HOUSTON -- It was something Jrue Holiday had not experienced in quite some time – watching an opening tip-off from the end of the bench.
The 22-year-old point guard logged 15 minutes as a reserve in Sunday's All-Star game, the first of his career, contributing six points, two rebounds, an assist, and two steals to a 138-143 Eastern All-Star loss to the West.
"It was weird sitting. I guess I haven't come off the bench in a while," said a smiling Holiday after the game. "Usually I start off the game and they count on me to get it started [offensively], but it was different."
As is the case for most first-timers, the contents of his line on the box score was not what interested Holiday, rather, it was the unique experience that All-Star Weekend provided.
"It was crazy," he said of the four-day whirlwind of photo shoots, interviews, community and social events, oh, and basketball. "[Tonight], I just wanted to hit my first shot. After that first shot I took, I was like, 'okay, I'm good.'"
While his first shot attempt was a three-point miss from the top of the arc, Holiday more than made up for it with his next attempt. He collected a bounce pass from fellow first-timer Paul George (IND) in transition early in the second quarter, elevating and throwing down a powerful left-handed jam that brought his teammates on the bench to their feet.
"For sure [I wanted to have at least one play that people would remember]," he said. "Make somebody stand up, cheer, do something… I think that was what made me the most nervous, not wanting to embarrass myself."
Needless to say, mission accomplished.
Back to Reality
With All-Star Weekend now in the rear-view, Holiday's focus will immediately turn back to helping the 76ers battle for a spot in the 2013 Playoffs. Asked how difficult it will be to change gears in time for the team's scheduled evening practice session on Monday, the young captain provided an interesting response.
"I think once I see ET (Evan Turner), he might bring me back to reality," said Holiday. "ET's my man. I've missed him
"Evan brings out the 76er in me."