The New Orleans Pelicans will be Jrue Holiday-less to start the 2016-17 season, as the 26-year-old point guard will miss the beginning of the campaign for an indefinite amount of time to be a caretaker for his pregnant wife, Lauren, as she deals with surgery to remove a brain tumor.
Holiday said that the news was "devastating," though doctors are optimistic that the tumor is treatable and that Lauren will make a full recovery once she's undergone surgery, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. The tumor was reportedly discovered in June, but doctors have advised her to forgo operating on it until after the birth of their unborn daughter. Their daughter was originally due in mid-October, but the couple plans to induce birth early and the tumor won't be operated on until six weeks after her delivery. The diagnosis is reportedly no threat to the couple's child.
Holiday spoke about his decision to sit out the beginning of the season, telling the Times-Picayune, "My family comes before basketball. 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." He also said that the Pelicans organization has been supportive throughout, adding "The Pelicans have been great. There wasn't any pressure to be with the team or to choose between my team and my wife. They told me to be a husband first. I don't think they know how much their support means to me and my family."
Lauren has an impressive number of athletic accolades in her own right, previously winning two gold medals for the USWNT in both 2008 and 2012. She also played three years for FC Kansas City in the National Women's Soccer League, where she won the league's first MVP award following the 2013 season.
There is currently no timetable for Holiday's return to the Pelicans, to which he was traded to from Philadelphia in 2013. Holiday was an All-Star with the Sixers in 2013 but has struggled with injuries since being traded to New Orleans. Last season he played 65 games—his most since joining the team—and averaged 16.8 points, 6.0 assists, and 1.4 steals per night.