Jrue Holiday

Jrue Holiday's new Celtics jersey number has an interesting history

Holiday has the chance to follow in the footsteps of a recent Boston fan favorite.

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Jrue Holiday will get a fresh start with the Boston Celtics in more ways than one.

The new Celtics guard, whom the team acquired Sunday in a blockbuster trade that sent Robert Williams, Malcolm Brogdon and two first-round picks to the Portland Trail Blazers, will wear No. 4 in Boston, the team confirmed Monday morning.

It's an interesting choice for the 33-year-old, who wore No. 21 during his three-season tenure with the Milwaukee Bucks and No. 11 over his first 11 NBA seasons split between the Philadelphia 76ers and New Orleans Pelicans.

No. 21 is retired in Boston for Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Sharman, while No. 11 is currently occupied by backup point guard Payton Pritchard. Holiday could have approached Pritchard to ask for No. 11, but it appears he's content with No. 4, which has been worn by some notable Celtics guards over the years.

The most notable guard in recent memory, of course, is Isaiah Thomas, who blossomed into an All-Star and Boston fan favorite while rocking the green No. 4 from 2015 to 2017. The number has cycled through five Celtics backups since then: Marcus Thornton, Carsen Edwards, Kelan Martin, Juwann Morgan and Noah Vonleh, the most recent C's player to wear No. 4 before he was traded to the San Antonio Spurs in January 2023.

Here's a list of other notable Celtics to wear No. 4 over the years:

  • Sherman Douglas (1992)
  • David Wesley (1995 to 1997)
  • Chauncey Billups (1998)
  • Tony Battie (2000 to 2004)
  • Nate Robinson (2010 to 2011)
  • Jason Terry (2013)
  • Isaiah Thomas (2015 to 2017)

Holiday has a chance to fill Thomas' shoes and then some: The two-time All-Star and five-team NBA All-Defense selection averaged 19.3 points and 7.4 assists per game for the Bucks last season and brings a championship pedigree after winning a championship in Milwaukee in 2021.

If Holiday can help the Celtics raise Banner 18 next June, he can leave his own lasting legacy in No. 4.

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