Jrue Holiday Says Pelicans Have Different Vibe, Attitude Under David Griffin

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst IISeptember 17, 2019

New Orleans Pelicans' Jrue Holiday (11) during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

New Orleans Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday is a fan of his new boss, executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin.

"I feel like the whole vibe, the whole attitude in the facility and with the staff has just been different," Holiday told ESPN's Andrew Lopez Tuesday. "It definitely feels like people are ready and excited. It's been like that ever since Griff has come into place."

This is not the first time Holiday has praised Griffin since the Pelicans hired him in April.

"I feel like Griffin came in and changed the whole culture," the 29-year-old All-Star told Forbes' Christopher Dodson in late July. "Changed all the equipment, the facility, made it more compatible for us and even our training and medical staff. He really knows what he is doing. It's been real cool."

Griffin took over after New Orleans fired general manager Dell Demps in February after nine years with the organization, and he inherited a mess. At the forefront was Anthony Davis' public trade demand in late January.

Where Demps failed to move the 2012 top overall pick, Griffin succeeded. By mid-June, the Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers had agreed to a trade that sent Davis to L.A.. in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round draft picks that included that 2019 No. 4 overall selection.

Sports Illustrated's Jake Fischer mapped out the inner-workings of how Griffin approached rebuilding New Orleans, and it echoed Holiday's sentiment:

"Instead of lamenting bizarre circumstances, Griffin scapegoated the Pelicans' substandard training facility, a shadow of what the Saints enjoy across the hall. He poached Aaron Nelson, the fabled czar from Phoenix, to revamp the Pelicans' medical department. Benson's ownership group craves a complete about-face from the Anthony Davis era. 'They sort of look at themselves as a start-up right now,' Griffin says. 'We really are like an entirely new entity.' The Pelicans are a blank canvas for his optimal franchise design."

Days after reports first surfaced about Davis' trade, Griffin made another pivotal splash on that canvas by drafting Duke phenomenon Zion Williamson with the No. 1 overall pick. In Williamson, Griffin couldn't have asked for a smoother transition from Davis.

The Pelicans added several other promising pieces, too. Overall in this year's draft, New Orleans added Jaxson Hayes (No. 8), Nickeil Alexander-Walker (No. 17) and Marcos Louzada Silva (No. 35).

Griffin served as the general manager for the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2014-17, winning the franchise's first NBA title in 2016 spearheaded by LeBron James. 

From the looks and sounds of it, Griffin is laying the proper groundwork to bring the Pelicans their first championship as well.


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