Jrue Holiday wins the 2024 NBA Title with the Boston Celtics

UCLS Athletics Department Contributed to this story.

Former UCLA guard Jrue Holiday helped lead the Boston Celtics to the 2024 NBA Championship on Monday night, as the Celtics won the title in five games in a best-of-seven game series against the Dallas Mavericks at TD Garden in Boston. Holiday scored 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the 106-88 win over the Mavericks in that final game.

The championship was the 18th in Boston Celtics history, giving them an 18-17 edge over the Los Angeles Lakers in total championships. Holiday played a big part in the Celtics 18th championship, averaging 14.4 points per game, 7.4 rebounds per game and 3.8 assists in the five NBA finals games. Holiday was the star of Game 2 of the NBA finals, scoring 26 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in a 105-98 win over the Mavericks to take a 2-0 lead in the series.

The 6-foot-4 Holiday became the first player in NBA finals history to score 10 plus points per game and have five plus rebounds per game while shooting over 50% on field goal attempts, over 40% on three-point field goal attempts, and 100% on free throw attempts.

Holiday also became the first player in NBA history to win an NBA championship in his first season with two franchises (a minimum of 30 minutes played per game in the playoffs). Holiday won a championship with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2020-2021 in his first season after being traded from the New Orleans and won with the Celtics in his first season this year after being traded from the Portland Trailblazers, who had acquired him from Milwaukee just four days earlier.

Holiday became the first NBA player with over 100 minutes and at least 10 assists without a turnover through a three-game span (games one, two and three) in an NBA Finals series since the turnover stat was first tracked in 1977-78.

The two-time all-star is considered one of the best defensive guards in the NBA. Holiday has been named to the NBA All-Defensive team six times, including the 2023-2024 season. His defense in the playoffs was a big factor in the Celtics championship run.

The 2024 Celtics championship team included four former Pac-12 conference players in the first eight player rotation: Forward Jaylen Brown, the NBA Finals MVP played at Cal, guard Derrick White played at Colorado, guard Peyton Prichard played at Oregon, and Holiday at UCLA. All four were first round draft picks.

Holiday starred as a freshman at UCLA during the 2008-09 season before being selected in the first round of the 2009 NBA draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. The 34-year-old Holiday, who has played 15 seasons in the NBA, recently signed a four-year extension with the Celtics worth $135 million. He is signed through the 2027-2028 season with the Celtics.

Before he attended UCLA, Holiday was a star at Campbell Hall high school in Los Angeles, where he led the team to a California state Division IV title. In 2008 at Campbell high school, Holiday was the Gatorade National Player of the Year, a McDonald's All-American, and California Mr. Basketball.

The UCLA men's basketball program is currently on a streak of having at least one former player win an NBA championship in each of the past four NBA Finals. That list includes Holiday in both 2021 (Milwaukee) and 2024 (Boston), Kevon Looney with the Golden State Warriors in 2022 and Peyton Watson as a rookie with the Denver Nuggets in 2023.

UCLA has had at least one player on eight of the last nine NBA Championship teams. Looney also won championships with the Warriors in 2017 & 2018, Matt Barnes was a member of the 2017 Warriors team, while Norman Powell won a championship with the Toronto Raptors in 2019, and Kevin Love won a championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.

Holiday becomes the seventh former UCLA player to play on an NBA team with two NBA titles. Along with Holiday, those former UCLA players include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six), Jamaal Wilkes (four), Kevon Looney (three), Willie Naulls (three), Jordan Farmar (two) and Bill Walton (two).

Holiday will not get much time to rest this summer, as he has been selected to compete for Team USA at this summer's Olympic Games in Paris, France. An Olympic gold medal would be just one additional honor for Holiday on his path to the Naismith Hall of Fame.

 

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