Jrue Holiday was sitting in front of his locker with his feet soaking in a bucket of ice.
Enough time has passed where there were no hard feelings of any sort.
Holiday, an All-Star point guard with the 76ers last season, was surprisingly shipped to the New Orleans Pelicans on draft night in a large trade, which primarily brought No. 6 overall pick Nerlens Noel to Philadelphia. Noel is likely out for the season, but that trade was clearly for the Sixers’ future.
After four solid seasons with the Sixers, Holiday seemed to be entrenched in that role.
But in the NBA, anything can happen.
And Holiday understood all of it.
“I got a call from my agent and for a few minutes, I was like, ‘Oh, OK, wow,’” Holiday said. “But then it sunk in pretty quickly and I was like, ‘It’s on to New Orleans.’ I made peace with it pretty fast. I embraced where I was going. You’re never 100 percent set or safe anywhere. Trades are possible all the time.”
Holiday is now part of a strong nucleus including forward Anthony Davis — who is out with a nondisplaced fracture in his left hand — guard Eric Gordon and forward Ryan Anderson, among others. The Pelicans are an up-and-coming franchise with Holiday leading the way.
“It’s a great group of guys and I’m learning on the fly,” Holiday said. “We have a ton of potential here, and the sky is the limit in so many ways. I’m excited to be here and see where we can go. I have nothing but positive things to say about my time in Philly. This is a new start for me, and it’s been a lot of fun so far.”
Holiday nearly registered a triple-double against the Sixers this past weekend and his numbers have been consistent all season.
All he cares about is winning.
“I had a real good taste of the playoffs with the Sixers,” Holiday said. “I think we’ll keep getting better. The guys have a great work ethic and we bring it every day. We’re learning each others’ tendencies on the court and like I said, it’s going to be a fun ride. I look at this as the next step in my career. I’m happy to be here. It was great being back in Philly and seeing a lot of old friends. Once I step on the court, it’s all business for me.”