Before Jrue Holiday left for Houston and his first trip to an All-Star Game, coach Doug Collins told his point guard to take it all in.
Have fun, yes, but take it all in.
It was good advice considering Holiday was going to be teammates with some of the best players to ever suit up. Actually, from the sound of it the 22-year-old guard followed his coach’s advice to the letter. After Monday’s practice at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Holiday sounded like a kid in a candy store as he told of his experiences as an All-Star last weekend.
“I felt like a fan being down there with the best players in the NBA,” Holiday said. “Watching them on the court, I probably had the best seat in the house. It was fun.”
Holiday said he could have reached out and touched any of the big stars in the game. Or, better yet, gone out on the court and “crossed them over.”
But more importantly, Holiday says he definitely picked up on a few things that the elite players do to prepare for a game. If there was any one thing that he brought back from his trip to Houston, it was simply the experience of getting ready to play a game alongside the best of the best.
“The attention to detail is what separates you from the rest. Just watching those guys and how they prepared for a game, mentally and how they do it every single time or how they take an angle to the basket — they separate themselves with the attention to detail,” Holiday explained. “They’re so precise with it and so good at it that they’ve damn-near mastered it. It was just a cool experience. I learned so much and I hope I can take it and apply it to what we have going on here.”
Needless to say, Holiday wants to go back to another All-Star Game. Yes, there is the prestige that goes with being an NBA All-Star, but there also is the matter of getting another star patch on the warmup jacket to signify the number of All-Star appearances.
“Just being named with all those guys and on the warmups they had a section for the patches and mine was kind of lonely because I had one patch with one star,” Holiday said. “But [Kevin Garnett] had like 15 and [Kevin Durant] had five and LeBron [James] had seven. I thought, ‘Man, these guys are definitely going down in basketball history and will always be known.’ So for me to be in the All-Star Game ... it was amazing.”