Sports Outside the Beltway

NBA Coach Stan Van Gundy wishes there were no NBA games on Christmas

Of the five games on television today, I’ve spent less than two minutes watching any of them. From AP-

“I actually feel sorry for people who have nothing to do on Christmas Day other than watch an NBA game,” the Orlando Magic coach said.

While I don’t feel sorry for them, I do think there are better ways of using one’s time.

The Magic were playing Boston on Friday, one of five NBA games on Christmas.

The Celtics won that game 86-77.

Van Gundy said he understands the high-priced TV contracts generate money for the league and it would be difficult to stop such games. He said he wishes the league at the very least had fewer games on the holidays.

The people who could put a stop to these games or at least limit them, are the NBA players themselves. They could make it a request when negotiations for the next collective bargaining agreement comes up. During Wednesday night’s Florida Panthers game, the topic of why the NHL doesn’t play on Christmas came up. Announcer Billy Lindsay said it was due to the CBA between hockey owners and players.

The Magic play games on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day this season.

I can understand why Van Gundy is grumbling then.

“I think we get a little carried away with ourselves with sports thinking we’re more important than everything else,” Van Gundy said before the game. “But that’s the way it is. There’s nothing more important than the NBA on Christmas Day.”

That’s certainly untrue. There is time with family, going to church, writing blog posts, and paying a visit to the cemetery where your son and parents are buried that are all much more important priorities in life.

Van Gundy’s outspokeness may well earn him a fine. Bostion Coach Doc Rivers didn’t agree with the Orlando Magic coach.

Rivers said it’s tough for players to be away from family, but he realizes the league is not going to stop playing on the holidays. Rivers lives in the Orlando area and was able to wake up Christmas morning in his own bed.

He said he always watched Christmas Day games growing up because the league features the marquee teams.

“As a kid, you wanted to be on [Christmas],” Rivers said. “Then when you get to the league, you don’t want to be on any more. You’re like, ‘No, I changed my mind.’ But it’s going to happen, so why try to fight it? I tend to look at it as a reward.”

As we grow up things that we once longed to do, have instead looked upon as a hassle. It’s part of life.

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