The start of the 2016-2017 NBA season has not been kind to the New Orleans Pelicans, as the team struggled to an ugly 2-10 record. However, starting point guard Jrue Holiday went through a far more trying time and, as of Friday, he will return to the team in full force. Holiday missed the start of the season in order to care for his wife, former United States Women’s National Team standout Lauren Holiday, who gave birth in September before facing surgery shortly thereafter to remove a brain tumor. Upon his return, the 26-year-old had this to say about the circumstances allowing him to get back to basketball.
“It was really just to see where my wife was in her recovery. And since she’s doing so well, and since my daughter’s getting bigger, and since my family and her family are there to help her out with anything … I just feel comfortable being back and being able to leave them, if it’s on a road trip or whatever it is.
“As hard as it is, again, I’m really excited.”
Holiday also indicated that he returned “because (his) wife said (he) could” and spoke of the positives of modern communication (i.e. FaceTime) that will allow the new father to catch up with both his daughter and wife. The veteran point guard also spoke about the overwhelming support that the couple received from both fans and personnel within the Pelicans organization, and Holiday’s return will undoubtedly be met with optimism on Friday when the team hosts the Portland Trail Blazers.
From a basketball standpoint, the infusion of Holiday, considered by many to be the team’s second-best player, will be crucial for the development of Anthony Davis and the roster as a whole. However, Holiday isn’t quite sure what his role will be yet and he appears to be taking an open-minded approach.
“I can do whatever they want me to do — if it’s cheerlead, hand out Gatorades, play defense, call a set, whatever it is. I’m just here to help.”
Jrue and Lauren Holiday faced a challenge that no one wants to face, but after a few months, it will be nice to see the point guard on the floor. More importantly, it’s great that Lauren is getting back to full health.