Jrue Holiday touched by LeBron James’ gesture as his wife recovers from brain surgery

LeBron James is one of the fiercest competitors in the NBA, but the Cleveland Cavaliers star knows when it’s time to keep things in perspective. Before Monday night’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans, the perennial All-Star walked over to Jrue Holiday to lend some words of encouragement to the veteran point guard.

But their discussion had nothing to do with on-court strategy. Holiday’s wife, former women’s national soccer team player Lauren Holiday, had brain surgery in October to remove a benign tumor. The surgery came just weeks before she gave birth to the couple’s first child.

“When we heard about it, me and my family and my wife heard about it, we were in L.A. at the time in the offseason and we automatically had a prayer for her,” James told ESPN on Monday after the Cavs’ 90-82 win. “This is a brotherhood, no matter if you’re on the same team or not, this is a fraternity. Our league is a fraternity. Any time someone’s family is going through a situation like that, you just hope the greater God above is looking out for him. So, I couldn’t wait to actually see him today.”

Jrue Holiday, who missed the Pelicans’ first 12 games this season to be with his family, was touched by LeBron’s gesture and how other NBA players also reached out to the 26-year-old.

“Obviously to him, family means more than anything,” Holiday said. “And the same thing for me. So, the fact that they’ve been praying and supporting my wife is a blessing to me.

“To know that this league and somebody of his caliber and the effect that he has on the game like he does can really have support for my family is awesome.”

The support has helped Holiday through the hard times. With his wife’s condition improving by the day, Holiday is now able to focus more on the court.

But he’s still grateful for how things have turned out.

“I guess it’s been going well and it hasn’t been affecting me, I don’t think,” said Holiday, who is averaging 14.4 points and 7.3 assists. “My wife is doing really well and she’s gradually getting better, and that’s all I can ask for. She’s alive, and I’m blessed for that. My daughter is OK. So, I’m happy.”