The NBA released the 2013-14 schedule on Tuesday and, lo and behold, the Miami Heat are on the road for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Naturally, Battier isn’t thrilled about the idea (h/t to USA Today).
The schedule I got said that we are on the road for Xmas and Turkey Day. I think I received a bad copy.
— Shane Battier (@ShaneBattier) August 6, 2013
Now, the Heat don’t have a game on Turkey Day (Thursday, November 28) per se, but they have road games against the Cleveland Cavaliers (November 27) and Toronto Raptors (November 29) on the surrounding nights. Doesn’t exactly leave a lot of time for drumstick jousting and the gravy Olympics.
To make matters worse, the Heat are facing the Los Angeles Lakers in Tinseltown on Christmas, putting them on the road for yet another major holiday.
The good news? They play the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on December 30 and the Golden State Warriors in Miami on January 2, meaning they’ll be home for New Year’s and, more importantly, my birthday.
Still, the prospect of being away from home on both Thanksgiving and Christmas just plain sucks. I know these NBA guys make a lot of money and aren’t supposed to have feelings or be allowed to offer their opinions because their salary is what is, but it may shock you to learn they aren’t robots.
Like the rest of us, they have families, and presumably holiday traditions as well. Do they have the means to bring the Thanksgiving and Christmas festivities to them? Absolutely. But it’s not the same as being home. Most of us have to know that.
Stuffing yourself silly on the road doesn’t compare to overeating on Thanksgiving before passing out on your own couch. Unwrapping gifts in a hotel room or even something that is considered a home away from home doesn’t measure up to pillaging through piles of gifts under your own Christmas tree. Just saying.
Not that I’m implying this is what Battier, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh or the rest of the Heatles will necessarily be upset about. Nor am I suggesting everyone on the team will share Battier’s opinion. They might; they might not.
All I’m saying is holidays away from home won’t always be the greatest. The traveling, the packing, the unpacking—it all takes away from whatever it is you normally have planned. Whether that be turkey carving or pie baking or gift hoarding or sofa lounging doesn’t matter. For most, holidays are better at home.
But such is the price Battier and the Heat must play for being the most polarizing team in the NBA, especially on Christmas. The league isn’t about to field a Christmas docket devoid of their reigning champions, the same team seeking to win its third straight title. Not on a stage that big, under lights that bright. Against a team that will try to steal LeBron from the Heat next summer.
Occupational hazards can be a bitch sometimes.
Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.