FAST FACTS: LeBron, the NBA, and Christmas Day
MANILA, Philippines – Christmas is near and the NBA has gift-wrapped 5 enthralling matchups for its fans on the special holiday.
Here are some fast facts on the NBA for Christmas Day:
All hail the King
LeBron James has become a fixture in Christmas Day games and it will be no different this year as he sees action in the keenly awaited Battle of Los Angeles between the Lakers and the Clippers.
The Lakers-Clippers match will be James' 14th Christmas Day game, moving "The King" to second place for most Christmas Day appearances just behind Kobe Bryant, who holds the record with 16.
James (338 points) can set another personal milestone if he drops 40 points on the Clippers as he can leapfrog Oscar Orbertson (377 points) for second place in the Christmas Day scoring list.
A win over the Clippers would propel James to a tie for most Christmas Day wins with Dwyane Wade, who has 10.
Countries outside the United States will be well-represented on Christmas Day as there are 30 players from 17 nations on the rosters of the 10 NBA teams playing.
The Philadelphia 76ers have the most number of international players with 6, among them Ben Simmons (Australia), Joel Embiid (Cameroon), Al Horford (Dominican Republic), and Furkan Korkmaz (Turkey).
Among those 30 players, 6 have been All-Stars: Simmons, Embiid, Horford, Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece), Toronto's Marc Gasol (Spain), and Denver's Nikola Jokic (Serbia).
International players who have won awards are also aplenty on Christmas Day: Antetokounmpo (MVP), Gasol (Defensive Player of the Year), Simmons (Rookie of the Year), and Pascal Siakam (Most Improved Player).
Firsts on Christmas
There will be a lot of firsts for the NBA on Christmas Day.
Except for the Lakers-Clippers duel, the games between Toronto and Boston; Philadelphia and Milwaukee; Houston and Golden State; and Denver and New Orleans are first-time matchups on Christmas.
It will also be the first time All-Stars Jokic of the Nuggets, Kyle Lowry of the Raptors, and Kemba Walker of the Celtics will suit up for a Christmas Day game.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia will host a Christmas game for the first time since 1998.
Where to watch?
The Lakers-Clippers clash wil be broadcast on CNN Philippines at 9 am on Thursday, December 26 (Manila time), while the other 4 games can be livestreamed through the NBA League Pass. – Rappler.com