You know the NBA is pleased with its Christmas tradition when it earnestly compares Shaq and Kobe to Jimmy Stewart and Peter Billingsley. Casting Stan Van Gundy in the role of Scrooge was probably not part of the plan.
The jollily -proportioned Orlando Magic coach lamented that he only had 15 minutes to lap up figgy pudding with his four children on Christmas morning before having to head to Amway Arena, grumbling before tipoff that "If I had my way, we'd take a five-day break at Christmas."
Fair enough, except that he didn't stop talking:
"I know this: I won't watch one second of any of the other four games today. I have no interest whatsoever. I'm a big basketball guy, but this is a day to spend time with your family. That's not a great advertisement for Stan Van Gundy and the NBA, but I actually feel sorry for people that have nothing better to do on Christmas Day than watch an NBA game."
Man, the poor Jews really can't catch a break. I hope they went and saw Avatar instead! The last thing you want is the pity of a man who struggled last year with "limiting his Diet Pepsi-fueled caffeine intake to three or four cans a day."
Inspired by their coach's boundless enthusiasm for the sport, the Magic lost to the Celtics, 86-77, and David Stern's Christmas was saved. It's really too bad Van Gundy isn't Canadian, because today is Boxing Day and there's, like, nothing going on.
Honorable mention: The NFL, who only scheduled one game that was a) on the NFL Network and b) kind of a clunker. They'll win the day tomorrow, though!
Honorable mention: Albert Haynesworth, who was sent home on Friday for being late to a team meeting and told the Washington Post that he cannot "survive another season in this system if it stays the way it is." It's unclear whether he was speaking for himself or on behalf of the entire Redskins fanbase.
If he were NBA commissioner, Stan Van Gundy would eliminate all games on Christmas [Orlando Sentinel]