Phil Jackson Is Not A Fan Of Playing Games On Pagan Holidays Co-Opted By Christianity

Lakers coach Phil Jackson is the son of two Christian ministers, so perhaps it should not come as a surprise that he is dead-set against the Lakers being used as a holiday sacrificial lamb by the NBA for its annual slate of Christmas day games. The Lakers have played on Christmas every year since 1999.

Jackson discussed his distaste for playing on the holiday during an interview with the AP’s Greg Beachem (via The Washington Post):

It’s like Christian holidays don’t mean to them anything any more,” Jackson said. “Just go out and play and entertain the TV. It’s really weird, but it is what it is. We have to go to work and make the best of it.

“I don’t think anybody should play on Christmas Day. I don’t understand it.

“It’s going to be Christmas, and you’re going to have little kids putting batteries in toys and putting their Christmas presents together. There’s all kinds of crazy stuff going on, and now your head has got to get focused on the game, in the middle of the afternoon on Christmas Day.”

I have to agree with the Zen Master. There shouldn’t be any NBA games on Christmas, let alone the fact that the Lakers always are picked to play on the special day. I would assume that most of the players, staff and coaches – not to mention the broadcasters, arena personnel, etc. – are family men and would much prefer to spend Christmas with their loved ones as opposed to playing a midseason game which is no more important than the ones preceding it.

I don’t know about any of you, but I believe Christmas should be a day of rest, religious introspection and family. Or absent that, a day of exhaustively running all over town to different get-togethers, picking up after overindulged kids while beating your head against the wall trying to extract a toy out of nearly impossible-to-open packaging and dejectedly coming to the realization that after all the buildup, commercialization and effort that the holiday has come to an anti-climactic end. Why should NBA players be prevented from experiencing such joy? It’s only fair they be allowed to share in majesty and splendor of it all, right?

Jesus, what’s wrong with me? That damn Phil Jackson pulled some kind of Zen trick on me and now I’m as crabby about Christmas as he is about playing on the day. I guess if he’s not going to have any fun, no one will. Next thing you know, Jackson will be bitching about playing games on Samhain. Or Halloween, for you non-pagans out there.

Lakers’ Jackson still down on Christmas games [The Washington Post]

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  1. Beelzbub

    December 22, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    Haha…well done! I liked what you did with the whole “Phil Jackson Zen trick” thing.

    Personally, I think the more games on Christmas the better. I mean, what could celebrate the birth of Jesus better than people getting pissed and yelling obscenities and racial epithets at their TV? This goes double for the Lakers…you should see my gauges down here when they play. Seriously, I had to replace my “Smug Meter” twice last year after Lakers games.

    I just wish we could get some of those Thanksgiving NFL games moved to Christmas. For me, just hearing all the “Jesus Christ’s” and “I swear to God’s” and “Goddammit’s” coming out of Detroit every year is like money in the bank.

  2. Rick B

    December 22, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    These guys claim they deserve millions for entertaining us so I have no sympathy for them wanting holidays off. Most people are off on the holidays and want to be entertained so they should do what they are paid for, period. Otherwise, quit claiming they deserve outrageous salaries for playing a game that is meant for kids. Plus, where do they think the military members deployed around the world would rather be on the holidays? Oh, by the way, the military doesn’t get paid diddly for protecting these prima donnas freedoms.

  3. Joe

    December 22, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    ALL sports are being ruined now FOR THE TV MONEY.
    That’s all this is.
    18 game NFL season?
    Baseball in November?
    Basketball in June?
    If you want sports to get exciting again, SHORTEN the seasons.

  4. Ari

    December 22, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    The problem is not with the players and head coaches getting paid so much that they shouldn’t complain, it’s all the support staff for the game. Stadium personnel who don’t make anything near what the players make that also have to give up their holiday to work.

  5. Brian

    December 23, 2010 at 1:56 am

    I agree Rick B. I’ld like to see Phil get striped of all his money, credentials, and job. I’ll bet the farm, he wouldn’t be saying that sh*t then. That man reminds me of every spoiled brat I’ve ever known in my life. What arrogance!!! And the people turning the screws and running the arena… They’re getting paid double time. Possibly, double time and a half. I don’t feel sorry for any of them either. You know how many people in todays economy would kill for their job, or to make that kind of money? They wouldn’t care what day it was. You said it, “prima donna”.

  6. Jason

    December 23, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Ummm, they make ‘a kings ransom for playing a kids game’ (and ol’ Phil does even less and still earns millions). Play on Christmas, take a charter flight home, and shut the eff up!

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