It's become a holiday tradition in Lakerdom. The NBA's schedule gnomes assign the Lakers to face LeBron James, whichever team he's with, on Christmas Day. LeBron drops down the Staples Center chimney. LeBron thrashes and humiliates his hosts. Boos rain down from the local geniuses who spent $8,000 per scalped ticket.
Someone in the league office has apparently realized that this wasn't a recipe for crackin' good TV. The new regular season schedule will be announced later this week, but the Miami Herald is reporting that the Heat will be playing not the Lakers but the Dallas Mavericks in the featured Christmas game. Surely the Lake Show will still get a Christmas slot, however much they might wish to avoid one, but it won't be against LeBron. Matt Moore of Pro Basketball Talk speculates that the Oklahoma City Thunder will instead be the Lakers' opponent.
Of course, there's a decent chance the NBA will spend its winter holidays in a state of locked outedness, in which case Christmases spent getting destroyed by LeBron will feel like the golden age.
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