Atlanta Hawks Get Coal: No Game on Christmas Day

Dominique Wilkins #21 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Dominique Wilkins #21 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images) /

A visit from the ghost of Christmas past and future to look at the last time the Atlanta Hawks played on Christmas, as well as a look ahead to what team might break its long drought on Christmas Day first.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all Atlanta Hawks fans and all hoops fans in general!

From the Soaring Down South family to yours, we hope everyone has a safe and fun holiday… not watching the Hawks.

Yes, it’s true; the Hawks do not play a game today (Today? Why it’s Christmas Day, of course! Shouts to Charles Dickens.), but that’s alright as the full slate of games on the docket are juicy to say the least. Here’s the full list of games, per

  • 12 p.m. ET: Milwaukee Bucks at New York Knicks (ESPN)
  • 3 p.m. ET: Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets (ABC)
  • 5:30 p.m. ET: Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics (ABC)
  • 8 p.m. ET: Los Angeles Lakers at Golden State Warriors (ABC/ESPN)
  • 10:30 p.m. ET: Portland Trail Blazers at Utah Jazz (ESPN)

With the Atlanta Hawks not particularly in the public consciousness this year, let’s ponder back to the last time the Hawks did play on Christmas Day, which was all the way back in 1989 against Larry Nance Sr. and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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The Hawks bested the Cavs on that day 29 years ago by a final margin of 115 to 104. Atlanta was led in scoring by three beloved former Hawks: Spud Webb (26 points, 12 assists, 5 rebounds), Moses Malone (24 points, 13 rebounds) and the Hawks’ best-ever player Dominique Wilkins (22 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds).

Since that fateful day, the Hawks have not played on December 25th for 29 years.

Now, with the Milwaukee Bucks breaking their Christmas Day drought after 41 years, the longest droughts of not playing on Christmas Day belong to the following teams: the Grizzlies, who have not played in the 23 years of the team’s existence, the Hawks, who’ve experienced no Christmas cheer for 29 years and counting, and the Hornets, who have not played on Christmas day in the 30 years of the franchise’s existence in some form or another.

With the Atlanta Hawks looking at a lengthy rebuild, it seems like Hawks fans might have to wait a little while longer before the team gets any holiday love, but who knows, if the team nabs Zion Williamson in the draft this offseason and Trae Young’s three-pointers start falling, a Christmas miracle might just be on the horizon for Hawks fans.

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Once again, Happy Holidays and Go Hawks!