2020 NBA Restart - All Access Practice
ORLANDO, FL - JULY 14: Jrue Holiday #11 of the New Orleans Pelicans drives to the basket during practice as part of the NBA Restart 2020 on July 14, 2020 in Orlando, Florida.
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Transcript: Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday media availability - July 16, 2020

Jrue Holiday Media Availability – July 16, 2020

On how he will remember the events that have gone on in 2020:
"2020 is definitely a year that, for me, will be unforgettable in a multitude of ways…social justice-wise, economically, being able to see what’s really going on in our country. Not even see what’s going on – I’ve already known it. I feel like this year really made me step up as a person and as a man, as a black man. For me and my wife to decide this was one of the main reasons we came back to play, was to try to bless others, especially during this time. I think 2020 kind of gives you a kick in the butt to really look at yourself in the mirror and see what you’re about.”

On if having a child on the way influenced he and his wife Lauren’s decision to donate the remainder of his salary:
"Nah, not with my son on the way. I think it’s more so, I want my son to see what I’m doing, see how I’m helping out others, how I’m helping out my community. Again, when I heard it was a boy it was emotional, just because of the things that I’ve been through in this country and things that I’ve hidden and hidden away and tucked away. One example is what my wife wrote in her (Player’s Tribune) article, but that’s happened multiple times. But I think for me to be able to set an example for my son before he’s even here is something that, again, I just kind of look at myself in the mirror and take personally.”

On how the team will adjust to having Zion Williamson out for a period of time:
"As much as it hurts to say, we’ve done it before. We’ve done it where he’s been out for a little bit this season. We’re obviously excited to have him out there on the court, but with him gone and taking care of his family, we’re holding down the fort for him. He’s our brother and he needs to take care of his family, take care of his business, but this is nothing new. I feel like we talk about it all the time, the obstacles that we go through during the season. Even this season, just how crazy it’s been, it’s just another obstacle that we have to get through as a team.”

On if not having Zion Williamson for a period of time changes his level of optimism about making the playoffs:
"No. It’s the same approach. We’re here to take care of business. We know that when Zion gets back, he’ll fall right back in line just like he did last time. But until then, we’ll have to steer the boat.”

On what message he can give to his teammates about handling adversity from his previous experiences:
"I mean, I was saying that earlier this year. We (went) 0-13 or something crazy and I was saying it then. I’ve been through injuries, I’ve been through seasons where you go 0-10, 0-12 and still make the playoffs. Again, before this pandemic we felt like we had that eighth spot. We know that this season is a rollercoaster and it goes up and down, but this time with the circumstances we feel like we’re fresh and we’re ready and we’re here to take care of business.”

On his family’s donation and the feedback he has received since announcing it:
"We’ve gotten a lot of emails. Again, I think – especially talking to the mayors of the cities that we’ve chosen – that’s been huge and they’ve been very excited. We’ve gotten a lot of emails, not just from big business, just from regular people, people that want to support. People out there that like and see what we do have been supporting and donating to our foundation and our fund that we put together. As private as I am, I’m glad that we did it because I feel like as a community and as even as a country, we can come together and really pull other people up with us.”

On if there is a specific reason that his family’s donation wants to highlight small businesses:
"One is just being in New Orleans, you see the small businesses. You see the hole in the wall restaurants, you see the corner stores, the businesses like that that are super successful. I’m a foodie; I love food, so I would love to see them (to be able) to continue to build and stay around. At the same time, I also know that this is a country of opportunity and people need help sometimes, building that opportunity or just opening the door. Again, me being blessed enough to make quite a bit of money, giving this away is fairly easy.”

On his t-shirt honoring John Carlos and Tommie Smith, and what it means to him:
"We had the originals – the OGs – come in and talk to us (earlier this season)…For them to go up there (on the Olympic podium) and show black power and to protest without even saying a word, I feel like means a lot. Especially as a black man in sports, this is what I’m here for. I’m here to play just like they were there to run and win. I’m here to do the same thing.”

On how he hopes other players will use their platform during these upcoming months:
"I think it’s to express themselves, express what they believe in to make others better, to make yourself better. Again, I feel like even just being here with my teammates has made me better, has made me care more about other people. I feel like just spreading that love and showing that you care for other people is something that’s very very important, especially in this country at a time like this. For these next three months, on this national stage, we want to be able to voice our opinions. Yeah, you might be scrutinized for it, but that’s also your opinion. Just know that, me personally, I’m here for the culture and I’m here to keep building as a country.”


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