Jrue Holiday has been one of the best defensive guards in the league for quite some time now. His perimeter defense was one of the key reasons for the Milwaukee Bucks being able to win the title in 2021. Even though Jrue Holiday's offense was inconsistent during their playoff run, his hard-nosed defense ensured that he was always a positive contributor.
Andre Iguodala has recently lauded Jrue Holiday's elite defense when speaking to Sam Amick of The Athletic, claiming that the Bucks star "should have three Defensive Player of the Year awards" as well as being "first-team All-Defensive for the last nine years". Iguodala cited Kevin Durant saying that "Jrue Holiday is different" while being the best scorer in the league. Iguodala also mentioned how Team USA improved during the Olympics in Tokyo once Jrue Holiday arrived.
You can write this down. Jrue Holiday should have three Defensive Player of the Year (awards), and he should be first-team All-Defensive for the last nine years.
I don’t care. You can ask — who’s the best scorer in the league? Who’s the most gifted scorer in basketball history?
Enter the Kevin Durant part of the discussion. As Iguodala shares, his former Warriors teammate and current Nets star has an extremely high opinion of the Bucks point guard who spent plenty of time trying to slow Durant during the East semifinals in June.
Ask (Durant) who’s the hardest guard — who’s the guy who gives him the toughest time?
Jrue Holiday is 6-foot-3 and Kevin Durant is 6-10. He’s not 6-10 — he’s a 7-footer. And Kevin Durant is like, ‘Yo, Jrue Holiday is different.’ You see what happened (with Team USA) in the Olympics when Jrue Holiday got there? But I’m crazy, right?
Jrue Holiday has no DPOY awards and only despite always being one of the top perimeter defenders in the league. The award has generally gone to big men in recent memory, with Kawhi Leonard being the last non-big to win it during his 2016 season.
When Holiday wasn't included in the 2019-20 All-Defensive teams, many players spoke out against his snub. It's clear that Jrue Holiday commands a lot of respect among his peers. Perhaps we'll see Holiday get his respect in the future, and it would certainly be different to see a guard win the DPOY award.