Raptors will host a Christmas Day game for first time in franchise history

Aug 2 2019, 9:21 pm

Finally.

After years of demanding respect, the NBA couldn’t ignore the Toronto Raptors anymore.

Guess that’s what winning a championship does.

The Toronto Raptors will play on Christmas Day for the first time since Vince Carter was in his prime, according to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The last time the Raptors played on Christmas Day was in 2001, when they visited the New York Knicks. This is the first time they’ve ever hosted a December 25 game.

The matchup will reportedly feature the Boston Celtics travelling to Scotiabank Arena.

Other leaked games from the yet-to-be-announced regular season schedule include:

  • LA Clippers @ LA Lakers
  • New Orleans Pelicans @ Denver Nuggets
  • Milwaukee Bucks @ Philadelphia 76ers
  • Houston Rockets @ Golden State Warriors

Having to work on Christmas is seen as a negative in most professions, but not in the NBA, where getting to play in one of the series of marquee games on December 25 is a sign of prestige.

“You get the special shoes. The Christmas jerseys. That’s one I want to frame one day. Hopefully, I get the opportunity to do it,” Kyle Lowry said after the Raptors were snubbed in 2017.

Being located in Canada was most likely the main reason for previous Raptors snubs, as American television drives the most revenue.

Another game Raptors fans will have circled on their calendars will reportedly take place on December 11, when Kawhi Leonard makes his return to Toronto with his new team.

In other news, the NBA preseason schedule was officially released on Friday. The Raptors will play just one game at home, against the Chicago Bulls on October 13. That comes after a pair of games overseas, against the Houston Rockets in Tokyo.

Toronto concludes their preseason schedule against the Brooklyn Nets at the longtime home of the New York Islanders, Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, on October 18.

Date Opponent Venue City Local Time Eastern Time
Tue, Oct 8 vs Houston Saitama Super Arena Tokyo 7:00 PM 6:00 AM
Thu, Oct 10 vs Houston Saitama Super Arena Tokyo 7:00 PM 6:00 AM
Sun, Oct 13 vs Chicago Scotiabank Arena Toronto 6:00 PM 6:00 PM
Fri, Oct 18 @ Brooklyn Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum Uniondale 7:30 PM 7:30 PM