Jrue Holiday is ready for the Pelicans’ next chapter.
New Orleans roster underwent a major overhaul this summer as the team selected former Duke star Zion Williamson with the No. 1 pick and sent star Anthony Davis to the Lakers in exchange for Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and three first-round picks.
Holiday, who has been with the Pelicans since 2013-14, said Williamson has already made an impact.
“You can see just how much joy he’s brought to the city,” Holiday told The Athletic. “I don’t want to put too much on him because it can be hard to carry something like that at such a young age. I know he’s a freakish athlete and a smart kid. If anyone can carry that burden, it would probably be him.”
Holiday and Davis are close friends off the court. Holiday said it would be “different” playing against the 26-year-old star.
“Obviously I grew up a Lakers fan, so it’s cool to see (Davis) go there. But I still want to beat him — hands down,” Holiday said during the interview. “It’s going to be different seeing him on the other side because we know each other so well. But he knows when we play (the Lakers), it’s going to be a battle. I’m going to want that win just as badly as he does.”
Holiday, 29, averaged a career-high 21.2 points — along with 7.7 assists— while shooting 47.2% from the field last season. He also added 5.0 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game.
“I want to be the ultimate professional and the best teammate,” Holiday said. “When people talk about me, I want them to say, ‘Jrue can really hoop.’ That’s it. I’m here to play basketball. I’m here to help my teammates. I just want to be known as a good basketball player. Obviously, winning is a big part of that and I want to be known as a winner. That’s the ultimate goal.”
The Pelicans signed veterans Derrick Favors and JJ Redick this offseason, as well.