Warriors' Steve Kerr: NBA Should Make Rule to Ban Consecutive Christmas Road Games

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVDecember 24, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 20: Head coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors giving directions to his team on the court against the Sacramento Kings during the first half of an NBA basketball game at Chase Center on December 20, 2021 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr just wants to spend some time at home for the holidays.

As Golden State prepares for Saturday's game at the Phoenix Suns—which will be its second straight Christmas road game after traveling to face the Milwaukee Bucks last season—Kerr said the league should not schedule the same team for road games on two consecutive Christmas holidays, per Nick Friedell of ESPN:

"Generally I like playing on Christmas. It's exciting. I love playing at home on Christmas. That way you can still have a good family day Christmas morning with the kids and then go to the arena later. It's tough being on the road for Christmas, but it's part of being in the NBA.
"It is an honor to play on Christmas—it's a showcase and everybody's watching—but I do think there should be a rule in the NBA that you can't be on the road two years in a row. Just making that clear. Because last year we were in Milwaukee and this year we'll be in Phoenix, and that doesn't seem right."

Golden State's marquee players echoed that sentiment, as Stephen Curry said he enjoys playing on the holiday "because it means you're one of the marquee teams" but also suggested he favored such a rule to let him spend more time at home at this time of year.

Draymond Green also called the idea to prevent back-to-back Christmas road games "legit" while opening up about his position:

"I have a 7-year-old, a 5-year-old and a 1-year-old. I want to spend some time at home with my kids, too. We're not playing against a defending champion. If we're playing against a defending champion, you understand, but we're not. And it's a bit frustrating to have to go on the road a second year in a row. So now I miss my daughter's first Christmas, and I'll miss her second one. It's kind of f---ed up. But it's the reality. That's what we're faced with.
"You have to go do your job, but we're human beings, too. So like I said, I missed her first one and I'll miss her second one. I can't explain that to her. So it sucks. We're not robots, we're not machines. We're actual human beings with actual feelings, with actual families."

As the Warriors mentioned, it is something of a curse and a blessing to be scheduled for Christmas games so often.

They have been one of the league's marquee franchises for nearly a decade after reaching five straight NBA Finals from 2015 through 2019. Curry is also one of the faces of the league, so the NBA's decision to feature him on its showcase day of Christmas games is no surprise either.

Golden State lost by 39 points to the eventual champion Bucks on Christmas last year, although Green was sidelined as what would ultimately be an up-and-down season was just getting underway for the Western Conference team.

This season's squad is much better equipped to compete with a 26-6 record and the eventual return of Klay Thompson looming. Whichever team wins Saturday's game will have the league's best record, as Phoenix is 26-5.

There are four other games on Christmas this year, starting with a showdown between the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden. From there, the Boston Celtics face the Bucks, the Warriors play the Suns, the Brooklyn Nets go up against the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Dallas Mavericks tip off against the Utah Jazz.