The public is discovering the true strength of the bonds between Jrue Holiday, his family and the New Orleans Pelicans.
Holiday, the Pelicans’ starting point guard, will miss the start of the NBA season to be with his wife, Lauren, while she simultaneously brings her pregnancy to term and undergoes treatment for a brain tumor, The Times-Picayune’s Jeff Duncan reported Saturday.
The Pelicans haven’t set a timetable for Holiday’s return to the team. Instead, they’ve told him to do what he believes is best for his family.
“My family comes before basketball,” Holiday said. “I’m obviously blessed to play this game and be in the position I am in, but my wife is the most important thing in the world to me. She comes before anything else.”
Lauren Holiday, a former USA soccer star, retired from the sport in June in order to start a family. She started suffering from headaches in the midst of her pregnancy, and doctors diagnosed the brain tumor in July.
Jrue Holiday and the Pelicans met in August, and they decided to allow him to take as much time away from the team as he needs.
“The most important thing for Jrue to do right now is be with his wife and family,” Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry said in a statement, per The Times-Picayune. “Every one of our coaches and players understands what Lauren and Jrue are going through, and they know we’re behind them 100 percent.
“We’ll continue to do everything we can to support them and help them get through these hard times.”
The Holidays are expecting the birth of their first child in September or October. Lauren likely will undergo brain surgery around six weeks after giving birth.
The Pelicans will play their first regular-season game Oct. 26. While Jrue Holiday won’t lead his team onto the court that night, he and Lauren will be as close to his coaches and teammates in spirit as possible.
Such are the ties that bind the Pelicans family together.
Thumbnail photo via Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports Images