Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday has been named NBA's teammate of the year for the second time
For the second time in three years – and for his second team – Jrue Holiday has been named by his peers as the NBA’s teammate of the year.
“It’s hard to find all the descriptors for Jrue as a human being, as a teammate,” said Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer, who announced the award to Holiday and the team at practice on Tuesday.
“He’s just all about the right things, he cares about people. He puts other people above himself. He just does so many little things off the court that I think people don’t know about. On the court I think people get to see that a lot and appreciate that. He’s just got character, just deep, deep, deep character and it comes out in many, many, many ways.
“So I’m very happy for him, impressed by him. I love coming to work with Jrue Holiday every day. It’s a pleasure.”
The 31-year-old Holiday won the award by accumulating 964 total points in voting although the Dallas Mavericks’ Boban Marjanović received more first-place votes (48 to 39). Marjanović finished second with 936 points.
Holiday also won the award in 2019-20 as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans, and he is the first player to win it twice since its creation in 2012-13.
“I think he just has the respect of his peers,” Bucks guard Pat Connaughton said. “When you talk about awards to be won, I think the ones that speak highest are the ones that are from you peers because we all have that competitive edge, right?
“So you’re all trying to win different things, you’re all trying to win as a team, but when guys on other teams – obviously there’s 15 of us, there’s 450 guys in the NBA – when the 435 other guys are voting for you and you’re getting that award, especially for what he did as teammate of the year, from people that aren’t even on his team, I think that speaks volumes.”
Holiday is one of the most well-respected players in the league, as he won the league’s sportsmanship award last season and was a finalist for the inaugural 2020-21 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award as well.
The teammate of the year award is named after Rochester/Cincinnati Royals teammates Jack Twyman and Maurice Stokes. In the last game of the 1957-58 regular season, Stokes sustained an injury that permanently paralyzed him, and Twyman supported him for the rest of his life as Stokes’ legal guardian and advocate.
“Jrue’s just a great person,” Bucks guard Wesley Matthews said. “He’s a great person on and off the court. Hell of a teammate. Definitely somebody that I wanted to be on a team with for awhile now, so I’m grateful to be on this team and be his teammate.”