Last year, the Magic coach said he “felt sorry for people who have nothing to do on Christmas Day other than watch an NBA game.” This year, after talking it over with his staff this morning, he felt completely different.
In fact, he had an idea.
“I think the NBA is important to Christmas that what we really need to do is increase from five games to 10,” he said.
But the idea got bigger (as did the sarcasm).
“We need to start them at midnight on what would have been Christmas Eve, and play them all through the day so that there’s not a minute of Christmas Day when there’s not an NBA game on TV,” Van Gundy said. “It’s great. The NBA is Christmas.”
The Celtics and Magic face each other for the second straight Christmas. The game works out perfectly for Doc Rivers, who gets to see his family in Winter Park. But Van Gundy’s idea didn’t sound like a bad one.
“We’re close anyway,” Rivers said. “How many games is it? Six? Five? So we’re on our way. All we have to do is probably add three more games and we’ve got it.”
It would be no different from the College Hoops Tip-off Marathon ESPN’s run the past three years, Rivers said.
“They did 24 hours of college basketball earlier in the year right?” Rivers said. “So I think that’s a great idea by Stan. Tell Stan I’m on board with it. I want the 12 o’clock game.”
Which 12 o’clock?
“The midnight game,” Rivers said. “That would be phenomenal, because I’m up anyway.”