Jrue Holiday was sporting that endearing smile of his as he hugged and talked to former teammates and staff members of the Sixers' organization, those who played an integral part of his life during his first four years in the NBA.

Saturday was the first time Holiday faced the Sixers since being traded to the Pelicans on draft night in June.

“Evan (Turner), Thad (Young) and Spencer (Hawes),” Holiday rattled off pregame when asked what would be the strangest thing about being on the opposing team. “I feel like I grew up with them and now I get a chance to play against them and hopefully beat them.

“Everybody here (New Orleans) made it very comfortable for me. The type of players that we have made it very inviting and especially the staff and the office people -- really, everybody. It has actually been a pretty easy transition.”

The Pelicans, who cruised past the Sixers, 135-98, came into Saturday with a 3-6 record while Holiday was off to his own slow start with his new team.

He entered Saturday shooting less than 40 percent from the floor, averaging 13.8 points per game -- four fewer than a year ago -- and his assists are slightly down from his All-Star season a year ago in Philadelphia.

However, Holiday sees a bigger picture: a bright future.

“I love my teammates,” Holiday said. “Eric Gordon, Anthony Davis, Robin Lopez at the time, Ryan Anderson, Jason Smith I played with [in Philadelphia]. I played against [Anthony Davis]. I grew up playing against Eric. They had great firepower and then they added Tyreke (Evans).