Pelicans PG Tim Frazier’s respect, admiration has grown for Jrue Holiday
New Orleans Pelicans point guard Tim Frazier has expressed deep respect and admiration for teammate Jrue Holiday, who is stepping away indefinitely to look after his pregnant wife, Lauren, who’s in need of brain surgery after giving birth.
Frazier said him and his teammates were understanding of Holiday’s situation and completely supportive of the two of them as a family. The support was echoed from the starters to the end of the bench and front office.
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Holiday told NOLA.com’s Jeff Duncan a couple of weeks ago that his wife will undergo surgery about six weeks after the birth of their first child. The tumor — which is benign — was found on the right side of her brain at the end of June.
”All praises go to Jrue and his family, definitely with what they’re going through,” Frazier told John Reid of NOLA.com. ”Jrue is a man to be able to step out and say, ‘I’ve got to handle what’s right and that’s spend time with my wife.’ That’s something I really look up to as far as what he’s going through and how he’s handled the situation.”
While it’s still unclear when Holiday will return, he will remain on the Pelicans’ active roster. The franchise will have an athletic trainer work with Holiday in North Carolina to maintain him physically and skill-wise.
The Pelicans will open training camp on Sept. 24 and begin the regular season at home on Oct. 26 against the Denver Nuggets.
New Orleans signed Langston Galloway in the summer and Frazier agreed to a two-year, $4.1 million contract to return. Frazier was initially signed to a 10-day contract before he was signed for the remainder of the season on March 26.
In 16 games with the team, the Penn State product averaged 13.1 points and 7.5 assists — enough to impress his teammates and coaching staff.
“I wanted to come back; New Orleans wanted me back,” Frazier said. ”New Orleans gave me the first opportunity to really showcase my talent as far as getting significant minutes.”
Rookie Buddy Hield will have big shoes to fill as a scorer in Holiday’s absence and could potentially nab a few starts at the two-guard before Evans regains his spot at small forward.
“‘I think we’re headed in the right direction,” Frazier said. ”We added a lot of new pieces this year, but all of those guys have come in eager and willing to learn. You can tell by their character and work ethic. Everybody is comfortable. Everybody has come in, bought into the system.”
”We spent a lot of time in L.A. together (for volunteer workouts), bonding and we exchanged numbers and stayed in contact. We left L.A. and now everybody is back in New Orleans for the most part hanging out, spending time and getting to know each other’s strengths. At the end of the day, I know Jrue is praying for us and we’re praying for him.”