It’s tough for NBA players to find the time to drink eggnog, buy presents and sing carols over the holiday season.
Between road trips, games, practice, meetings and community events, it takes some extra effort to make Christmas a memorable time.
For the Portland Trail Blazers, who play in Utah against the Jazz on Christmas Day, there are a few secrets to enjoying the festive season.
“You’ve got to start early,” said Blazers guard Evan Turner to NBA.com.
“When it comes to the tree, we plan that four or five days in advance. So the playlist, the cookies, hot chocolate and stuff and then we come back to town I’ll have people over and we’ll have a Christmas movie night or something like that.”
And what does he like to drink and eat?
“Henny and hot chocolate, some cupcakes, something along those lines.”
Turner, who is a self-proclaimed Christmas tragic – think Will Ferrell in Elf – loves getting into the Christmas spirit.
“I always want to get into the Christmas spirit, so you’ve got to plan,” said Turner. “Obviously, I do the Christmas tree decoration with the homies.”
“During the season sometimes if it’s a nice day out or whatever, I’ll try to walk around downtown, get into an area where they have lights and all that stuff.”
Just like us regular folks, Turner says that watching his favourite Christmas movies and buying gifts helps him get into the spirit too.
Being away from home – and having millions of dollars to spend – there’s no surprise to how players buy gifts.
“Amazon!” said Moe Harkless when asked how he does his shopping. “A lot of Amazon.”
“Growing up, I used to love Christmas because I’d get presents,” said Harkless. “Now I love Christmas because I get to see my little brother and my nephew, see how excited they get when they get presents.
So sure, NBA ballers can have a tough time finding a balance between home and work life, but it helps to remind them what’s important too.
“I’m going to always consider my family or my loved ones before everything else,” said Damian Lillard.
“Obviously I’m going to do what I’ve got to do for work, but I’m not going to let that get in the way of my mom or my son or my girlfriend or my sister.”
When it comes to Christmas NBA players aren’t too different from us – they want family time, good food, presents, and a nice bottle of Henny.
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