The NBA’s Christmas Day return is a bit rich: Does the organization really expect us to abandon our egg nog to watch holiday basketball? Even some within the league think the idea is “presumptuous,” notes Jason Gay in the Wall Street Journal; it’s not the first time officials have tried to pull a Grinch and “steal Christmas.” “I actually feel sorry for people who have nothing to do on Christmas Day other than watch an NBA game,” said an Orlando Magic coach.
The NBA hopes to rope in viewers with games between the Knicks and Celtics, Heat and Mavericks, and Bulls and Lakers. That’s “good news for anybody who loves basketball, but anybody who loves basketball knows not to expect greatness in the opening days of the regular season.” The league is facing a fan “passion deficit,” Gay notes: A recent poll found that 43% of ESPN fans had found their interest in basketball “greatly” or “somewhat diminished” by the lockout. Fortunately for the NBA, that will change soon. “But it doesn't mean you have to welcome basketball when it knocks on the door on December 25.” Click for the full column. (Read more NBA stories.)