Pacers’ Victor Oladipo says he’s ‘definitely trying to play’ in Orlando

Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers learned from social media earlier this month that Victor Oladipo ruled himself out from the resumption of the NBA season at Disney World.

Now, the situation has reversed course shortly after a dispute over the remaining $3 million Oladipo is set to earn for the remainder of the season. The league office believes he can play since he was playing before the season was suspended and has been practicing full-speed.

During a conference call with reporters, Oladipo explained what has changed since he previously declared that he wasn’t going to participate in the resumption of the NBA season.

“I’m just reassessing myself and my body every day. I think people fail to realize that this injury that I have is very unique. No one of my stature, of my ability, has ever had this injury before, so there’s no one else that I have to look up to or could reassess from,” said Oladipo.

“I know what I’m capable of. I know what standard I have to get to. I know how my body needs to feel in order to perform at the level that I’m capable of performing, because if I don’t do that, well, then everybody’s going to write about how I didn’t play at that great level or how I didn’t look good.” 

Whether it’s about money or simply a change of heart after participating in practice, it was premature for Oladipo to rule himself out when he did. The Pacers’ plan always was to allow him to practice leading up to their first game before making a final decision.

Pacers head coach Nate McMillan shared his perspective with reporters and expressed a similar sentiment. He made it clear the plan for Oladipo was to go to Orlando and see how he feels after practicing with the team.

“He has always told us that he was coming to Orlando and he was going to be working with the team,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “And that’s where I was at with him. As far as coming down and working and seeing how you feel, you kind of go from there. That was the plan. That’s what we’re doing now.”

Choosing to not participate makes sense for Oladipo from the standpoint that he will be entering a contract-year next season. Suffering a soft tissue injury would greatly damage his value before his next deal. When considering what happened to DeMarcus Cousins recently, it’s a fair perspective.

It remains to be seen whether Victor Oladipo will play or elect to sit out when the Indiana Pacers’ game schedule begins. A final decision seems unlikely to be made until later this month.


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