Posted on: December 27, 2010 4:12 pm

The NBA kind of owns Christmas

Record ratings for NBA on Christmas shows heightened interest in the league in year before lockout. 
Posted by Matt Moore

The NBA posted the highest Christmas day ratings in history this year, up 45% on ABC and 20% on ESPN. It was the highest ratings for Christmas Day since 2004.

What's interesting is that the ratings for Heat-Lakers were higher than Lakers-Celtics two years ago. That these matchups created such high ratings says two things. One, the league is, as predicted, having unparalleled success in this era of the Lakers, Celtics, and Heat, and two, the Heat are a bigger draw than traditional fans of the two great superpowers may like to admit. 

It'll be interesting to see how the ratings held throughout the games considering the Celtics-Magic game (which was also up 40% over a year ago) was pretty boring until the fourth quarter, and that the Heat thoroughly dominated the Lakers after Lamar Odom's opening alley-oop dunk. But on top, this is a huge win for the NBA as they further cement themselves as part of the Christmas Day tradition in this country, despite what Phil Jackson, LeBron James, and Stan Van Gundy have to say on the matter. 

And all this good will? Will likely be wiped away in a blizzard of lockout and labor disputes this summer. Such potential, inevitably wasted. 
Category: NBA
Posted on: December 24, 2010 10:34 am
Edited on: December 24, 2010 11:29 am

Santa's list for the NBA

Christmas is here and Santa's making his list. Here's what NBA teams and players are wishing for this holiday season.
Posted by the NBA F&R Staff

Ho-ho-ho! Christmas is here, and Santa is on everyone's mind. Thanks to NBA F&R's crack team of reporters (and by reporters we mean dudes who make stuff up), we have obtained special leaked copies of classified documents: the Christmas wishes of NBA teams and players. Here's what your favorite teams and players are hoping Santa will bring as he makes his way around the world. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good ... ability to make the playoffs and hopefully avoid a lockout next year!

Atlantic Division:

Boston : A digital camera, so they can capture this time in their lives. The Celtics are destroying everyone and have looked like the best team in the league all season. With the Big 3 getting older, a camera will let them cherish these special times.

New York:
Gatorade. Running up and down in Mike D'Antoni's system after a Christmas feast is going to take it out of you. Seven ounces or less is more like it.

New Jersey:
Russian Rosetta Stone . Gotta speak the boss' language, after all.

Slinkies ! Because much like the kids toy, they're inconsistent and tend to only go down.

A ladder for Andrea Bargnani. Maybe then he'll grab some rebounds. 

Southeast Division:

Miami: An ounce of humility. I kid, I kid. But, really they don't need anything. Except Udonis Haslem back healthy.

An eraser for the last zero on Joe Johnson's contract.

They already got Jason Richardson. What more do they want?

An air horn to drown out new assistant coach Charles Oakley's press conferences.

A case of new-age "supplements" to revive the artist formerly known as Rashard Lewis

Central Division: 

Chicago: An MVP trophy for Derrick Rose. Because the whole city is reeaaaaallly trying to sell us on that.

A frontcourt that combines Josh McRoberts and Tyler Hansbrough. Wait, they already have that? It's a Christmas miracle!

An extra middle name for Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. Maybe some like Chad. Luc Richard Chad Mbah a Moute. Detroit: Someone willing to trade for Tayshaun Prince or Richard Hamilton. Come on, someone.

Long, deep sigh. It's not even worth saying. 

Pacific Division:

Los Angeles Lakers: What does the richest guy in the world want for Christmas? A healthy knee for Andrew Bynum.

For Hakim Warrick to somehow magically evolve into Amar'e Stoudemire. Or even at least a sucky version of Amar'e Stoudemire. That would be good enough.

Golden State:
A couple wins for the love of Monta Ellis. Los Angeles Clippers: Another ultimate highlight from Blake Griffin. They have so little. At least grant them more of that.

A new arena. Some wins, a healthy Tyreke Evans and a sane DeMarcus Cousins would be nice, but it doesn't really matter without a new arena. 

Southwest Division: 

San Antonio: A one-way bus ticket to Roswell, NM, for UFO aficionado Manu Ginobili.

Dirk wigs (pre-buzz cut) for the entire team. Especially Caron Butler.

New Orleans:
An owner. Any owner. Please?

A trade partner for Yao Ming's Expiring Contract.

Paying fans. That Mike Conley check isn't going to sign itself, you know. 

Northwest Division:

Utah: Home court in the playoffs. Forever. Every round. Pretty much never leaving Energy would be fine.

Oklahoma City:
 The movie "Big ." Since that's pretty much what they've done in the NBA anyway, growing up as kids. Barring that, silly string. Because, you know. They're the Thunder.

For Melo to go through "It's a Wonderful Life " and realize that things would be better if he stayed in Denver? Beyond that, booze is probably a good call to prepare for his imminent departure.

Bandages, aspirin, first-aid kit, IVs, gauze, physical therapist coupons, and milk (for healthy bones).  In other news, we at F&R are hoping for jokes that aren't quite so obvious.

 Kevin Love just wants one thing. A ticket out of Minneapolis.

From all of us here at CBSSports.com's NBA team, we want to wish you happy holidays for you and yours. We'll have coverage of Christmas Day's games, so be sure to check us out in-between the eggnog and hating your relatives.
Category: NBA
Posted on: August 3, 2010 4:21 pm

Lakers-Heat have a Christmas date

Posted by Matt Moore

As part of our continuing coverage of "the NBA can't keep a secret in any way, shape, or form..."
The NBA likes to save its most hyped games for Christmas. It's the first real holiday that it lays claims to each year. The last few years it has been Lakers-Celtics in the yuletide rumble. This year, the hype created by the LeBron James-Chris Bosh-Dwyane Wade trifecta has created a new mega-match. The defending champion Los Angeles Lakers will host the Heat on December 25th, according to Ira Winderman of the Miami Sun-Sentinel .

There's no "proving it" to NBA television marketing executives like there is among other players in the league. Those people know that people want to see the Heat, even with as sick of the Heat's PR trainwreck as they are. One mistake though is that Winderman's article mentions that the Heat won't play on MLK day.

The league has been pushing MLK day as an NBA holiday the last few years, and it's one of the few times when they have a number of people off work with no competing sports or family interests. The work they've done in highlighting that day with sextuple headers has worked well for showcasing the league. Omitting the Heat that day seems to take the holiday down a notch. But maybe that will give them the rare opportunity to show off the smaller markets that are likely to be even more overlooked than usual this year with all the superteams forming.

But for Christmas, you can expect a healthy feast of hype when Kobe-Pau-Odom-Artest-Bynum meets Bosh-Wade-James-Chalmers . And really, what says Christmas like hype?
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com