- It’s got to be difficult to find motivation when playing for a team that many believe should go full tank mode – especially for the veterans. That’s the situation Jrue Holiday and the New Orleans Pelicans are in at the moment though, as they’re season took a weird turn with the Anthony Davis trade request.
Holiday said there was motivation to be found in the crowd tonight, though.
Jrue Holiday on motivation for players from #Pelicansfans badly wanting to beat Lakers: “There were a lot of Lakers jerseys (in the stands), which is crazy, but expected. The true fans – that were louder than (Lakers) fans and giving us that energy – that’s why we play.”
— Jim Eichenhofer (@Jim_Eichenhofer) February 24, 2019
Things like this are expected for a “tanking” team. The opposing team (especially one as prominent as LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers), will have just as big or an even bigger crowd presence than the home team.
For some players, motivation is easy. Jahlil Okafor is out to prove he has turned his young career around. Kenrich Williams and Cheick Diallo are trying to prove they deserve opportunities.
For what it’s worth, they’re all proving those exact things.
Then there are veterans. Jrue Holiday is one of the best point guards and defenders (at any position) in basketball. Having a good end to the year won’t do much for his career. Due to that, not many would excuse him if he didn’t find much motivation in going out there for dead crowds without his team’s best player.
With Davis all but gone already, the other Pelicans players are in that weird spot.
Jrue Holiday isn’t one for not playing hard. He’ll find his motivation every night, and found it in the crowd. There will always be the diehards of every team, and those are the people Holiday and the rest of the Pelicans are playing for.
When the Lakers fans tried to will their team back in the game, the Pelicans fans were ready to cheer back.
Pride is an easy motivator. Sometimes it needs that extra push. On Saturday night, the crowd gave that to the Pelicans.