Jrue Holiday clarifies response to Jason Kidd's Jaylen Brown comment

Jrue Holiday clarifies response to Jason Kidd’s Jaylen Brown comment originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

BOSTON — Before taking questions from the media after the Boston Celtics’ Game 2 win over the Dallas Mavericks, Jrue Holiday had a statement to make.

The veteran guard wanted to clear up a comment he made in response to Mavs coach Jason Kidd calling Jaylen Brown the Celtics’ “best player” over Jayson Tatum. Asked about Kidd’s bold claim, Holiday answered, “I don’t think he’s lying.” That clip made the rounds on social media as if to suggest Holiday agreed with Kidd’s assessment.

At the podium, a passionate Holiday set the record straight.

“If I could say something before we jump in, I want to address the comment that was made yesterday,” he said. “I feel like people kind of took that out of context. I’ve been hearing that I prefer JB over JT and that’s not what that was. I like to praise my teammates. I like to praise my teammates when they’re playing well, and I feel like that’s what I did my best to do.

“When I got here, JT was the first person to text me. And both of them know how I feel about them, how I feel about them as players. But to compare them is something that I would never do because they’re two completely different players as well as being on the same team, and the things that they have done in this organization and the things that they have done against me as an opponent. I feel like how they play together and how they work together is something that is sacred and something that can’t be broken.

“So just to address the comment yesterday, I do not prefer one or the other. I prefer both. Both of them are superstars, and it’s being shown out here on the biggest stage in the world.”

The Celtics won Sunday’s showdown 105-98 despite another lackluster shooting performance from Tatum, who finished with 18 points on 6-of-22 shooting. However, the five-time All-Star did dish a game-high 12 assists including eight in the first half, tying a playoff career-high and matching the Mavs’ team total through the first two frames. He was one rebound shy of a triple-double.

Holiday was among the C’s who benefited most from Tatum’s timely playmaking. The 33-year-old notched a team-high 26 points on 11-of-14 shooting. Most of his damage was done in the paint with Tatum connecting on the assist.

During his on-court postgame interview with ESPN, Holiday credited Tatum with fueling his big offensive night.

“I think I just got the opportunity,” Holiday said. “I would say a lot of it was JT. JT was attacking the basket, they were double-teaming him, and he was making the right play. … The way he played tonight, the way that he led us, getting into the paint and making plays, finding me wide-open, it was all about him.”

It was another phenomenal two-way performance for the perennial All-Defensive selection. Alongside the other half of “The Stock Exchange” Derrick White, Holiday helped limit Mavericks co-star Kyrie Irving to 7-of-18 shooting, making the ex-Celtic a brutal 10-for-39 through the first two games of the series.

If Kidd’s comment was an attempt to disrupt Boston’s chemistry, it didn’t work.

“Jrue is a great teammate, nothing short of that,” Brown said after the victory. “He’s brought championship pedigree to our team. So nothing Jrue says we question. Jrue, he comes in and he just is who he is. He’s got that demeanor, that killer-like mentality, and we respect it, you know what I mean? He’s a great teammate and it’s just an honor to play next to him.”

Holiday’s big night helped give the C’s a commanding 2-0 series lead as the Finals shift to Dallas for Games 3 and 4. Game 3 tip-off is scheduled for Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Watch the full Holiday postgame press conference below, or on YouTube:

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