LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are scheduled to face off against the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times. The Lakers will see the Warriors on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, according to reports.
The Lakers have been a Christmas Day staple since the league started having Christmas Day games. In fact, the Lakers have played every year on Christmas Day since 1998.
However, in recent years the NBA has made a conscious effort to make MLK Day another day for marquee games. The fact that this will be the second year in a row the Lakers will be playing on MLK Day shows the way the league views the team.
The draw here is obviously seeing James against the Warriors, who his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, saw in the NBA Finals for four consecutive years and lost all but one time in 2016. However, the past few games between the Lakers and the Warriors have been entertaining on their own in recent years, even before adding James.
Yes, the Lakers did get swept by the Warriors for the first time in franchise history last season, but it wasn’t because the Lakers didn’t compete. In fact, in two of their four matchups last season, the young Lakers took the reigning world champion Warriors to overtime. The other two games the Lakers let slip in the fourth quarter.
Now the Lakers have a star of their own in James and that should make the games between the two sides, including the one on Christmas Day and MLK Day, all the more exciting.
The one thing that will be different this year than in past years is the fact the Lakers will be the visiting team on Christmas Day. The last time the Lakers were the road team on Christmas Day was in 2014, when they lost to the Chicago Bulls 113-93.
The Lakers also lost their Christmas Day game last year against the Minnesota Timberwolves 121-104. But despite their opponents’ lack of holiday spirit in recent years, the Lakers are still tied for the all-time NBA record for Christmas Day wins with the New York Knicks (22 total), and even played in the first ever televised Christmas Day game in 1967, losing to the San Diego Rockets.
Meanwhile, Kobe Bryant is the all-time Christmas Day leading scorer with 395 points on the day. James isn’t too far behind Bryant with 321 points, and could even eclipse his record while wearing a Lakers uniform.
On days that will already be worth celebrating, hopefully the Lakers give their fans something more to be happy about.
Stay tuned to Silver Screen and Roll for more schedule coverage over the next 24 hours. You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.