Boston Celtics

Jayson Tatum had priceless reaction to C's acquiring Jrue Holiday

"I can't believe Milwaukee let this happen. So, thanks to the Bucks."

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The Boston Celtics already were among the favorites to win the 2023-24 NBA championship when they acquired star big man Kristaps Porzingis early in the offseason. Then, president of basketball operations Brad Stevens pulled another rabbit out of his hat.

Just over two weeks before Opening Night, the Celtics acquired veteran All-Defensive guard Jrue Holiday in a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers. They pulled off the deal shortly after the Milwaukee Bucks sent Holiday to Portland as part of the Damian Lillard blockbuster.

The rest is history. Holiday became a two-time NBA champion after helping the Celtics bring home Banner 18. He earned his sixth All-Defensive nod after the regular season and was a key contributor throughout Boston's postseason run.

On the latest episode of The Old Man and The Three podcast, C's star Jayson Tatum was asked to share his immediate reaction to his team adding Holiday to the mix. The NBA 2K25 cover athlete had the perfect response.

The Old Man and The Three host Tommy Alter: "The second you got the text that Jrue Holiday was coming to Boston, were you in the back of your mind -- you know a lot of things have to happen, you know how tough it is ... In the back of your mind, were you like, 'We're winning this (expletive)?'"

Jayson Tatum: "At first, I was like, 'I can't believe Milwaukee let this happen.' So, thanks to the Bucks. But yeah, kind of. I knew we had a really good chance. To win a championship, a lot of things have to go right. You have to stay healthy, have to be on the same page, people have to get along, there's a little bit of luck that's involved.

"But knowing that Jrue had championship DNA and I won a gold medal with him, I knew what kind of player and person he was. I knew it was going to make our team better, and we already got KP (Kristaps Porzingis), and we already had a good team. So, yeah, when we got Jrue I was pretty confident about what we could accomplish."

Watch the clip below:

Of course, Holiday ending up with an Eastern Conference rival wasn't totally the Bucks' fault. It was the Trail Blazers who flipped Holiday to the Celtics in exchange for Malcolm Brogdon, Robert Williams III, and a pair of first-round draft picks.

However, Milwaukee's lack of foresight was a key factor in Boston cruising to the No. 1 seed in the East and losing only three playoff games en route to their record 18th title. Holiday gave the C's a lockdown defender with veteran leadership and a championship pedigree. He was exceptional in the playoffs, averaging 13.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 50.3 percent from the floor.

Holiday will be back with Boston for the 2024-25 season and beyond after signing a four-year contract extension in April. Before embarking on the quest for Banner 19, he'll look to bring home a gold medal with Team USA in the 2024 Summer Olympics alongside his C's teammates Tatum and Derrick White.

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