Coming on the heels of the 76ers officially announcing a home game in London, the Sixers have officially announced that the team would play on Christmas Day for the first time since the 2001-02 season and also announced the team’s season opener.
The team confirmed the Christmas Day game, first reported yesterday by Spike Eskin, which will take place against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. The NBA released the slots for all the Christmas games this year this evening, which also features a Finals rematch, the funeral game, Harden-Westbrook, and a Lakers game because of course. The Sixers-Knicks game will be broadcast on ESPN (and locally on CSN) at 12 PM, which means you can watch the game and still get your Christmas activities in.
The Sixers season will begin on October 18th, with a road game against John Wall and the Washington Wizards. For the second consecutive year, the opener will be a national TV broadcast also on ESPN and CSN at 7 PM. Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz are expected (hopefully!) to make their NBA debuts. The opener is a week earlier than last year’s, with the NBA beginning the season earlier to provide more rest for players. This should benefit the Sixers, especially if Embiid begins the season without playing back-to-backs like last year.
Expect the full schedule to be released soon, along with the announcement of a bevy of national TV games. As one of the NBA’s most promising teams combined with a major media market, expect more and more national TV appearances to be the norm. Times have changed.