Metta World Peace: “I forget its Christmas”
The Los Angeles Lakers have now played a game on Christmas day 15 seasons in a row. And for some players, the routine is wearing thin. According to the L.A. Times, when asked to read a few lines of a Christmas poem, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who has played in every one of those Christmas-day games of the last 14 years for Los Angeles, responded with an “Are you serious?!”.
Metta World Peace, who has played in the last three Christmas day and games and never one to mince words, said the tradition has made him “forget it’s Christmas”. This is what he had to say:
“My kids don’t like it. My youngest doesn’t like it at all. I’m to a point now I forget it’s Christmas, to tell you the truth. I buy the presents and I’m never home, so I totally forget about Christmas.
And to degree, these players have every right to be fed up with this so-called tradition. Christmas is a time for family, not basketball. I don’t recall the story of the Three Wise Men playing a pickup game of hoops after visiting the manger. Too often we forget that these athletes are people to, and have every right to spend Christmas at home with their families, instead of having to go to work.
Still, it isn’t a tradition that’s likely to end. The NBA has had games on Christmas day since 1947, and has enjoyed record viewership for these Yuletide games over the past few years (34.8 million tuned into last year’s slate). With that kind of popularity, no matter the toll on the players, there’s no reason for the league to take this cash cow to the slaughterhouse any time soon.