Kings, United in Christmas Day NBL game

The Sydney Kings will host Melbourne United on Christmas Day in a NBL and modern Australian sporting first described as the “last scheduling frontier”.

The NBA has hosted multiple games on Christmas Day since 1947 in what has become a marquee date for basketball fans.

But Australian professional sports organisations have avoided it in the belief fans are more focused on their holidays, OKEPLAY777 travel and family celebrations.

Kings chairman Paul Smith and co-owner Andrew Bogut had been mulling the initiative for more than two years, believing society’s changed.

“We have to stand out in Sydney and being the first team in any sport to host on this day helps us do that,” Smith said.

“This is the last scheduling frontier in sport in Australia and we’re a society that has changed so much in recent times, traditions aren’t what they used to be.

“So many have lunch at restaurants and clubs or are out and about on Christmas Day.

“And I know I am sick of my family by dinner time so a little hoops distraction in the evening will become a Christmas staple.”

The Qudos Bank Arena clash will run in partnership with a charitable organisation and follow a Christmas Eve game in Adelaide between the 36ers and South East Melbourne.

“We are thrilled to be bringing such a massive encounter to Christmas Day, particularly given we will be the first professional sport in this country to do so,” NBL commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said.

“Sports fans across Australia and New Zealand have been asking for live sport on Christmas and we are excited to bring them world-class basketball and entertainment on what is a very special day for so many.

“Christmas Day has become a marquee day on the NBA calendar and we’re confident it will have a similar impact for us and our clubs.”