By Kate Fagan
Jrue Holiday is wearing the first team’s colors. It’s just that he’s a substitute on that team, which puts him behind the second-team guys, too – behind Lou Williams, Andre Iguodala, Willie Green, Royal Ivey, and Rodney Carney.
Although Holiday, a 6-foot-4 point guard, is the 76ers’ reigning first-round draft pick, he has found himself standing more than playing.
During yesterday’s session at St. Joseph’s University, on the Sixers’ second day of training camp, the team spent the final 75 minutes scrimmaging. Holiday played, at most, a quarter of that time.
“He has to earn his way, as much as I like him,” coach Eddie Jordan said. “Royal is very, very good right now. Willie is good; Andre is good; Lou is good. Sean Singletary is really good. So . . . there’s a pecking order.”
Holiday, 19, spent one season at UCLA, where he played out of position at shooting guard. He was predicted to be a top-10 pick in the draft, but was chosen 17th. Since draft night, the Sixers have been high on his defensive ability and potential.
“I think Jrue is a good young player,” Green said. “I think back to where I was when I was 19, and there’s no way I could compete at the level he is.”
In one play during yesterday’s scrimmage, Holiday ran a break with Iguodala.
Holiday, pushing the right side, lofted a pass ahead to Iguodala, who caught it along the baseline and fired a quick chest pass back to Holiday.
The young Sixer sliced along the baseline, his defender trailing, and made a reverse lefthanded layup while his defender hung on him like a coat.
Iguodala and Holiday exchanged a resounding high-five.
But those moments, for the rookie, were too few.
“I talked to Lou, and he talked about how he had Allen Iverson and he had 10-year veterans in front of him and he didn’t really get to practice that much,” Holiday said.
“I’m just trying to get in [and] fit in when I can,” he said, adding that “I hope they just kind of throw me in there. That’s how I really learn and play. Throw me in there and let me make mistakes.
“Every rookie makes mistakes, so let me make them now instead of later when I’m in the game.”