The NBA's marquee day has always been December 25th. It's when the biggest stars in the league get to play in front of what's usually one of the biggest audiences of the year.
It's also somewhat of a vote of confidence from the NBA schedule makers who basically say "you're who everyone wants to see."
Some of the NBA's most memorable scoring performances have come on Christmas Day but it's been a while since someone has cracked the top five of highest scoring on the NBA's festive showcase. With stars like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo set to take the floor on the 25th this season, it's not out of the realm of possibility that we see of those players vault into the top five.
With that in mind, let's take a look at the top five best scoring efforts on Christmas Day.
1. Bernard King
It's a scoring record that has stood since 1984 and no one in the last 16 years has even come close.
The NBA on Christmas Day has always been special at the Garden no matter how the Knicks are playing and on this occasion, it was the Nets who made the short trip from New Jersey to take on the hometown Knicks.
King was a man on a mission that night, starting off by scoring 11 of the Knicks' first 15 points. When it was all said and done, he finished with a game-high 60 points on 19-for-30 from the field. He also got to the line 26 times.
King did all that scoring without taking a single 3-point attempt - matter of fact the Knicks only attempted one 3-point field which Rory Sparrow knocked down. Somewhere Ben Simmons is smiling in approval.
Although King put on an incredible offensive displace, his team didn't get the win as the Knicks lost to the Nets 120-114 that night.
2. Wilt Chamberlain
The most dominant player of his era, Wilt Chamberlain had already announced his greatness on Christmas Day in his rookie season, dropping 45 points and pulling down 34 rebounds in the Philadelphia Warriors' 129-121 win over the Syracuse Nationals.
Chamberlain and the Warriors weren't scheduled on Christmas the following year, but in his third season in the league - the year he averaged an NBA-record 50.4 points per game - the Big Dipper went off for a game-high 59 points and 36 rebounds. They didn't record blocks back then but we can all assume he swatted his fair share of shot attempts that night, too.
Unfortunately for Wilt, like King, his team lost the game as the Warriors fell to the New York Knicks 136-135 in a double OT thriller.
3. Rick Barry
Possibly one of the most underappreciated players in league history, Rick Barry slots in at No. 3.
Barry's list of accolades includes 12 All-Star appearances, six All-NBA selections, four All-ABA selections and, of course, an NBA championship in 1975 where he won Finals MVP.
The dude was a bad man.
On Christmas Day in 1966, Barry flexed his scoring muscle for 50 points, six rebounds and four assists in the San Francisco Warriors' 124-112 win over the Cincinnati Royal. Again, the 3-point line wasn't a factor and Barry got to the line only 13 times, nailing 12 of his famous underhand free-throws.
Barry hit the 50 points mark six times in total that year, leading the league in scoring with 35.6 points per game - the highest mark in his career.
When you talk about the greatest scorers the league has ever seen, don't forget to bring up Rick Barry.
4. Jerry West
Mr. Clutch features twice in the top-10 scorers on Christmas Day. In 1965, he dropped 44 on the Detroit Pistons.
But it was his game in 1963 that earned him the fourth spot on this list. West finished with a game-high 47 points shooting 19-for-30 from the field in the Lakers' 134-126 win over the Knicks.
If you think it was all West that night, think again, as four other Lakers hit double-digit scoring, including a cool 27 points from Elgin Baylor.
5. Tracy McGrady
No player in NBA history has averaged more points on Christmas Day than T-Mac. At 43.3 points per game, McGrady is way ahead of everyone, including Jerry West's 32.2 points which is good for second place.
Of the top 20 scoring performances on Christmas, McGrady has three of them - no other player has more than two in the top 30. Not Wilt, not Jerry West, not Michael Jordan.
At age 23, McGrady went off for 46 points, six rebounds and three steals as his Orlando Magic defeated the Detroit Pistons 104-99.
Unfortunately for McGrady and the Magic, the Pistons would get their revenge and the last laugh later when they completed a 3-1 series comeback in the playoffs that year.