We had a scare with the NFL lockout in the spring and then when the NBA followed with its own. But finally, our favorite basketball pros are returning to the court. While we didn’t get the full season we hoped for, the NBA offers something almost as good: a five-game tip-off on Christmas Day. Starting at noon on the East Coast, 10 teams will take the court all over the country. With games in three of our favorite cities (and two more in Oklahoma City and Oakland), we decided to make your Noël a little easier with some hotel suggestions near the arenas:
Boston Celtics at New York Knicks. New York City during the holiday season is beautiful…but hectic. With the game at noon EST on Christmas, you might battle crowds all the way to Madison Square Garden. But here’s a shortcut: Stay at Affinia Manhattan. It’s just a couple blocks away from the arena and offers a special For the Love of the Game package, which includes Cracker Jacks, a six-pack of beer or a bottle of wine, and a Modell’s gift card so you can pick up team gear.
Miami Heat at Dallas Mavericks. The Big Three and the rest of the Miami Heat head back to Dallas to face the defending champions, the Mavericks. Tipping off at 2:30 p.m. EST at American Airlines Center, this is a must-see game. And if you don’t want to be late, we suggest staying at the über-stylish W Dallas – Victory across the street. Though you won’t find a game-day package, you will be in the heart of the NBA celebration in the aptly named Victory Park.
Chicago Bulls at Los Angeles Lakers. The Bulls take on Kobe Bryant and the Lakers at 5 p.m. EST at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. You won’t have to go far to find a luxury hotel room — the popular entertainment complex L.A. Live surrounds the arena and houses The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles and JW Marriott Los Angeles. Both hotels can hook you up with passes to some of the other attractions within L.A. Live (think movie theaters, restaurants, bowling and bars), so you’ll have plenty to explore pre- and post-game.
Photo Courtesy of Juan Bernal