Rick Carlisle gushes with praise for Jrue Holiday and shares a story that will make you like him even more
Holiday is a 14-year vet who excels on both ends of the floor and is a good role model for young players, like Pacers rookie Andrew Nembhard.
About 100 minutes before tip-off Wednesday night at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle was meeting with reporters when the subject of Milwaukee Bucks point guard Jrue Holiday came up.
Jrue, 32, is the brother of former Pacers Justin and Aaron Holiday; he’s in the middle.
Jrue entered the NBA in 2009 out of UCLA, was the missing piece acquired via trade by the Bucks that led to their 2021 NBA Championship and twice has been named an NBA All-Star.
Those appearances, however, came 10 years apart.
And both times, he came off the bench. Which means he was voted in by head coaches across the league rather than simply winning a popularity contest. It meant more.
So after participating in the All-Star game last month in Salt Lake City, Holiday sat down with his wife, Indy native Lauren Cheney, to write hand-written notes to every head coach in the NBA and thank them for their vote.
“He went on to say that it was something he didn’t take for granted, he didn’t take lightly,” Carlisle said. “I thought it was a great gesture. Never gotten anything like that before. You get a lot of things before the All-Star vote, you get all kinds of things.
“There was one year I got a signed pair of shoes from one player; there was one where it was two bottles of really high-level wine; and there’s some creative stuff, but never an after-the-fact one.
“That was heartwarming to receive that.”
Carlisle wasn’t done yet. He had just touched on Jrue’s character, now he wanted to highlight his game.