NBA X-Mas Carol: Starring LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Tracy McGrady & David Stern

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NBA X-Mas Carol: Starring LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Tracy McGrady & David Stern
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
NBA Christmas in 2011? David Stern says, "Bah, humbug!"

David Stern is a Scrooge

There hasn't been a lockout in the NBA since the end of the 20th century, but Stern and the NBA took one step closer to a lockout when they informed the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) that they would not exercise the option to extend the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) one year, despite unprecedented TV ratings and a record-setting $100 million in season ticket sales.

Hope you enjoyed the five Christmas games played on Saturday because they could be the last ones fans can enjoy on Christmas till 2012 unless David "Scrooge" Stern learns "how to keep Christmas well" just like old Ebenezer did in the classic Charles Dickens novella. There were no Christmas games played when the NBA locked out the players in 1998.

We all know how Ebenezer learned his lesson. He was haunted by three ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. If there's any hope of celebrating Christmas with NBA games next year, then the league needs its own ghosts to show Scrooge Stern the light.

But who should be those ghosts?

There have been 554 performances by 329 players on 22 teams in 28 Christmas games during the 21st century (from 2000 to 2009). Let's take a look at the stats for those Christmas games and select who the most productive players were, are and will be. Those will be the ghosts cast to convince Stern to stop putting money before the fans' enjoyment of an NBA Christmas.

This article will use Win Score and Estimated Wins Produced, statistical models created by Professor David Berri from the Wages of Wins Journal, to measure how much a player's box score statistics contributed to their team's performance. An average player produces an estimated 0.100 wins per 48 minutes (EWP48), a star player produces 0.200+ EWP48 and a superstar produces 0.300+ EWP48. More information on these stats can be found at the following links:

Simple Models of Player Performance
Wins Produced vs. Win Score
What Wins Produced Says and What It Does Not Say
Introducing PAWSmin — and a Defense of Box Score Statistics

All stats in this article from Christmas 2000-2009 are Powered By NerdNumbers. All stats from Christmas 2010 were calculated using original data taken from popcornmachine.net and nba.com.

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