Victor Oladipo: “The Best Is Yet To Come For Me”
The wait is almost over.
After missing the past three games with a head cold, Victor Oladipo will finally make his HEAT debut on Thursday night against the Warriors.
Ahead of the matchup, Oladipo spoke to the media via Zoom about being made for the culture, his journey thus far and much more.
Check out some notable quotes below.
On Why He Thinks HEAT Culture Is For Him
“I believe it’s for me because of my history. I come from high-cultural basketball: DeMatha Catholic High School to Indiana University and now being on the HEAT. It’s a culture. It’s a way of life. It’s playing for something bigger than myself. It’s sacrifice. It’s winning at the ultimate level, and that’s what I’m used to. That’s what I flourish in. I feel like being a part of this and walking around that locker room every day and seeing those championships and walking around and seeing what winning looks like is going to help me be a better player, be a better person and help me help this team win at the highest level.”
On His Journey Thus Far
“The best is yet to come for me. I truly believe that. My better days are ahead. I truly believe I haven’t scratched the surface of how good I can be. There’s still a lot of room for me to improve, a lot of room for me to get better, and I have a lot to prove. I have a big chip on my shoulder, obviously. They say if the road you’re on is easy, then you’re on the wrong road, so everything that’s happened to me has happened for a reason. I truly believe that, so I’m just going to take it one day at a time, stay positive and be Vic. Go out there and just be myself and play both ends of the floor like I always do. Everything else will take care of itself.”
On Playing Alongside Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo
“I’ve been playing against those guys since Bam’s been in the league and Jimmy for quite some years now, and they’re the ultimate competitors. And I believe that I am too, so I think when you put us three together, it could definitely be something special. And I’m looking forward to going out there and competing with those guys, and I can’t wait. I know they’re looking forward to it as well. I think our mindsets are the same, and that’s winning, and winning at the highest level possible. Obviously, it’s going to take some time to get used to, everything takes time getting used to, but the mentalities will be the same.”
On What Stood About The HEAT When Facing Them In The Playoffs Last Year
“I remember competing with those guys, and they brought it every game. Coach [Erik Spoelstra] had something brewing every game. There was an adjustment every game we had to adjust to, and it was very competitive. I remember after that series saying, ‘I think they’re going to go to the Finals.’ And they did. I was the only one, who probably in my camp, that wasn’t surprised because I had just played them. And I saw it. I felt it. I felt how they clicked. What they were doing out there, I felt something special there, so to be a part of this group now is truly a blessing, and I thank God for it.”
On His First Conversation With Pat Riley
“My first conversation with Coach Riley was defense, defense, defense. That’s pretty much what we talked about…coming in and defending at a high level. It’s pretty amazing to have such a legendary human being believe in me…and he wants me to come in here, and he wants me to defend. That’s what I’m going to go out there and do…it was a great conversation with coach. He’s a great human being, and I appreciate the opportunity he’s giving me.”
On What Dwyane Wade Has Told Him Since Being Acquired By The Team
“I think he just wants me to go out there and just be myself, get comfortable, go out there and compete. He wants the best for me regardless. He’s always been like that…being in his city now, just in case I need anything, he has resources here to help me. He always is there to lend a helping hand. That’s just who he is…he’s always been encouraging since day one, and I appreciate that.”