NBA: Ranking the 12 best Christmas Day performances in history

Some of the most memorable regular-season moments in the NBA have taken place on Christmas Day. Let's take a look back at some of the best.

New Orleans Pelicans v Orlando Magic
New Orleans Pelicans v Orlando Magic / Douglas P. DeFelice/GettyImages
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2. Wilt Chamberlain (1961)

Chamberlain’s performance on Christmas Day 1961 tops my list. I don’t have the video, nor should anyone need it to understand that this was an exercise in pure dominance. “Wilt the Stilt” scored 59 points and grabbed 36 rebounds. The 36 boards are the most ever on Christmas Day in NBA history.

This happened during a season where Chamberlain averaged 50.4 points and 25.7 rebounds per game. Most guys don’t average 25.7 minutes per game! What’s even more unbelievable is that this performance came in a LOSS! The Philadelphia Warriors fell to the New York Knicks 136-135.

1. Bernard King (1984)

Bernard King was arguably the NBA’s most unstoppable player during the 1984-85 season, averaging 32.9 points per game. His performance on Christmas Day in 1984 against the New Jersey Nets helped boost that average. I’m not sure what the Nets did to motivate King if anything, but I’m sure they regretted it.

Bernard King had 40 points…BY HALFTIME. He was torching the Nets (see what I did there?) and finished with an NBA Christmas Day record of 60 points – a record that still stands today. Surely the Knicks won, right?

Wrong. Despite King’s legendary performance the Knicks lost to the Nets 120-114.

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This is my list and I’m sticking to it. Let the debate begin. I wish you and your families a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season!