By the time he left high school, Jrue Holiday was well-scouted by just about every NBA team. The 2008 prep player of the year was primed to be a one-and-doner at UCLA. The lottery was waiting on him.
However, life has a funny way of writing out its own script for our lives, and Holiday's one season in Westwood gave life an opportunity for a re-write.
There are several people who viewed Holiday's freshman season as a disappointment. His first year play and stats didn't match his pre-enrollment hype. After scorching the high school ranks for more than 30 points a game at the point guard spot, Holiday only averaged 8.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists this past season while playing shooting guard in Ben Howland's defense-oriented system.
Despite those underwhelming numbers, Holiday still entered his name into this year's NBA Draft. He has not hired an agent, however, thus giving him the option to come back to UCLA for his sophomore season.
He has has spent the better part of two weeks at a Florida training center, prepping for the individual workouts, and he recently decided to extend his stay.
I have always been of the belief that Holiday would jump straight to the league after only one season at UCLA. I came to that conclusion after talking to various NBA personnel, as well as Holiday himself. He never told me directly that he planned to play only one college season, but when I read between the lines, his intentions were always obvious to me.
Such an example comes in the following quote from David Wharton's article in Saturday's LA Times.
"In college, it's all about defense," Holiday said. The NBA "seems like it's more fun. You can be you."
More fun? You can be you? I'm sorry UCLA Fans, but that sounds like a man who hasn't been very happy lately and is looking for a new start.