- (Photo: REUTERS)
While many people spend their Christmas with family or in church, NBA players are forced to work on the holiday and some from the Los Angeles Lakers organization are speaking up about it.
Metta World Peace, Lakers forward, recently admitted that his children don't like the fact that he has to work on Christmas.
"My kids don't like it. My youngest doesn't like it at all," the Lakers' forward recently told The Los Angeles Times. "I'm to a point now I forget it's Christmas, to tell you the truth. I buy the presents and I'm never home, so I totally forget about Christmas."
However, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant told The Times that his family is used to the Christmas tradition of him working.
"It's just something that I've come to expect," he told The Times. "My entire family is used to us playing on Christmas Day. I mean, we've been doing it for years, since my kids were born. It's kind of part of what we do."
Magic Johnson, retired Los Angeles Lakers guard turned NBA analyst, said Christmas day should be a special one for NBA players and fans.
"Christmas Day was special because everybody is watching at home," Johnson said in an NBA.com report. "That's what I loved about Christmas Day because it shined the spotlight on the Lakers, on our team, and we knew that all of the other leagues were at home and millions of people were watching."
Although former Lakers coach Phil Jackson acknowledged that he was usually single on Christmas, he said NBA players should not have any qualms about playing on the coveted holiday.
"I was single most of those times, anyway. But it wouldn't have created a problem even if I was married," Jackson said. "I think that it's just a special, special day in terms of Christmas Day and to be playing, representing your team and representing the NBA. And I think that when you look at the ten teams that we have playing on Christmas Day, they all will enjoy this moment and they are going to play hard. They are going to play well and they are going to give NBA fans something to cheer about on a special day like Christmas."
This Christmas, the Lakers will face off against the New York Knicks.