Jrue Holiday is officially a Boston Celtics player, and Twitter/X has been blowing up with clips from his first workout and his press conference. I think we are all feeling the same way Brad Stevens does right now about the new All-Star arrival.
So, let’s take a look at some of the best moments from his first workout and press conference in Beantown.
Jrue Holiday’s first workout with the Boston Celtics
When Holiday first arrived, Brad Stevens and former Milwaukee Bucks assistant, Charles Lee, got straight to work with the All-Star guard. From the second he arrived, he was made to feel at home.
Since Lee was the Bucks’ assistant during their 2020 Championship run, not many people will know Holiday as well as he does. With the combined minds of Lee and Stevens, who knows what wisdom they were passing on to the Celtics’ new No.4 ahead of his first workout in Boston Celtics green.
During an interview with CLNS Media, Joe Mazzulla was asked about the arrival of Jrue Holiday and how he will be used at the Boston Celtics, to which Mazzulla responded:
"“What does he do well, how can he help us, and then where can we plug him in that’s going to help him the best and then help our team the best.”"
What Holiday does best is a little bit of everything. With 50% from inside the arc during his career, a 39.5% average from beyond the arc over the last 3 seasons, 7.4 APG last season, and an All-Defensive guard boasting an average of 1.5 SPG over his career, it’s easy to see how well rounded he is.
We got glimpses of this during the workout and, from all areas of the court, Holiday couldn’t miss. Even with trainers contesting some of Holiday’s 3-point attempts, that jump shot is looking clean.
Holiday has shown impressive shooting percentages of 56.1%, 54.7%, and 54.2% from 2-point territory over the past three seasons, and got straight to work on his mid-range and post-scoring offense during his first workouts.
With the post ability of Al Horford and the seven-foot-three Kristaps Porzingis, as well as the driving ability of Tatum and Brown, seeing Holiday working on his 2-point game might mean we will see a more post-centric offense next season, whether that be for post-scoring itself or setting up teammates for open looks beyond the arc.
With the double-big lineup being as much of an option as small-ball next season, we could see a lot of work being done in the post going forward.
We know how versatile Holiday can be and it looks like the Boston Celtics are going to try to get the best out of him from all areas. With Tatum and Brown being the main scoring options, Holiday will gain the freedom to be used where and when he is needed.
High percentage opportunity at the mid-range? Hit the shot. Man open from beyond the arc? Make the pass. Left open from 3? Call for the pass and take the shot. Offensively, Holiday will unlock more options for the Celtics next season due to this versatility.
A short montage from Holiday’s first scrimmage with the Celtics was posted on X, which included quick snippets of a clean layup, him guarding Jaylen Brown, and an aggressive closing down on the wing from the new arrival. This only adds to the anticipation we are all feeling at this moment as we count down the days to see how well this team gels together during preseason, the regular season, and then when it matters most, the Playoffs.
What was said during Jrue Holiday’s first Boston Celtics press conference?
With Holiday missing out on Media Day, but plenty of comments being made about his arrival, excitement was high for the chance to hear what he has to say about his recent arrival in Boston. The questions quickly rolled in and, to say Holiday was ready to answer would be an understatement. Here are some of the best moments from his first press conference as a Celtic.
The first question asked was about going through this “whirlwind” of moving from the Milwaukee Bucks to one of their biggest rivals, the Boston Celtics, after stating that he wants to be a “Buck for life”. This was followed by a justified and uncontrollable grin from both Holiday and Brad before he answered:
"“It’s definitely been a whirlwind. My family were established there, we had school, friends, but, it’s also a part of the business. I feel like coming here is definitely my best chance of winning and being able to help the guys here that have made big moves and done great things in this league. So, I’m really just here to step up that game and become a champion.”"
Holiday’s goal is parallel to the aspirations of the organization and that is to win Championship No.18. Yes, moving from the place you saw yourself retiring and joining their biggest eastern rival would be tough, but as he said, “It’s part of the business”. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made in order to succeed and Holiday understands that. If winning means leaving the place where his family grew up, and the place where his friends are, then that’s what needs to be done.
Don’t worry though Jrue, you’ll be made to feel at home here in Boston.
So we know how the fans feel about Holiday, but how does Holiday feel about the fans, TD Garden, and its environment? Well, he was asked exactly that, and how it felt to play against the Celtics at TD Garden during some previous playoff series. He responded:
"“They’re a bit crazy, I’m not gonna lie to you. They get rowdy, they get in your face, definitely one of the best 6th man in the league, if not, the best. I love the aggression, I love the environment, I think they care more about hard work on defense, getting loose balls, and stuff like that over windmill dunks and things of that nature.” He then added, with a laugh, “The fans are literally insane and I’m proud to be a part of that coming into this year.”"
TD Garden does get crazy and the Boston Celtics fans create an unbelievable atmosphere, unlike anything else this league can provide, and he’s right, the fans are insane, we do appreciate hard work on the defensive end, and we do get aggressive. So, he has every right to be proud the be on the other side of that next season. We can’t wait to show you how much love this city has for its players.
Furthermore, the fact that a new star already understands and appreciates the Celtics culture, and what our fans expect from their players, is huge. The first time he suits up in Boston Green, he will really feel what TD Garden is all about.
In addition to recognizing the incredible support of our fans, Holiday is fully aware of the contributions he can bring to the Celtics next season. He was asked about his thoughts on playing with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, and how he feels he might be able to make them better. This was his response:
"“Honestly, I just want to make the game easier for them. I know that I am a threat offensively, I know that I do love to pass, and really be that type of player, but I can also be aggressive offensively. Not only that, defensively I feel like I’m pretty good.” He then went on to add, “I’m really just here to serve. I’m here to do really well next to everyone on the court. but, for the most part, I think it’s about winning and helping out my teammates, become as good as possible, as good as I can.”"
As much as an offensive threat Holiday is, he is making it clear that his priority is to play well with those around him, both offensively and defensively. He wants to make life easier for his teammates and that mentality proves why he was a three-time recipient of the Teammate of the Year award.
For stars like Tatum and Brown to have someone with that mentality next to them on the court will surely elevate their game and, as their chemistry builds, we will see how far their game can be elevated due to the presence of Holiday.
Already it is abundantly clear that Holiday is as excited to be a part of the Boston Celtics organization as the organization and fans are to have him playing in the right shade of green next season. With impressive mid-range and 3-point scoring from his workouts, his commitment to making life easier for Tatum and Brown, his defensive prowess, and his desire to win another championship, the level of excitement among the Celtics community is off the charts.
Boston’s faithful are dying with anticipation to see how this saga plays out.
One thing is for certain: Holiday is going to be a crucial part of this stellar Boston Celtics roster next season as we strive for championship No.18.
Welcome to the Celtics, Jrue.