football League for ratings. Remember that for later.
It only makes sense that the Knicks are playing on Christmas Day
So, here we are again; NBA Twitter is taking the opportunity to whine and moan because the Knicks can’t have nice things. This franchise can’t do anything right apparently, and so “LOLKnicks” and “Knicks for clicks” was on full blast regarding this announcement. Apparently, “the NBA is forcing the Knicks on us.”
And I’m here to say… are you done? Like seriously, are you finished? Can we move on with our lives Knicks trolls?
Listen, I can understand why people would be upset if they don’t get to watch their favorite team on Christmas. The fact of the matter is that there are only so many games that can be played in one day. The league already has its hands full every year, scheduling five games across roughly 12 hours in order for every game to be played one at a time, and that still isn’t enough for some people.
You can’t please everyone, which is fine. But complaining about the Christmas slate, and more specifically complaining about when the Knicks play, has become a bigger holiday tradition than putting presents under the tree or leaving cookies and milk out for Santa Claus.
The most ridiculous part of the crying has to be the idea that the Knicks ‘aren’t good enough’ to warrant playing on such a prominent day. Are the Knicks one of the 10 best teams in the league? Of course not, but everyone knows why the Knicks are playing on Christmas: they’re one of the two biggest franchises in the sport, and they’re not number two.
Sportico.com recently revealed that the Knicks are the most valuable NBA franchise, just one spot ahead of the Golden State Warriors. The Knicks and Warriors are the third and fourth most valuable teams in North American sports, respectively.
This is nothing new, and it is no secret as to why the Knicks are so valuable. It is in large part due to them playing in the world’s biggest market, and New York has one of the largest and most loyal fan bases in basketball.
The NBA is a business, after all. Having the Knicks play on one of the busiest days for the NBA will only help drive up ratings. And if you recall, the NFL will have three games on Christmas this year, so you can bet deploying one of their most popular teams is a part of the NBA’s strategy to compete for eyeballs.
And it isn’t like the Knicks are horrible. It is very fair to assume that we can expect an improved team this season. A healthy Knicks team can give the 76ers a good fight, even if the latter are seen as contenders.
To be fair, the only team I would agree is more deserving than New York that has been left out is the Miami Heat, being that they were the runner-up in the Eastern Conference. No other team in my opinion has a strong enough argument to usurp the league’s top earner.
The Los Angeles Clippers come close, but I think the league knows they can’t trust both of their All-Stars, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, to be healthy. It is for that reason that the Clippers have actually been a bit underrated as we approach this season. With the Lakers in the fold, it simply isn’t necessary for both LA teams to be involved, especially if they aren’t going head to head.
The worst suggestions I have seen to replace the Knicks are without a doubt the Brooklyn Nets, New Orleans Pelicans, and Atlanta Hawks. Trae Young made his disappointment known on Twitter, but he should be self-aware enough to understand deep down that Atlanta just lacks the national appeal. Their “rivalry” with the Knicks has shrunk a bit, and it doesn’t help that the Hawks were killed by New York last year on X-Mas, so there’s that to consider.
The Nets likely won’t have Kevin Durant on the court ever again, even if he is somehow still on the roster on Dec. 25. That leaves Kyrie Irving (he may even get traded) and Ben Simmons as headliners, which isn’t exactly an inspiring duo to market. As for the Pelicans, I’ll let my tweet do the explaining:
Yes, Zion Williamson is a big draw and New Orleans should be one of the better teams in basketball this season… if Zion is healthy. The NBA Christmas slate has been hampered by injuries in the past, so it just isn’t a trustworthy selling point.
Lastly, just because the Knicks lack star power when compared to the other teams that will be playing that day doesn’t mean that the game will be a dud. Like I mentioned before, they will be playing Philadelphia. That team has two guys named Joel Embiid and James Harden, and I hear that they are pretty well known to NBA fans. Tyrese Maxey is one of the league’s young darlings at the moment as well.
Long story short, there always has been and always will be teams that miss out on being a part of the festivities. It isn’t worth the immense negative hysteria thrown the Knicks’ way.