The 23-year-old already had relationships through basketball with Gordon, Smith, and Davis.
"Then they brought over [free-agent pickup and Chester native] Tyreke Evans and all that," he said. "It was like I guess this is a message from God. This is where I'm supposed to be to start something new."
By now, folks in Philadelphia know that trading away the all-star began the Sixers' rebuilding process. In exchange, they picked up rookie center Nerlens Noel and New Orleans' 2014 first-round pick.
That trade also enabled the Sixers to use their 11th overall pick in the draft on standout rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams.
Holiday greeted Carter-Williams outside the Sixers locker room before the game. He also embraced several Sixers employees in between conducting interviews outside the visiting team's locker room.
While it was nice seeing familiar faces, Holiday said he didn't have Saturday marked on his calendar.
"It was more about getting the feel with this team," he said. "Being excited to start something new. I mean completely new from the name to the color scheme, especially new for me, being in a new place."
He did say the weirdest part about facing his former squad was competing against Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes, and Thaddeus Young.
"I feel like I grew up with them," he said. "Now I get a chance to play against them, and hopefully beat them."