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Collins wants Holiday to cherish first All-Star appearance

by Max Rappaport, Sixers.com
Posted: February 13, 2013

It would be easy for first-time All-Star Jrue Holiday to be overwhelmed by the elite company he'll enjoy in Houston. Of course, sharing a locker room with the likes of LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Kevin Garnett would be intimidating for any 22-year-old. That's why Sixers head coach Doug Collins wants his young protégé to make sure to takes a deep breath and just enjoys the moment. 

"What I'd like him to do is just walk into the locker room and take a look around," said Collins. "Look who you're sitting with. You're 22 years old. Look around.

"I always compare it to golf. Sometimes I can be on the most beautiful golf course in the world and be playing horrible golf and forget that I'm on the most beautiful golf course in the world."

Appreciating his blessings comes easy to Jrue Holiday, whose Cali-cool attitude and positive outlook on life make him a fan favorite. However, the august air of maturity with which he carries himself belies the fact that Holiday is the youngest All-Star in franchise history.

"Honestly, [I just want] to take it all in," said Holiday. "This is an experience, god willing, I get back in there again, but sometimes it's just a once-in-a-lifetime chance. So, take it all in, consume it all, and have as much fun as [I] can."

While the UCLA alum has a sophistication about his approach to the game that goes beyond his years, Coach Collins thinks there is still much for his young floor general to learn from his All-Star peers.

"Look at the men in that locker room with you," said Collins. "Look at your coach. Look at the championships these people have won. Look at the gold medals they have won. Look at their decoration. Watch how they prepare themselves.

Most of all, though, he just wants Holiday to have fun.

"I hope it'll be an experience that he remembers forever," he said. "I want him to take that all in. Because your first [selection], there's nothing like it.

"Enjoy the golf course, man. You're playing at Pebble Beach. If you hit eight in the water, to hell with it."

Catch the All-Star Game Sunday at 8:30PM (EST) on TNT and follow Jrue throughout All-Star Weekend via All-Star Central