LeBron James discusses not being home on Christmas again
For the 10th time in his 13-year NBA career, LeBron James will be showcased in the NBA’s slate of Christmas Day games when his Cleveland Cavaliers head west for an NBA Finals rematch against the Golden State Warriors.
Since James routinely is not at home — and often not even the same town — with his family, he was asked at Wednesday morning’s team shootaround if any alternative traditions have been developed to compensate for his absence.
“Not at all,” he said, via ESPN. “I won’t be with my family on Christmas, unfortunately. … They’re not even here [in Ohio] right now. They’re in L.A. right now, actually. So, no, we have no traditions. If I can get a home game on Christmas, then we’ll have a tradition.”
James took a much firmer stance against Christmas Day games during the 2010 season when he was with the Miami Heat, bemoaning the fact he was away from his young family on such an important day.
“If you ask any player in the league, we’d rather be home with our families,” he said at the time.
Interestingly, the reason James is not even in Ohio for the Cavs’ Christmas game may stem from how then-deputy NBA commissioner Adam Silver assured a Heat team unhappy with playing in L.A. on the holiday after winning a title the previous season that defending NBA champions would from that point forward play home games on Christmas.
So, here James and the Cavaliers are, playing the NBA champion Warriors on the road. Although it warrants mentioning that James’ teams are 7-2 in Christmas Day games, an encouraging sign heading into the Finals rematch.
Given James is one of the marquee players in the league — if not its biggest star — it’s hardly surprising the NBA repeatedly has gone back to him to help bolster the lure of its marquee holiday showcase.
But James — unlike Carmelo Anthony, apparently — still wishes he could be at home with his family instead of playing basketball. It’s hard to blame him.