Jrue Holiday was a critical part of Team USA winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics — he averaged 25.8 minutes a game (second most on the team), averaged 11.8 points a game (third highest), led the team with 3.8 assists a game and played elite perimeter defense.
Steve Kerr and USA Basketball would like Holiday back for the Paris Olympics next summer and are “aggressively” recruiting the new Celtics guard, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
USA Basketball officials use the word “beloved” to describe how strongly they feel about Holiday, whom they considered the second-most-impactful player, after Kevin Durant, on the 2021 gold-medal-winning team. Team USA struggled defensively in the FIBA world championships this summer in the Philippines and Holiday’s on-ball defense, playmaking and leadership are among the factors fueling USA Basketball’s recruitment.
Holiday has not decided yet if he will play.
Team USA could be stacked next summer. Joel Embiid announced he wanted to play for the USA — filling a great need in the paint — plus Durant, LeBron James, Jayson Tatum, Devin Booker, Bam Adebayo, Donovan Mitchell and other stars have said they want to be on the roster in Paris next summer. Not all of those stars will go due to injuries or players leading their teams deep into the postseason, but a lot of top players are interested.
With all that star power, some glue players are needed. While Holiday is a two-time All-Star and NBA champion, he serves the role on Team USA of elite glue guy who can do a little bit of everything and keep the team running smoothly. He would be a great addition if he wants to spend part of his offseason in France.