ORLANDO, Fla. — Stan Van Gundy has a request for the NBA: no more Christmas games.
"I actually feel sorry for people who have nothing to do on Christmas Day other than watch an NBA game," the Orlando Magic coach said.
The Magic were playing Boston on Friday, one of five NBA games on Christmas.
Van Gundy said he understands the high-priced TV contracts generate money for the league and it would be difficult to stop such games. He said at the very least he wishes the league had fewer games on the holidays.
The Magic play games on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day this season.
"I think we get a little carried away with ourselves with sports thinking we're more important than everything else," Van Gundy said before the game. "But that's the way it is. There's nothing more important than the NBA on Christmas Day."
Van Gundy feels the day is best spent with family. He woke up early but managed to spend only about 15 minutes with his wife and four children. They went to church services the day before.
Van Gundy said he hadn't even had a chance to open his family's gifts before the tip-off at 2:30 p.m.
The only time he could recall watching a Christmas Day game was when his brother, Jeff, was coaching one of them. Van Gundy also said he doesn't watch NFL games on Thanksgiving.
"Christmas to me, obviously basketball is very important to me, but there are some days of the year where it's got to take a back seat to something," he said.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers wasn't quite as adamant, but he didn't disagree.
Rivers said it's tough for players to be away from family, but he realizes the league is not going to stop playing on the holidays. Rivers lives in the Orlando area and was able to wake up Christmas morning in his own bed.
He said he always watched Christmas Day games growing up because the league features the marquee teams.
"As a kid, you wanted to be on (Christmas)," Rivers said. "Then when you get to the league, you don't want to be on any more. You're like, 'No, I changed my mind.' But it's going to happen, so why try to fight it? I tend to look at it as a reward."
Van Gundy is doing what he can to give his team a break.
He gave players consecutive days off for the first time this season for the upcoming weekend. The Magic's schedule — with travel days and all — hasn't allowed for a break, he said.
"The league has been good to all of us in terms of what we get out of all these TV contracts and everything, so it would be a little disingenuous to complain too much," Van Gundy said. "But if I had my way, we'd take a five-day break at Christmas. I mean it."
WIZARDS' GUARD KEEPS GUNS IN HIS LOCKER: Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas stored unloaded firearms in a container in his locker, according to the team, and the NBA is looking into the situation.
The Wizards issued a statement Thursday night saying there was no ammunition in the locked container, and Arenas and the team have notified authorities and the league.
Arenas told The Washington Times he took his guns to the Verizon Center after his daughter, Hamiley Penny, was born this month. About a week later, he said he handed them over to team security to give to police.
"I wouldn't have brought them to D.C. had I known the rules," Arenas told the newspaper. "After my daughter was born, I was just like, 'I don't need these anymore.' "
Arenas was suspended for Washington's season-opener in 2004 because he failed to maintain proper registration of a handgun while living in California in 2003. Arenas formerly played for the Golden State Warriors.
Officer Quintin Peterson, a spokesman for the Washington police department, told The Associated Press on Thursday night there was no report of any active investigation involving Arenas.
The team and the three-time All-Star "are cooperating fully with law enforcement during its review of this matter and will have no further comment at this time," according to the Wizards' statement.
CBSSports.com first reported the investigation.
Wizards spokesman Scott Hall wouldn't say when or where Arenas had the firearms in his locker.
The NBA's collective bargaining agreement allows for players to legally possess firearms but prohibits them at league facilities or when traveling on any league-related business.
"We're aware of the situation and are working to gain a full understanding of the facts and relevant legal issues," the NBA said in a release.
Los Angeles Clippers guard Sebastian Telfair was suspended for two games and fined an undisclosed amount in 2006 after a loaded handgun registered to his girlfriend was found in his pillowcase aboard the team's plane when he was with Portland.2 comments on this story
Arenas scored 18 points in Washington's 109-97 victory at Milwaukee on Wednesday night. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Arenas is averaging 22.2 points after being limited to 15 games during the past two seasons following three operations on his left knee over 11/2 years.
Arenas is in the second season of an $111 million, six-year contract. He is one of the NBA's most popular players, but a series of injuries has limited his time on the court. Nicknamed Agent Zero, he has a career average of 22.7 points over nine NBA seasons.