Two of the Nets’ rivals will play on Christmas Day, but the Brooklyn Nets will not.
The Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks will reportedly play in the coveted national spotlight Shams Charania by The Athletic. However, Brooklyn is noticeably absent from the numerous reports that surfaced Sunday.
It’s not hard to guess why this ties into the question of whether or not Kevin Durant would still be a net early in the season. There’s also growing chatter that Durant could remain out of camp if not traded.
The Nets superstar requested a trade from Brooklyn just before free agency opened in late June. That set the entire offseason in motion for the Nets, and it clearly stalled the NBA at the idea of fielding a team that could somehow be rebuilt on the national stage.
Brooklyn played in Los Angeles on Christmas Day last season and, as noted by NetsDailyShe had appeared on national television 26 times in the past year.
Nets National Outlook
Brooklyn has garnered a lot of national attention with Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving all playing in Brooklyn. That was quickly over when Harden squeezed out at the close and landed in Philly.
It’s doubtful that the creators of the NBA schedule have any more insight into the state of affairs at Durant and the Nets than the general public or the media, but the ongoing drama will likely keep them off national television.
The Knicks usually draw well despite their record, and the Sixers have plenty of talent to interest national audiences. While Brooklyn could still have Kyrie Irving early in the season, that too remains a small question mark given the uncertainty of whether he’ll be treated as well.
Irving has opted into the final year of his contract with the Nets but rumors continue that he is also being traded.
Knicks and Sixers get attention
Christmas has become the biggest regular season day of the year in the NBA and typically features some of the most famous matchups from big-name players from across the league each year.
The Knicks in a new look, led by recently signed point guard Jalen Brunsonwill take on his Eastern Conference rivals, the 76ers — who boast one of the most entertaining rosters in the NBA in future Hall of Famers Joel Embiid and James Harden.
The Knicks stay too in talks to acquire Utah Jazz All-Star Donovan Mitchellwhich would potentially give the game even more star power on Christmas Day.
Last year New York hosted the Atlanta Hawks at MSG in a game where the Knicks won 101-87.
December 25 of this year falls on a Sunday, meaning the holiday, which is usually dominated by NBA games, will have to compete with the NFL – potentially reducing the day’s importance for the league’s TV ratings.
Below is a full list of NBA games planned for Christmas:
- Bucks at Celtics
- 76ers at Knicks
- Sunning at nuggets
- Lakers at Mavericks
- Grizzlies at Warriors