15 ways the NBA on Christmas Day became a hoop happening

The NBA and Christmas games have been synonymous since 1947. There were three games played on that first Christmas. Now the league seems to be headed toward 12 games on December 25. A look at how this came to be and some of the most memorable performances.

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15. The Knicks played in the first game (1947)

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The inaugural Christmas hoops contest was between the New York Knicks and a team known as the Providence Steamrollers. Don’t be shocked, but the Knicks actually won, 89-75. The Steamrollers fell to 2-14. Their roster did not have any familiar names. The Knicks’ did. One of the players was Butch van Breda Kolff, who went on to a long and storied coaching career. The Knicks have the most wins on the holiday (22) and the most losses (30).

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