Ex-Warrior Holiday To Visit White House With Old Mates, Ring Coming

Justin Holiday
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images

A year ago this week, the Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors met to play the most anticipated regular-season game of the 2014-15 season. The home Hawks entered the game having won 34 of their last 37 games, while the visiting Warriors brought a West-leading 39-8 record into the contest. 

The game lived up to the hype. Draymond Green grabbed 20 rebounds. Kyle Korver made five three-point shots. Klay Thompson led all scorers with 29 points.

The Hawks won, 124-116, in a breathtaking display of basketball that included Mike Scott coming off the bench to score 17 points on 7 shots. 

The two teams meet again soon; twice, in fact: the Hawks play Golden State at home on Feb. 22 and at the start of a road trip on March 1.

Justin Holiday knows both sides well. Holiday played the 2014-15 season with the Warriors before signing with the Hawks last summer.

In addition to playing two games against his old mates, Holiday will have a bit of extra involvement with the Warriors in the next few weeks.

Specifically, he'll be meeting them at the President's place.

The Hawks play on the road against the 76ers Wednesday and at home against the Pacers Friday. On the way back from Philadelphia, Holiday will make a special detour to Washington, D.C.

"I'm going to the White House," Holiday said.

Per tradition, the NBA champion Warriors, who currently lead the NBA standings with a 44-4 record, will be honored in the nation's capital by President Barack Obama.

In 25 games played for the Hawks, Holiday has averaged 2.4 points in just over 10 minutes. The 6-foot-6 swingman feels like he has improved since arriving in Atlanta but knows it's just an incremental step of a longer-term approach.

"It's still a work in progress, and I'm not where I want to be," Holiday said. "I think I fit in a lot better now than I did (earlier this season) because I understand the offense better and I know the players that I'm playing with better."

While he adapts, Holiday can still hang his hat on the defensive end. According to player tracking data, the players he has guarded this season are shooting just 26.8 percent on three-point shots and 37.2 percent overall – both of which are outstanding marks. 

The trip to the White House isn't the only honor coming Holiday's way in the near future. He will also be receiving his championship ring soon. 

"I'll get it when we go and play them (March 1)," Holiday said. "There will be a ceremony and I'll get it then."

Story by KL Chouinard
Twitter: @KLChouinard

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