NBA Superlatives 2019-20: Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday

Time can fly in life, which is why New Orleans shooting guard Jrue Holiday sometimes shakes his head and laughs when he thinks about how long he’s been in the NBA. Now in his 11th year as a pro, the 29-year-old will hit an age milestone next month on his June 12 birthday. The UCLA product was the No. 17 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft by Philadelphia and went on to be named an Eastern Conference All-Star in ’13, the only member of the current New Orleans roster to appear in that game, until forward Brandon Ingram earned the distinction this February. Holiday’s staying power in the NBA is evident when you examine his ’09 draft class – among the 16 players drafted ahead of him, only five appeared in a game this season (Blake Griffin, James Harden, Stephen Curry, DeMar Rozan and James Johnson, the latter chosen one spot ahead of Holiday). A member of the Pelicans for the entire duration since the franchise rebranded to that nickname ahead of the ’13-14 season, Holiday also has lasted long enough in the circuit to have played four times against his youngest sibling Aaron, who at 23 is six years younger than Jrue. Big brother discussed some of his thoughts about the NBA and his career with Pelicans.com:

Most memorable moment in the NBA: “Playing against my brothers.”

Most memorable dunk in the NBA: “I don’t dunk much. I’m a below-the-rim player.” [smiles]

Most surprising thing about the NBA as a rookie: “The pace of the game and the strength of the guys playing. Coming in at 19 and playing against some guys who were 25 or 30 was definitely a shock.”

Toughest NBA players he’s faced: “There are a couple. One was Chauncey Billups – he kicked my butt. Mike Bibby was another.”

Best uniforms in the NBA (besides the Pelicans’): “I like Brooklyn’s a lot. I also really like ours.”

Favorite road arena: “Besides Staples Center – with me being from Los Angeles – it might be Toronto. I play well there for some reason.”