Thursday, December 23rd, 2010 at 10:00 am  |  33 responses

LeBron James, Doc Rivers Don’t Want to Work on Christmas Day

Phil Jackson isn’t alone is his crusade against hoops on Xmas; LBJ and Doc are right there with him: “A day after the Lakers’ coach reiterated his longtime stance against NBA games on Dec. 25, James and other members of the Miami Heat said they also wish they could be with their families on Christmas. Instead, the Lakers and Heat will spend the holiday together, playing in Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon. ‘If you ask any player in the league, we’d rather be home with our families,’ James said. ‘I think the people that even set the games up would rather be home with their family during this day. It’s not just a regular holiday. It’s definitely one of those days that you wish you could wake up in the morning with the kids and open up presents.’ James’ two children will do their gift-unwrapping on Christmas Eve this year. Jackson is the son of two Christian ministers, and he famously wrote a book on his spiritual growth related to basketball. The Lakers have been picked for a Christmas game annually since 1999. ‘I don’t think anybody should play on Christmas Day,’ Jackson said Tuesday night before the Lakers lost at home to Milwaukee. ‘I don’t understand it.’ Keeping with the theme from recent years, the NBA went with five games again on Christmas. Chicago is at New York to open the quintupleheader, Boston plays next at Orlando, then after the Lakers host the Heat it’ll be Denver at Oklahoma City and Portland at Golden State in the nightcap. Christmas games are a tradition nearly as old as the league itself. So, too, is complaining about them.”

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  • http://www.slam.com Martey

    Play Ball!

  • http://Www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    On the one hand I can’t be mad at them for wanting to be home with their families on Christmas. But on the other they’re far from being the only people who have to work that day or be thousands of miles away from their families.
    Personally, I wouldn’t care if they did away with Christmas games. It would be just one day without games and hell, I’ve never had the chance to sit down and watch all the games anyways. Cause it’s Christmas!

  • Carlos

    Other than the title of this article you don’t mention a quote from Doc Rivers saying that he doesn’t want to play on Xmas Day. You know why? Because he never said such thing. What he said is actually the opposite of what Phil and James said, Doc said that it’s a privilege to be chosen to play on Xmas Day and that he prefers that the league show only 2 games to make it more special instead of showing 5 games. Get your facts straight before posting.

  • http://uiandtherest.com adrian

    If they are that upset about working on Christmas Day then they should change careers. Find something in banking, government, or corporate work that takes Christmas off. It’s a free country, change your career.

    Enigmatic hit it on the head regarding people being far from their families. I think all of our troops would love to be home.

  • Nathan

    Man f these crybabies. Hoops all day everyday, jumpers nonstop.

  • BxBaller

    Not to sound like a jerk, but this comes with the territory of playing on some of the leagues’ highest profile teams.

  • Mike from Spain

    I would say something to the effect of ‘STFU and play’

  • RedRum

    this is ridiculous… absolutely ridiculous… there are dozens of professions where people have to work during Xmas, people who make salaries that can barely get by. And this effing dolts called professional athletes complain because they cannot spent time with their family??? are you freaking kidding me???

  • A.

    I guess being a professional athlete takes away your right to see your family on Christmas. They never said that they weren’t going to play, just that they’d rather be with their families. I think every person who works on Christmas and can’t be with their families, millionaire or not, agrees with what’s being said here. You have a job to do, and you’ll do it to the best of your abilities, but that doesn’t mean that you’re happy that you’re working and not spending time with the fam. If you disagree with that, then you’re just being ridiculous.

  • Brahsef

    Just because you have money and youre famous doesn’t make it unrealistic to want Christmas off.

    Believe it or not, you can complain if you’re rich.

  • http://sjkdflsf.com Jukai

    Being one of those guys who used to work on Christmas, I feel them.
    Being one of those guys who used to work on Christmas making a fraction of what these guys make, I think they should stfu. Quit like I did, and find something else.
    I mean, I’m sure they were asked a question and responded truthfully… but it still irks me for some reason.

  • http://staticseth.blogspot.com Seth

    Hey Phil, go coach the Kings and you won’t ever have to play on Christmas again, you big baby.

  • http://twitter.com/BeezKneezy LA Huey

    Playing on Xmas comes with the territory but a lot of you guys are being a bit over the top with all the ‘stfu’. I mean, they were probably just answering a question honestly and it’s good to know that these guys would rather be with their families than in the spotlight on days like that.

