Thursday, December 25, 2008

Past Visits From Jolly Ol' St. Knick

It's a white Christmas at my parents' house in northern New Jersey. It's ice not snow. But it's white. My mom is psyched about this. But, I was dreaming of a blue and orange Christmas, just like the ones I used to know. But instead I've got a green and purple Christmas and I almost broke my neck slipping on all the ice in my parents' driveway.

2008-2009 is the 61st season of the National Basketball Assocation. During that time the league has scheduled games on Christmas day in each season save one (the strike-shortened 1998-1999 campaign), and the Knicks played on Christmas in 38 of the first 40 seasons, and in 45 overall. In fact, the Knicks playing at the Garden on the 25th was about as dependable an occurence as a run on milk and cookies late on the 24th. The New York Knickerbockers tipped off against opponents in New York City on 38 of those 45 games. Although the home team didn't fare exceedingly well in those contests they were overwhelmingly tightly contested games, with 23 of them being decided by 6 points or fewer. And the opponents were generally among the league's best at the time, even when the Knicks were struggling.

The Garden was the marquee venue in the NBA and all eyes were there on Christmas day. For Knicks fans the highlights are the double-overtime victory over the defending champion Celtics in Patrick Ewing's rookie season, Bernard King's 61-point outburst the year before and the 136-135 win over Wilt Chamberlain's Philadelphia Warriors in 1961. The Knicks tradition of home games on Christmas was broken up when NBC began broadcasting NBA games in 1990. Although they did provide us with a phenomenal theme song they did take away our local tradition, even sending the Knicks on the road for three out of the four games they did schedule for the Knicks on the 25th.

Knicks on Christmas
12/25/1946 No game n/a
12/25/1947 Providence Steamrollers 89-75
12/25/1948 Chicago Stags 64-70
12/25/1949No gamen/a
12/25/1950 @ Philadelphia Warriors 86-84
12/25/1951Fort Wayne Pistons72-65
12/25/1952Boston Celtics80-75
12/25/1953Syracuse Nationals89-80
12/25/1954Syracuse Nationals109-101
12/25/1955@ Fort Wayne Pistons87-92
12/25/1956St. Louis Hawks105-107
12/25/1957@ Syracuse Nationals130-134
12/25/1958Boston Celtics120-129
12/25/1959Boston Celtics119-123
12/25/1960@ Syracuse Nationals100-162
12/25/1961Philadelphia Warriors136-135
12/25/1962Los Angeles Lakers126-134
12/25/1963Los Angeles Lakers126-134
12/25/1964Baltimore Bullets108-114
12/25/1965St. Louis Hawks111-131
12/25/1966Chicago Bulls133-132
12/25/1967Boston Celtics124-134
12/25/1968Philadelphia 76ers110-109
12/25/1969Detroit Pistons112-111
12/25/1970Buffalo Braves115-102
12/25/1971Golden State Warriors114-89
12/25/1972Detroit Pistons112-111
12/25/1973Capitol Bullets100-102
12/25/1974Philadelphia 76ers97-104
12/25/1975Philadelphia 76ers111-103
12/25/1976Philadelphia 76ers104-105
12/25/1977Philadelphia 76ers113-110
12/25/1978Philadelphia 76ers94-109
12/25/1979New Jersey Nets131-102
12/25/1980Boston Celtics108-117
12/25/1981New Jersey Nets95-96
12/25/1982New Jersey Nets110-112
12/25/1983New Jersey Nets112-110
12/25/1984New Jersey Nets114-120
12/25/1985Boston Celtics113-104
12/25/1986Chicago Bulls86-85
12/25/1987Detroit Pistons87-91
12/25/1988No gamen/a
12/25/1989No gamen/a
12/25/1990No gamen/a
12/25/1991No gamen/a>
12/25/1992@ Chicago Bulls77-89
12/25/1993No gamen/a
12/25/1994@ Chicago Bulls104-107
12/25/1995No gamen/a
12/25/1996No gamen/a
12/25/1997No gamen/a
12/25/1999@ Indiana Pacers90-101
12/25/2000No gamen/a
12/25/2001Toronto Raptors102-94
12/25/2002No gamen/a
12/25/2003No gamen/a
12/25/2004No gamen/a
12/25/2005No gamen/a
12/25/2006No gamen/a
12/25/2007No gamen/a
12/25/2008No gamen/a

Christmas 1985

Christmas 1984

Christmas 1992