January 31, 2023

At first, Jrue Holiday for some reason needed to go play basketball while the world was on fire. The summer of 2020 was at the height of the spread of COVID-19. Everything was closed. Policemen killed George Floyd. Demonstrators filled the streets of the country’s cities. President Trump hid in the basement of the White House while fences circled, guarded by soldiers with assault rifles and dressed in war clothes. In the midst of all of this, the NBA was bringing teams to Orlando to finish the season in the bubble.

This holiday gave some complex feelings. Furthermore, his wife, retired soccer star Lauren Cheney Holiday, was pregnant. “Being with my family was really important,” Jrue says. “I had to leave them for a long time – I needed motivation.”

As a guard for the Pelicans at the time – he’s with the Bucks now – basketball felt pointless. “We were thinking…Maybe I’m going to sit outside,” he says. “I was struggling to go to the bubble and play. Socially, there was a lot going on.”

One night while they were talking, Lauren asked, “Why don’t you just donate your salary?”

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