Christmas, Love and Basketball

One of the things I try to do when I talk with NBA players is find things they have in common with all of us. At Christmas time we all can think back to the gifts we got and remember them fondly. One of the things we also have in common is a love of basketball. So when we were small, be it NBA players, bloggers or just fans we all likely got some basketball memories from Christmas. Some that may have even sparked why we love the game today. We all likely have a story of some basketball related gift we got from Santa or Mom and Dad. So when I was at the last game I covered before the holiday break asked a number of Raptors and former Raptor Kris Humphries the best basketball gift they got as a kid at Christmas.

Like I said decided to include some of you as well as some of my colleagues on the Internet and twitter followers too. So here is what some of their answers were.

Holly Mackenzie From The Score AKA @Stackmack- For as long as I can remember have always got a basketball book and a Lakers Calender, even thought I am more just a fan of the game now.

Adam Francis from Raptors HQ- I'd have to say a Mark Price poster (used to be a Cavs fan) of him hitting a free-throw with the slogan "Right on the Money."He was killing the "career free-throw percentage" category at the time, and even with some sub-par seasons post-Cavs, still holds the record!

Tom Liston from Raptors Republic- Wasn't for Christmas, but it was trip to see Bird/McHale/Parrish/DJ/Ainge at the Boston Gaaaaarrden. Amazing memory.

Ray Bala from Can Ball Report- The closest thing that I've gotten that was basketball related was a video game-Double Dribble for NES or Bulls vs Blazers for Sega Genisis.

Audley Stephenenson From NBA Breakdown- It had to be the Double Dribble video game for my Nintendo!! talk about cheesy graphics! I loved the close-up graphics when you went in for a dunk. I still remember the digitized voice when it started up "Double Dribble" (computer voice) Played for days with no water or food

Ryan McNeill From Hoops Addict.com - I got was a Huffy basketball net back in the day.

Danielle De Graauw From OUR DNB Staff- A Magic Johnson vintage t-shirt from sister. She saved up to buy it for me. Plus in high school, my parents got me a pair of tear aways I still wear and oh yeah, that Shaquille O'Neal bath set with the sponge as a basketball and net to dunk as I washed..for sentimentality the t-shirt and for humour the SHAQ gift.

Kid Raptor from Kiss 92.5 and Twitter - My Kid Raptor jersey =) <-- which he got from his Uncle Mocha. His dad @TheRounder said a Raptors Dance Pak calender <--but I am pretty sure they didn't have those back when he was a kid or Raptors for that matter.

Brett Poirier a Raps Fan and DNB Reader- When I was 12 I opened a tiny box that had hotel reservations for a spot in Toronto, another note in the box said open my next gift, their I say plane tickets for my family to Toronto. I started getting really excited, and finally got to the last box, in it were Raptors tickets 5 rows ups!!! They played the Nuggets that day, with melo and A.I on the team. ill never ever forget that x-mas gift.

Some other ones from folks on Twitter.

@BayanQ- As a kid my best bbal gift was a bball net outside my home. I would have loved court side seats though! :P

@ThatPatty- Lil Sport Hoops. I was using that bball net well into my teens. It owes me nothing after years of rim abuse.

@Yarock- Trashcan backboard! I dunked so many homework assignments in my Carter jersey

@RyanJHTurvey- Best x-mas gift I got was the Jordan book Rare Air. Looked through it thousands of times.

You might say what is the point to all of this. Well there are a few of them. First be people NBA stars or just the average person we all have memories of being kids. Second we all have a common bond in a love of basketball. Aside from that it great to share our fond memories of the holidays. May these holidays create some new memories for all of you that read the Dino Nation Blog. A special thanks from me to all of the people that contributed to this. May they and you all have a great holiday and get to enjoy family and friends and the spirit of the season. May still have one more DNB surprise before the day is done. But just in case not... Merry Christmas to you all.

Oh wait a second...I never answered this did I? Well for me my mom would always get me tickets to a Raptor game when she could manage to afford it. Actually more to the point a few games. My mom always tends to go above and beyond what you tell her. I remember, the Christmas after my father passed away, she asked me for a list of what I wanted. So I made one giving her what I thought was a list of options. Instead what I got was every single item on that list. I was floored and did not know what to say. But be it 1 gift under your tree or 101 this season is about having a good feeling in your heart and sharing that with the world. This is my gift to all of you that read the blog the whole year through. It never cost me a thing but time and effort and hopefully it made you think or made you smile. If it did that make sure you pass on that smile or thought to someone else.

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