The Atlanta Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk (left) and owner Tony Ressler (right) introduce Lloyd Pierce as the 13th full-time coach in the Atlanta history of the NBA basketball franchise on Monday, May 14, 2018, in Atlanta. Pierce joins the Hawks after spending the past five seasons as an assistant coach with the 76ers. He also spent time with the Cavaliers, Warriors and Grizzlies organizations. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton
Photo: ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton

No Christmas Day game for Hawks - but soon says rookie

Rest of NBA regular-season schedule to be released Friday

The Hawks won’t play on Christmas Day – again.

Even before the slate of holiday games was announced, rookie Trae Young vowed it wouldn’t be long before the Hawks were a part of the NBA tradition.

The first-round pick posted on social media Tuesday night with a tweet that read: “We’ll have a Christmas Day game soon … #JustWait.” It included praying hands and a 100 emoji.

The NBA released the list of nationally televised games for the first week of the 2018-19 season and Christmas and Martin Luther King Day games Wednesday. The rest of the regular-season schedule will be released Friday.

The slate of Christmas Day games, televised on ESPN and ABC are: Bucks at Knicks, noon; Thunder at Rockets, 3 p.m.; 76ers at Celtics, 5:30 p.m.; Lakers at Warriors, 8 p.m.; and Trail Blazers at Jazz, 10:30 p.m.

So, former Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer, now with the Bucks, and former starting point guard Dennis Schroder, now with the Thunder, will be holiday participants.

The Hawks may play on MLK Day but won’t be a part of the national television schedule. That will be Pelicans at Grizzlies, 5:30 p.m.; Rockets at 76ers, 8 p.m.; and Warriors at Lakers, 10:30 p.m., all on TNT.

The Hawks also were not included in any of the nationally televised games the first week of the season. The regular season begins on Oct. 16 with a TNT doubleheader of 76ers at Celtics at 8 p.m. and Thunder at Warriors at 10:30 p.m. The Warriors will be given their championship rings and unveil their banner prior to the game.

The Hawks are expected to open the season on the road after the completion of major renovations to Philips Arena. The So So Def 25th Anniversary concert on Oct. 21 will be the first ticket event at the arena following $192.5 million renovations. The Hawks will have their home opener at that date.

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