New Orleans point guard started the 2016-17 NBA season in an unusual place—away from the basketball court. When his wife and former U.S. National Women’s Soccer Team star player Lauren Holiday was diagnosed with an operable benign brain tumor, he stepped away from the game for several weeks to look after her and their newborn child.
Now back in the game, Holiday remains focused on the important things in life—his faith and his family—while giving his best efforts on the hardwood. In this CSJ conversation with managing editor Chad Bonham, the Pelicans floor general talks about how marriage has been good for him, how he describes his leadership style, and what he hopes to accomplish with his sizeable platform.
Chad Bonham: How has marriage been good for you?
Jrue Holiday: My wife has helped me with a lot of things. She’s also got me to like a lot of different things like sushi. I never would have tried that if it weren’t for her. We also went to Hillsong (Church) in New York. It was awesome to experience that with her. It’s fun to experience new things with the person you love.
Bonham: What is your leadership style on the court? Are you a vocal encourager or someone who prefers to lead by example?
Holiday: I think I lead by example. I don’t talk much. I talk when it’s needed, but I just go out there and play hard every day and do it the right way.
Bonham: So in that regard, I suppose you could say the NBA locker room is more like a family?
Holiday: For sure. We’re on the road sometimes for five days at a time. We go out to eat together. We’ll go to the movies. It really is like family.
Bonham: How do you approach the opportunity that comes with a platform as big as being a starter in the NBA?
Holiday: I try to take it and leave it in God’s hands. I try to do what He wants me to do and come out here and perform the best I can for my teammates. That’s my responsibility. This is a tough league. Outside of basketball, the lifestyle is tough—the travel. Honestly, I think that responsibility is pretty tough but I don’t believe that God gives us anything we can’t handle.
(Photos: Courtesy NBAE; Tony the Tiger via Creative Commons 2.0)