The Rise Of NBA’s Christmas Day, From Afterthought To Full-Fledged American Tradition

Managing Editor, Sports + DIME
12.22.16 3 Comments

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Jalen Rose’s most memorable Christmas didn’t involve a present, unless you consider getting ejected from a game a gift. Rose – then with the Pacers – scuffled with the Knicks’ Kurt Thomas, who landed a hard shot with his elbow. The next thing he knew, both of them had been ejected. Looking back on it now, if he was going to go out, he’d have rather gone out with a bang.

“As I get older I can tell he hit me a lot harder in that moment,” Rose, who will be appearing on ABC as part of pre-game coverage for the Dec. 25 tilt between Golden State and Cleveland, told UPROXX. “I purposely didn’t retaliate because I didn’t want to get ejected. But guess what happened? I got ejected. I look back at that as I might as well have thrown a quick two-piece and run and hide behind Dale Davis after that.”

The fight resulted in a $10,000 fine and a two-game suspension for Thomas, who called Rose “some little punk that acts like he is tough.” Rose left with a story he could tell for years, including on Grantland back in 2014. It was just one of Rose’s memories of Christmas Day basketball, although the tradition has left us with too many to count over the years.

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