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David Edole

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A look back at Rakeem Christmas' Indiana Pacers career - Dec 26, 2018

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by Tony East

It's Christmas day, so we look back on the career of Indiana Pacers center Rakeem Christmas.
There are few things in basketball history more pure than former Indiana Pacers center Rakeem Christmas wearing jersey number 25.

The Pacers acquired Christmas after the 2015 Summer League. They traded away a Lakers second round pick for him, a pick in which they acquired when trading away Roy Hibbert. Most of his first year with the team was spend with the Mad Ants, where he was a D-League All-Star. But he did get to make his NBA debut in the final game of the 2015-16 season.

In that game, he played slightly over 6 minutes. He dropped 4 points on 2 shots without missing while also grabbing a rebound. It was a successful debut for the youngster.

Year 2 provided more opportunity for Christmas. He was able to get on the court for 219 NBA minutes, a solid amount for an end of bench player. While providing fun Holiday puns and pictures is fun, providing on-court value is better.

Rakeem Christmas' best game of his career came in a win over the Houston Rockets back in February of 2017. Christmas was filling in at backup center with Al Jefferson out due to dental issues. And he did… pretty well! He scored 10 points on 5 shots and pulled down 3 rebounds in about 20 minutes. He did some good stuff with the ball in his hands.

Ultimately, though, that season was the final one of Christmas' NBA career. He finished with averages of 2.1 points and 1.9 rebounds in just 7.5 minutes per game. He never quite proved he belonged despite showing some good stuff now and again.

Christmas spent late 2017 playing for Galatasaray in Turkey, where he averaged 5.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. He then spent the rest of the 2017-18 season playing in New Zealand for the New Zealand Breakers.

Off the court, Christmas is engaged to Jasmine Jordan, daughter of legendary basketball player Michael Jordan.

Christmas probably won't even be back in the NBA. It is cool that the Indiana Pacers get to be the only team that gets to have the awesomeness on the back of the jersey that is 'Christmas #25'.  

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