Jrue Holiday’s been a picture-perfect match with the Boston Celtics and that feeling is mutual, according to the 33-year-old veteran guard.

It took two out-of-the-blue trades just days ahead of training camp before Holiday knew where he would play this season, but the offseason craze has paid off tremendously. First, the Milwaukee Bucks traded Holiday for Damian Lillard, which allowed the opportunistic Celtics to swoop in and barter with the Portland Trail Blazers at just the right time.

Fast forward five months later and the Celtics have already clinched the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed with a league-best 57-15 record and 11 games left scheduled before the playoffs.

“It’s been fun, bro. I’m not gonna lie, it’s been fun,” Holiday said during an appearance on “The Draymond Green Show.” “The culture here in Boston, what it means to win, the history that it has. Me being from LA, growing up a Laker fan, that was probably the weirdest part for me. Like, being in that green, being a Celtic, knowing I was going to sign to be a Celtic was like, ‘Am I betraying my roots and where I came from?'”

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While Holiday’s childhood favorite Lakers have desperately held on for dear life as the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference, the Celtics have been the team in Boston. The Celtics haven’t undergone a losing streak longer than two games, are undefeated when missing two or more starters, and haven’t lost the top seed since taking over the East on Nov. 14.

Aside from Holiday’s most recent shoulder injury, the two-time All-Star has been plenty reliable for the Celtics, starting in 61 of the team’s first 67 games.

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Holiday was viewed as the best available candidate to replace Marcus Smart, who departed via a trade to the Memphis Grizzlies nearly four months before Holiday left Milwaukee. Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens welcomed Holiday as the second major blockbuster in a complete roster transformation that’s propelled the team to stellar heights.

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However, the first trade — from the Bucks — was both unexpected and didn’t rub Holiday the right way.

“I think for me it was a shock because at least let me know 24 hours in advance, not five minutes in advance,” Holiday recalled when discovering he’d been traded from Miluwake. “Maybe I’m asking for too much.”

Now added to the mix of an already-well-established title contender that’s routinely fallen short, Holiday’s fulfilled the role of Boston’s defensive captain plus more. He’s averaged 12.8 points with 5.4 rebounds to lead all guards in the East while shooting 48.5% from the floor and 60-plus percent from the corner three — best of any player in the NBA.

“All they talk about here is winning and the only thing that is important is winning,” Holiday explained. “And I’m like, ‘Man, I’m here for it, bro. I’m here for the ride.'”

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Like in Milwaukee, Holiday is thrown right into the contention fire in Boston with expectations of an NBA Finals appearance at an all-time high in the Jayson Tatum-Jaylen Brown era. That’s nothing new for Holiday, who played a pivotal in the 2021 championship run with the Bucks, having a major hand in stumping the Phoenix Suns and their offensive game plan.

Holiday has taken a slight back seat with the Celtics, attempting his fewest shot total (10) since Holiday’s rookie season in 2009-10, playing behind Boston’s co-stars Tatum and Brown. But it’s all been for the greater good.

“I think that playing with them and seeing — now that I’m on this side and seeing the pressure that they go through, and how they handle themselves, it’s ultimate professional,” Holiday said. “I don’t think a lot of people would be able to do what they do. … Just how they handle themselves has been wise beyond their years so it’s been cool to kind of see that.”

There’s only one way to cap off Holiday’s first of possibly several runs with the Celtics: winning the 2024 NBA Finals and finally raising Banner 18.

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Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images