Kevin Durant joined J.J. Redick on his podcast to talk about several basketball-related topics, but they also shared their thoughts on the fact Jrue Holiday should have been elected in the NBA All-Team Defense. Unfortunately, when NBA announced the names that made it to the first and second All-Team Defense, Holiday’s name wasn’t there, and both Durant and Redick were frustrated because he doesn’t get the recognition he deserves.
— NBA (@NBA) September 8, 2020
Durant had the opportunity to face Holiday on multiple occasions in his career, and in his mind, he solidified himself as the best defender among guards in the NBA. Several players said Holiday is an exceptional defender but often gets overlooked by the media because of unknown reasons. Durant makes a good point that the players themselves know his value better than the media.
Jrue Holiday solidified as probably the best defender in the league at the guard position. When we talk about defense, a lot of people don’t understand what defense really is for different positions. Especially at the point guard position, all the stuff you need to do as a guard they don’t get a lot of credit for. I feel like there is a huge discrepancy between what the players think and what the media thinks.Kevin Durant, via J.J.Redick Podcast
Throughout his career, Holiday was always an advantageous player capable of locking down the best guards on the opposing teams while giving you a solid effort on offense. Durant says the media doesn’t see the details players often observe, which actually gives you a good understanding of how great a player is on defense.
We are in it every day, and we understand what good defensive possession is, and we understand how a lot of these guys are undervalued, and that perception goes a long way.Kevin Durant, via J.J.Redick Podcast
Durant remembers it was 2018 when he still played for the Warriors, and they had to face New Orleans Pelicans in the second round of the playoffs. Holiday was voted that year into the First Team All-Defense and in charge of slowing down Durant, but at the same time, their head coach also had him defend Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry. The Warriors won the series 4-1, but Holiday displayed some pretty impressive defensive sequences in that matchup.
You put Jrue in any system, and any coach will ask him to guard the best player. We played them in 2018, in the second round, and he guarded me the whole series. He was picking me up full-court, guarding me in the post. It was tough to dribble on Jrue. He slides his feet so well, he got good hands, he is strong, he got good instincts. I gained a lot of respect for him in that series because he went from guarding me, Klay, Steph, Draymond. He is special on that side of the ball.Kevin Durant, via J.J.Redick Podcast
At the age of 29, Holiday had another great season behind him, displaying incredible versatility on both ends of the floor. He averaged 19 points, 6.7 assists, and 5 rebounds on top of 1.6 steals per game. But like Durant mentioned, a lot of the things he does, especially on defense, can’t be seen through a stat sheet. These are the details that can be seen if you observe every move he makes, and that is why players like Durant and Redick appreciate Holiday and think he got snubbed this year by the NBA.