  • King

    Really? Just cause these guy are professional athletes does it mean they don’t have the right to spend the holidays with their kids and family? They are regular people outside of the fact that they make millions in a year

  • Mo

    Its flat out stupid that some people continue to bring “money” into the equation. It doesn’t matter wtf they make and it has absolutely nothing to do with it. I’m not seeing how anyone can really disagree with their comments. I mean really, who in the hell wants to have to go to work on Christmas? Unless you have a pretty screwed up family life, you’d wanna be with them on that day. Now I do like watching all the games on Christmas but I do see where they are coming from.

  • ripslam

    Seeing as there is literally nothing about Doc Rivers in this article, I’m not sure what he’s doing in this piece.

  • True H

    Phil Jackson is probably the only coach in history who’s actual talent will never be able to be measured. He is who he is because he has been the coach of the following players: Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille Oneal, as well as some of the most excellent role players the league has ever seen. I argue that you could put Philadelphia based rapper Freeway at the helm of any phil jackson team and he could take them to the freaking championship! As far as i can tell Phil Jackson is about as good a coach as any fantasy sports owner

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    To be fair, LeBron never wants to work.

  • http://twitter.com/BeezKneezy LA Huey

    @True H, your hypothesis would then suggest that Freeway is a better NBA coach than Rudy Tomjanovich and Stan Van Gundy. Both of whom are/were good NBA coaches but failed to win rings with Kobe or Shaq. Freeway should also try to parlay your theory into an NBA job because if Kurt Rambis and Doug Collins can fail with virtually the same squads that PJax won with, he should be given a shot.

  • http://www.teesrus.ecrater.com Go Green

    i dont blame them
    kobe > Lebron
    Kobe fans check out http://www.teesrus.ecrater.com/p/9572178/kobe

  • http://5vemics.com eli porter

    lol i guess 30 mill is only good enough 2 play 81 games

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    Dont all teams have every christmas eve off?. Cant players set it up so their family xmas is a day or two early or late?. Im not a christian, but the funniest part is all these guys want to ‘open presents with their families’. Hooray for being stinking rich and buying whatever we want in this consumer culture!!!!. I havent read about anyone eager to go to church xmas morning. Its about buying stuff and getting stuff. Hooray for our self centered materialistic society! Ipads for everyone!

  • Ben

    There are bucket load of people who work on Christmas day and I bet they’re not earning $20million a year.

  • Dre

    I mean the selfish part of me loves the games on Christmas but the dad in me totally understands. They are not police, medics, fire, or military they should not have to work on Christmas. People talking about other professions need to chill because besides those that I named there are not many private industry jobs that work during that day. They are not emergency personnel and they don’t need to work on Christmas.

  • Dre

    So chill people while most of you are talking and sitting your fat asses at home watching them. There are not that many professions working on Christmas, public or private.

  • http://celticknightk3@aol.com Celtic Cross Knight

    I understand what Phil said but if we all can be off on Xmas day then hey Phil have at it but until then you too sir have to work on Xmas day like the rest of us and especially the kind of money that you make.

  • Heals

    Doc said opposite, change the header…

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Reporter: “Famous Athlete, someone asked Famous Coach about having to work on Christmas. He said he doesn’t like it. How do you feel?”
    Famous Athlete: “Stupidly, I’ll be honest with you.”
    Reporter: “Ok.”
    Everyone else: “What a spoiled dick.”
    And… scene.

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    well done, jones.

  • Justin

    I’m sorry, but all of you who think these guys have no right to complain are complete morons. Are you really comparing the job of a basketball player to people who defend your country? Playing basketball on Christmas does not come with the territory. Like Dre posted, anyone in the field of public health and safety (police, firemen, nurses, doctors etc.), it comes with the territory. Those that say because they make big money they shouldn’t complain are WRONG! Almost all major business corporations are CLOSED for business on Christmas. Every single one of you that has a family, has young children at home would be saying the exact same things the players are. I have to work graveyard Christmas Eve and for the first time in my son’s 10 years, I won’t be home when he wakes up. I’m more than choked about it myself and it has nothing to do with only making $16/hour.

  • youngmuggsy

    I guess having the entire summer off doesn’t leave you with enough time to spend with your family.

  • Justin

    ^^^ It’s comments like that one that just baffle me. People really should have to take two kinds of tests before being allowed to post on this site. One is a basketball IQ test (see ya Seed) and a real IQ test (see ya 90% of all posters). youngmuggsy, do your kids wake up on a Tuesday in July, run wide-eyed into the living room to see what Santa brought them?

  • Dre

    Thanks Justin, plus most don’t have the whole summer off. After a few weeks off many are working hard working camps, and getting ready for training camp.