Jrue Holiday Owes Nothing to the New Orleans Pelicans

Published: April 21, 2017

I’m going to be coming in like a hot take, but Jrue Holiday owes nothing to the New Orleans Pelicans.

You know what this is about and, as I wrote earlier in the week regarding the medical staff, this also makes me a bit uncomfortable. It’s about him take a leave of absence to care for his then-pregnant wife, and people thinking he should take a discount and resign because the team allowed it.

It makes me uncomfortable because Holiday has repeatedly asked for privacy regarding his family. Which is something we here at Bourbon Street Shots have respected. And I feel a little bit as if I’m going against his wishes now, but it needs to be said: Holiday owes the team nothing for taking a leave of absence.

First and foremost it was the right thing to do however you want to look at it. Morally it was the right thing to do for Holiday. His wife was pregnant and she needed brain surgery. This is basketball; it’s just a game. Holiday’s situation is drastically more important.

It’s also in the best interest of the Pelicans franchise. Imagine how it would look to the rest of the team if the Pels somehow forced Holiday to stay and play? How would it look at your job if the company tried to do that? Would you still want to work there?

What about to the rest of the league? Nobody would want to join a franchise that treats its players like that. Furthermore, Holiday has the NBPA backing him. Not only would the union have actively steered players away from the Pelicans, it is not a stretch to think they’d file a lawsuit. I don’t think the Pelicans are a dysfunctional franchise, but this would have pushed them into that territory. None of that is a good outcome for the Pelicans to just get Holiday to play 12 more games.

The fact of the matter is we do not know if Holiday was paid during his 12 game leave of absence. And if he was or wasn’t: it frankly does not matter. It was the right thing to do, and people should not get bonus points for doing the right thing. That should be the standard.

12 games is 14.6% of the season. Significant? Yes, but not enough to make or break the season. Yes, the Pelicans were 2-10 in those games, but the Pelicans didn’t solely get off to a bad start because they were without Holiday. There are tons of other issues with the team. And with Holiday back the Pelicans had a record of 32-35. Ultimately, the Pelicans weren’t going to make the playoffs as is.

So, if you want to argue that Holiday played poorly, hurt the team, and should take less than a max contract (or whatever his market value might be) respect his wishes and keep his family out of it. Build your argument around his play on the court.

Agree or disagree? Let us know on twitter @nolajake and @bourbonstshots

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