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Jrue Holiday welcomes Pelicans fans to opening night on behalf of the Sixers (Video)

Jrue-Holiday-Pelicans-speechThe New Orleans Pelicans played their first ever regular season game with their new franchise name on Wednesday night, and old habits died hard for point guard Jrue Holiday. Holiday was traded to the Pelicans from the Philadelphia 76ers over the summer in exchange for Nerlens Noel. He’s expected to be one of the Pelicans’ best players this season, so the team decided to let him address the home fans.

Holiday, who spent the first four seasons of his NBA career in Philly, had an embarrassing flub while speaking to the crowd.

“How ya’ll doing, Pelicans fans?” he began. “On behalf of myself and the Sixers we want to welcome you all to the first Pelicans game this season this year…”

That was classy of the Sixers to extend a warm welcome to the Pelicans. Yeah, I know…

H/T Eye on Basketball

Jrue Holiday traded to New Orleans Pelicans for Nerlens Noel

Jrue HolidayNerlens Noel falling in the 2013 NBA Draft to No. 6 overall instead of being selected No. 1 was already a big enough surprise, but what was even more shocking was seeing him get traded to the Philadelphia 76ers for Jrue Holiday.

According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, the Pelicans are getting Holiday and the No. 42 overall pick in the 2013 draft in exchange for Noel and a protected first-round pick in 2014.

The trade is an absolute stunner.

Holiday has steadily improved each season since being drafted by the Sixers in 2009. The 23-year-old averaged a career-high 17.7 points and 8 assists per game and was even a member of the Eastern Conference All-Star team last season. He helped the Sixers reach the playoffs twice, including a run to the Eastern Conference semis two seasons ago.

Holiday appeared to be a future franchise cornerstone for the Sixers, so it’s shocking to see them trade him so quickly. Maybe they figure this is his peak value.

“(Jrue) is shocked. He understands its as business as well. He’s OK. It is what it is. Something we didn’t expect,” Holiday’s agent Tony Dutt told Yahoo! Sports’ Marc J. Spears.

The Sixers also selected Syracuse PG Michael Carter-Williams No. 11 overall. He was an excellent defender in college and figures to be Philly’s new starting point guard as they overhaul the roster.

The Sixers made a bold move trading for Andrew Bynum last year. After that move blew up on them — Bynum never played a game because of multiple injuries — they decided to remake the entire team.

Jrue Holiday: Andrew Bynum is ‘an awesome teammate’

Andrew-Bynum-SixersPhiladelphia 76ers fans waited an entire season for their new All-Star center to make his debut with the team, and it never happened. Andrew Bynum has battled injuries throughout his entire career, and that continued in Philly this past season. The former Los Angeles Lakers star has yet to play a minute with the Sixers, but that did not stop him from making an impression on Jrue Holiday.

“He’s an awesome teammate even though he didn’t get the chance to play,” Holiday said during an interview with Hoops Hype. “He showed me a lot of perspective from the big men aspect of the game. I do think he’s one of the best big men in the league and having him on the bench and in the locker room helped me to improve my game.”

Holiday should probably have a word with Philadelphia DA Seth Williams, who made a crack a couple of months ago about investigating Bynum’s situation. The big man’s former high school has also decided to separate itself from him, with officials recently saying that they are no longer proud of his accomplishments.

None of the Sixers players know what it’s like to take the court with Bynum, but Holiday said he still wants him to be back in Philly next season.

“I’d love him to… obviously, if he’s healthy. If he’s healthy I think he’s the best big in the league, but like I said it’s tricky because of the knee injuries,” Holiday said, via CBS Philly. “They actually haven’t talked to me about [whether or not Bynum should return] so I don’t know. Again, it’s a tricky situation because of his knees, his injuries. You can’t really make the decision just yet.”

“I think he wants to play, he wants to win. He had a winning career playing with the Lakers, winning two rings… He’s a winner and he wants to play.”

We have no way of knowing if Bynum milked his injuries this season, but we do know his insane hairstyles made more headlines than anything having to do with basketball. If he cuts back on the bowling in the offseason, Sixers fans could finally get the chance to see why their team gave up so much to bring Bynum to town.

76ers website was advertising ‘Drew Holiday’ jerseys for sale (Picture)

Jrue Holiday is in his fourth season with the Philadelphia 76ers and has emerged as one of the team’s top players. He is leading Philly in points, assists, and minutes per game. Given that he’s the center of attention on the team, one would figure those running the website for the team shop would know how to spell his name. Apparently not.

As our friend Spike Eskin shared with us on Twitter, the Sixers’ website advertised his jerseys on Monday and misspelled his first name “Drew” instead of Jrue. The mistake may have appeared on a banner ad.

Jrue’s first name is pronounced “Drew,” so the error makes some sense. There is actually a good story behind the odd spelling for Holiday’s first name. He explained the reason during a live chat in 2009:

“My mom and my mom’s sister were on a kick with J names … my cousins names are Jessica, Jenna, Jade, Jaelyn and James. My oldest brother is Justin and my name is Jrue (my mom liked the name Dru, but wanted to figure out how to keep with the J theme). After me though, that kinda ended, because my sister is Lauren and brother is Aaron.”

There you have it. The Sixers shouldn’t feel too embarrassed — we’ve seen even worse name misspellings.

H/T Deadspin

The Reason for the “J” in the Spelling of Jrue Holiday’s Name

jrue-holidayMaking fun of the spelling of someone’s name is always a tricky proposition. Can you really get on the person for a screwup by the parents? For instance, is it Andruw Jones’ fault his parents spelled his name with a “U” causing people for some unknown reason to pronounce it “Ondrew” as if the U somehow changes the pronunciation of the first syllable? It’s a tough call, and maybe you only resort to that when the player messes up on the field. For instance, when watching UCLA play, I would say “nice shot Drew” after Holiday made a basket. As soon as he missed, he became “Jay-roo,” a play on the funky spelling of his name. But now, thanks to The 700 Level, we have found out the reason why Jrue Holiday’s name is spelled with a “J”:

[Comment From Enrico from The700Level]
Hey Jrue, welcome to Philly. Before fans will really get a chance to notice your game, the first thing we notice is your name. Is there a fun story behind the unique spelling?

Jrue: My mom and my mom’s sister were on a kick with J names … my cousins names are Jessica, Jenna, Jade, Jaelyn and James. My oldest brother is Justin and my name is Jrue (my mom liked the name Dru, but wanted to figure out how to keep with the J theme). After me though, that kinda ended, because my sister is Lauren and brother is Aaron.

Sounds to me like the mom should have ended the tradition with Jrue. Can’t really knock that competition because we all know people have their things. George Foreman gave all his kids the same first name (George), and the pretentious Roger Clemens spelled all his kid’s names with a “K” even if a “C” were more appropriate. But come on, Jrue? That’s really stretching it.