Despite the controversies, the NFL is still the king of sports in North America. But there is at least one thing the NBA has nailed that the NFL keeps messing up, their signature day during the regular season.
Both the NFL and the NBA have one signature day during the regular season. For the NFL it is Thanksgiving, with three games that often leave fans disappointed as the league honours tradition instead of great games and big stars. The NBA’s signature day is Christmas, and once again the league nailed it.
First of all, take a look at the slate of games the NBA will put on display Christmas afternoon and evening.
The list of games includes most of the NBA’s most popular teams, filled with the biggest rivalries, topped with arguably the most anticipated regular-season game of the year, an NBA Finals rematch between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors.
While some of these teams have been disappointments so far this season (we’re looking at you, Houston), more importantly for the sake of marketing the NBA, the games include almost all of the league’s biggest stars.
Of the 15 players named to the All-NBA team last season, 13 play for teams featured on Christmas Day, and that doesn’t even include Kobe Bryant.
The one huge star the NBA is missing on Christmas Day, is the Knicks’ surprising rookie, Kristaps Porzingis. But the NBA can be forgiven as nobody expected him to play so well, so early on in his career.
It is safe to assume that the NBA won’t make the same mistake next season.
And the excitement of Christmas Day games doesn’t stop with the marquee teams and All-Star players. Check out the uniforms the teams will wear.
While most alternate uniforms leave a lot to be desired, this year’s batch is gorgeous.
And here are a couple more:
Meanwhile, the NFL continues to be held back on Thanksgiving by sticking to the tradition of having one game being played in Dallas and one game played in Detroit. This means two of the NFL’s three games are dependent on how good the Cowboys and Lions are in any given season. In recent years that hasn’t been often, especially for the Lions.
The NFL has expanded their Thanksgiving schedule to include a third game not limited by a traditional Thanksgiving team. This year’s game was a decent rivalry matchup between the Packers and the Bears. But even that can’t compete with the star power the NBA is marching out on Christmas Day.
The NFL should scrap their traditions, take a cue from their little brother, and give the fans something to look forward to on the league’s signature day.
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