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How Jrue Holiday has seamlessly fit in with the championship favorites

It was early March 2023, and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s wide smile filled a box on a video call. The two-time MVP had joined us from Milwaukee’s practice facility, relaxed and contemplative as he rocked in a conference room chair, fielding questions ranging from his secret pre-draft visit to Atlanta a decade earlier, to his appreciation for teammate Jrue Holiday, the All-Star point guard who’d helped Antetokounmpo capture Milwuakee’s first championship in 50 years.

“He’s a hooper. He’s a hooper, man,” Antetokounmpo told Yahoo Sports. “He makes some shots you’re just like, ‘God, how the hell is he making this shot?’ He excels in spots on the floor that usually people don’t excel at. He’s really good in spots on the floor where the defenders are usually slowing down and relaxed because they know it’s not a good spot for you to be.” And then, Antetokounmpo took his praise to another level, scrunching his nose with reverence for Holiday’s humanity as much as his ability. “He’s a great leader. He’s been aggressive playing with the right pace. He’s in his prime right now. Not only offensively, but defensively he’s a beast. That’s what makes him amazing. You see a lot of people who can give you 20 any given night offensively, but defensively they’re not as good. Jrue is always on every given night. His defense is always on and ready to go. I love playing with him, I love just lacing up my shoes to go compete in a game with him. But most importantly, I just love what a great human being he is. I love being around him.”

All that love for Holiday, the 6-foot-4 bulldog who stripped Devin Booker and threw Antetokounmpo that comicbook lob in Game 5 of the 2021 NBA Finals, was all part of what made Milwaukee seem like the final destination of Holiday’s career. It’s part of what made the call from Holiday’s agent later that September all the more surprising, in addition to his early dizziness from being stirred from an afternoon nap. There was no early word, no warning, as Milwaukee and Portland worked in secret on a blockbuster that would swap Holiday for Portland Trail…


Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/how-jrue-holiday-has-seamlessly-fit-in-with-the-championship-favorites-161913544.html

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Publish date : 2024-04-04 16:19:13

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