His stellar career at Temple slowly fading in the rearview mirror, Christmas just can't give up on the game because he has attained the ultimate dream - to put on an NBA uniform.
"This is a dream, one that I've been chasing since I came out of college, really one that I've been chasing my whole life," said Christmas, flashing his almost always present smile. "Since I came out of college I've always thought that I belonged in the NBA. A lot of other people have, too. I believe I belong. A lot of guys give up after the first or second year. But this is going into my fifth year, man, and I'm still grinding. I'm young, I'm only 26. I still have years in front of me. I'm healthy, God blessed me with that. I'm just going to keep chipping away at it."
Since leaving Temple in 2009, there have been stints in Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel and Russia. He was in the Boston Celtics training camp last year after a very strong showing for them in the Summer League. He also was a member of the Sixers training camp 4 years ago, before being cut. He signed with the Houston Rockets late in 2012, but didn't appear in a game. Today, he will fly to Las Vegas as part of the Phoenix Suns' Summer League team, hoping to try impress someone enough to make a roster.
"Utah is a good fit for me because they're looking for wing players," said Christmas. "The general manager for Phoenix [Ryan McDonough], he was with Boston so that will be a good look for me. He knows my game and what type of person I am. He's excited for me to go to Las Vegas and play with them. I'm getting a lot of opportunities and we'll see what I'm going to do with it and how I approach this whole situation.
"Last year was so close [with Boston], but things happen. I don't blame anybody. I thought I played well for the time that I had. I took full advantage of the opportunity that was given to me last year in the summer league. Things happen and things happen for a reason. When [Boston] signed me I also signed a huge deal in Russia. So that was good for me financially and still the Celtics gave me a guaranteed contract, so that was good. Things happen for a reason."
If he ever questioned his decisions to let this play out for a while - and he hasn't - there was more proof for him to stick it out for as long as he can on the opposing team yesterday morning.
As the two teams went through warm-ups, Christmas shared a hug with another Philly product, Rasual Butler. At 34, Butler is hoping to get back into the NBA after a 1-year hiatus.
"It was crazy for me to see Rasual Butler out there today. I've looked up to him for a long time. He's out there and he's an 11-year NBA vet. He's trying to get back into the league. That right there tells you something.
"As long as I'm getting the opportunity and teams keep calling me in, I'm going to continue to play. I'm 26. He's in love with the game and I have a love of the game. I'm here for a totally different reason than Rasual. He's trying to get back in. I'm trying to just get in. I have never played an NBA game. That's my goal. I'm setting goals for myself, first to get on an NBA roster and secondly to be able to suit up and show a team that I belong in this league and I can help any team in this league."
And if it doesn't work out this season, Christmas will go back to Europe and play. There, he'll continue to improve his game until someone in the NBA takes notice.
"I've made a ton of money over in Europe and I've played with the best teams over in Europe," he said. "Last year I won an Italian championship with Montepaschi Siena. I played in Russia, made a ton of money over there. I've made a lot of money overseas, but my desire is here. I would definitely love to play in the NBA.
"I gotta get it, man. I love it, man. I love basketball. Love it, man."
He's just looking for a little love in return from the one league he hasn't played in yet. His dream league.
On Twitter: @BobCooney76, Blog: ph.ly/Sixerville