One player that has stormed through the media in the last couple of days has been non-other than Victor Oladipo from the Indiana Pacers. I was going to feature the young man last week in Issue 16, however, I felt he needed to show one more stand out performances. Victor dropped a career-high 47 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 6 three-pointers, 2 steals and a block against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night. Wow!
Gazing through the crystal ball, and looking at his short and colourful NBA career, its safe to say that his story has been a fascinating one. Victor, picked 2nd in the NBA Draft by Orlando Magic, was originally placed as a point-guard and averaged 17.9 points, 4.1 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.7 steals. His numbers were solid, and lasted 3 seasons with the Magic but got traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016.
This is the phase when Victor was assigned by the Thunder to be a scoring lieutenant. A scorer that was partnered with the highest-usage player in the history of the NBA (Russell Westbrook). Victor had some explosive potential flashes throughout the 2016-17 season, but averaged the same previous numbers and just wasn’t cut out to be a pure shooter.
Fast-forward to this season, Oladipo had been traded to the Pacers in return for the 4-time All-Star Paul George. This move would bring Victor home, back where he played college basketball, and as the offensive centrepiece for Indiana. Being in his fifth season in the NBA and 25 years old, he’s approaching the age when players start achieving their peaks.
Looking back, he has been an unfluctuating NBA player, especially with rotating through 5 coaches and 3 different franchises. The latest headline has Victor falling short under Paul George’s shadow, but right now, he doesn’t need to be better then Paul George, he just needs to be the right fit and right player for Indiana. It’s more important for Victor Oladipo to forge his own path in Indiana and not get crushed by Paul George’s shadow.
Catch you Thursday.