It is officially that time of year for everyone to remember what they are thankful for. With Thanksgiving week officially underway, Los Angeles Lakers fans can reminisce about the franchise’s success and the current status of the team.
Thanksgiving is unlike other big holidays as the purple and gold are not going to be in action. The Lakers are a staple of every single Christmas Day slate, regardless of how good the team is, so it feels a bit strange to have the family over for the holidays and not have the Lakers on the TV.
But the Lakers are not alone, as Thanksgiving is one of the few days on the NBA calendar where there are not any games.
Why are there no NBA games on Thanksgiving?
The answer to this question is really quite simple and it has to do with the NFL. The NFL has created a monopoly on Thanksgiving Day sports action. The NBA (and its advertisers) have realized this and have pulled games from the holiday.
It is a perfect win-win for everyone involved. The NFL gets the spotlight all to itself, the NBA does not have to compete with the biggest regular-season day of the year for the NFL, and the players get to stay at home with their families and celebrate.
This respectful backing-off by the NBA has not stopped the NFL from stepping over Christmas, though, as the NFL has made it a point to schedule games on Christmas Day. Perhaps long into the future, the NBA will follow suit with that holiday as well.
Has the NBA ever played on Thanksgiving?
Yes! The NBA has played on Thanksgiving and did so quite frequently until America decided that Thanksgiving was a day for football and football only. The last time that the NBA held games on Thanksgiving was back in 2010.
The Lakers have played on Thanksgiving 16 times in franchise history but 14 of those games occurred before 1972. Over the last 50 years, the Lakers have only played on Thanksgiving two times.
Los Angeles beat the Golden State Warriors 128-119 in 1980 in a game where Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored 40 points. The Lakers wouldn’t play on Thanksgiving again until 2005, where the team beat the Seattle Supersonics 108-96. Kobe Bryant scored 34 points in that game.
Lakers schedule after Thanksgiving:
The Lakers play the day before Thanksgiving at home against the Dallas Mavericks. Los Angeles then gets Black Friday off as well as Thanksgiving, before kickstarting a road trip over the weekend.
That road trip will last four games and will take the team through the end of the month. Here is what that road trip looks like:
- Saturday, November 25, 2023: at Cleveland Cavaliers
- Monday, November 27, 2023: at Philadelphia 76ers
- Wednesday, November 29, 2023: at Detroit Pistons
- Thursday, November 30, 2023: at Oklahoma City Thunder