Holiday Brothers
(Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

Holiday Brothers Reunite in Atlanta

The Hawks are trying to rekindle a good thing around the Holidays. 

The Hawks signed guard Aaron Holiday as a free agent and acquired his brother, guard Justin Holiday, as part of a trade with Sacramento this week. Both played for Head Coach Nate McMillan when all three were on the Indiana Pacers for the 2019-20 season. The Pacers finished that regular season with a 45-28 record and the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference.

Aaron said he was pleased to be reunited with McMillan, for whom he played arguably the best season of his career in 2019-20, averaging a career-high 9.5 points and 3.4 assists while starting 33 games.

"Just knowing how he coaches and who he is as a person," he said. "That part means a lot to me."

Justin shot a career-high 40.5 percent from three in 2019-20 while averaging 8.3 points per game. 

The Pacers also finished that season with the NBA's 6th-ranked defense (107.5 points allowed per 100 possessions). As the Hawks make changes to the roster to sharpen the defense, Justin and Aaron look to become key cogs under McMillan once again.

"To have a coach that believes in you, a coach that knows what you like to do and puts you in a position to be successful, it's something that's very exciting. I'm happy to be back with Nate," Justin said.

33-year-old Justin is the oldest of the four Holiday siblings; 25-year-old Aaron is the youngest. Their brother, Jrue, plays for the Milwaukee Bucks. The brothers are equally excited to reunite with each other.

"He's the best teammate that I've had," Aaron said of Justin. "It helps you be more comfortable out there on the court. I know him. He knows me. We know each other's game, so it's very easy to play with him. "

Justin is especially eager to have his brother with him when the Hawks travel to other cities.

"When I'm on the road, not that I don't have friends and teammates, but I have my brother with me. If you have a good relationship with your brother, think about having them at your job. And being in the space of playing basketball as a job? It doesn't get much better than that."

Aaron laughed when it was suggested that their road-trip synergy might lead them to being roommates as they move to Atlanta.

"We've got families," Aaron said, grinning, "so that probably won't happen."