New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday will miss the beginning of the 2016-17 season to be with his pregnant wife — retired soccer star Lauren Holiday — while she recovers from brain surgery, via the New Orleans Times-Picayune’s Jeff Duncan. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor in late June.
“My family comes before basketball,” said Holiday, 26. “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.”
“Obviously, we were and are still very excited about the birth of our first child, but our focus shifted from having this magnificent blessing to making sure everything is going to be OK with Lauren and the child,” Jrue said. “Our priorities right now are being able to manage Lauren’s symptoms and still have a fairly healthy pregnancy.”
“We just ask for your prayers, really pray for my family,” Jrue said. “We can take all the prayers that we can get.”
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry and general manager Dell Demps both released statements saying that the team will support Holiday and he should be with his family for as long as he needs to be. They met with Holiday and his agent in August, and Holiday said that they told him to be a husband first. Holiday also said that the baby is healthy.
Lauren’s due date is in mid-October, but the Holidays hope to induce labor as soon as late September. She will have brain surgery six weeks after having the child. New Orleans will begin training camp on Sep. 24, preseason on Oct. 1 and the regular season on Oct. 26. The Holidays will be living in North Carolina, and Lauren will both give birth and have surgery at Duke University Hospital. There is no set date for Holiday’s return to the court.
Basketball-wise, this is obviously a blow to the Pelicans’ chances to rebound from a tough 2015-16 season. Holiday is their second-best player behind Anthony Davis and his absence will mean that E’Twaun Moore, Langston Galloway or Tim Frazier — all of whom are much less seasoned — will have to be their primary playmakers. Sometimes, though, basketball has to take a backseat.
Courtesy: CBS Sports