Five matchups are on tap in the National Basketball Association on Christmas Day, December 25. It has been an annual occurrence since the league’s inception in 1946.
The Southwestern Athletic Conference, has been represented with more than 15 players appearing on rosters during the holiday.
In the early 1980s, one of the most memorable games on Christmas Day involved the New York Knicks and Bernard King who scored 60 points in 1984 against the New Jersey Nets. That still stands as most ever scored on Christmas Day. In the photo above, the legendary King is guarded by former Alcorn State and NBA first rounder Larry Smith of the Golden State Warrios.
Smith spent 13 seasons (1980–1993) in the NBA, playing for the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, and San Antonio Spurs. He received NBA All-Rookie Team Honors in 1981, and would become one of the best rebounders of the 1980s. Smith finished with career averages of 9.2 rebounds and 25.9 minutes per game. He was a two-time SWAC Player of the Year (1979-1980 and the NCAA rebounding leader in 1980
|Played on Chirstmas Day:|
|Lindsey Hunter||Jackson State||Detroit Pistons|
|Willie Norwood||Alcorn State||Detroit Pistons|
|Larry Smith||Alcorn State||Golden State|
|Willis Reed||Grambling State||New York Knicks|
|Bob Christian||Grambling State||Atlanta Hawks|
|Willie Fraizer||Grambling State||San Francisco Warriors (Golden State Warriors)|
|Charles Hardnett||Grambling State||Baltimore Bullets (Washington Wizards)|
|Aaron James||Grambling State||New Orleans Jazz (Utah Jazz)|
|Rich Johnson||Grambling State||Boston Celtics|
|Jimmy Jones||Grambling State||Washington Bullets (Washington Wizards)|
|Larry Wright||Grambling State||Washington Bullets (Washington Wizards)|
|Ed Manning||Jackson State||Washington Bullets (Washington Wizards)|
|Purvis Short||Jackson State||Golden State Warriors|
|Cornell Warner||Jackson State||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Avery Johnson||Southern||San Antonio Spurs|
|Bob Love||Southern||Cicinnati Royals (Sacramento Kings)|
|Ron Cavenall||Texas Southern||New York Knicks|
|Wesley Sauldsberry||Texas Southern||Philadelphia 76ers|