Full Transcript of Oladipo's Call with Media
On Monday, Pacers guard Victor Oladipo was made available to the media for the first time since his season-ending quad tear.
Oladipo, who is currently rehabbing in Miami, Florida, was in good spirits during the conference call and touched on a number of topics related to his recovery.
While no specific timetable for his return next season has been established, Oladipo was bullish on what this season's team can accomplish even without him playing.
The following is a transcript of the conference call between media members and Oladipo as he discussed following the team from afar, staying positive throughout the process, and coming back stronger than ever before.
Question: Just wanted to kind of know what the last week has been like. We saw the video of you shooting in the chair, what was kind of your message behind that and do you feel the positive impact that you doing that has on the fan base and even your teammates?
Answer: The last week has been good. Just taking it one day at a time, as far as the rehab goes, it's been a blessing that I can still do something related to basketball even though, you know, I can't play the game, just trying to find ways to get better even though I'm not able to play, still watch games, watch other people's game.
Still have time to do form shooting and stuff like that. I'm a very optimistic person and very confident, you know, that I'll be able to come back better than ever, so just taking it one day at a time and just trying to heal as best I can.
Q: What are you like when you watch the games? Are you living and dying with every basket? we've seen you tweet a couple of times when Bojan fell down and different things.
Watch your head slim!!!
— Victor Oladipo (@VicOladipo) February 8, 2019
A: It's good man, I'm just watching it, just studying it, if I had my two cents, if I seen something, I might text one of the players or text coach, but I'm just watching from afar. For the most part you know, they came to visit me in Miami and I shared with them what I felt they needed to hear and ever since then they've been nothing short of amazing, so just got to keep getting better. Team is very capable of doing special things even without me on it, so I'm looking forward to seeing what they can do and how far they can go.
Q: That meeting with the players, again, I know that what goes on with the team stays with the team, but how important was that meeting to you, as well as your teammates.
A: Well, I'm not sure how important it was for them, but for me it was just important because I think they just needed to hear my voice and just let them know I'm good. I felt bad, honestly, because I didn't want my season to end like this and me being human, at times, it felt like I was letting them down a little bit.
But to be able to see them and talk to them, it was good for me just to be able to tell them we're right where we want to be, and at the end of the day, we just needed a reminder that we're at our best when nobody believes in us. That's how it's always been so I just reminded them how good they are, and everyone was overacting but they didn't need to. Now they're good, at the end of the day, they're capable of doing very special things, even with me not there. I just watch from afar, and like I said, help anyway I can, whether it's me talking to them like I did in Miami or me texting them and showing them what I see, or just helping any way I can. I think the biggest thing is just continuing to heal and do whatever I need to, so next year I'll have that opportunity to be out there and really help them.
Q: You still want to represent and be part of the team, how important is this that you are still involved, you still have the second half of the season and hopefully the playoffs. How important is it for you to be involved now that you're out for the rest of the season?
A: I think it's important, I think that being out, obviously this season I obviously won't be able to play in actual games, but I think it's just important because you know, I just instill positivity in everybody, and I try to do that every day. When things are tough, I'd hope they reach out and I'd do everything I can to help it get back on track. Like I said, they are more than capable, they are more than capable of doing great things even without me out there, so whenever they need me out here, but they're more than capable of getting the job done.
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Q: What is the kind of schedule kind of set for you. Like in March you should be able to do XY and Z until where you're able to actually get back on the court, do you have a short-term picture of where you go from now, until where you're going to be able to at least be doing things a bit more physical until you can engage that leg?
A: Na, I don't have any specific schedule or anything, I just take it one day at a time really. Everything else is just, I ain't looking forward too far ahead to the future, and I ain't looking too far in the past, just taking it one day at a time, staying in the present.
Q: Can you talk to us a little bit about what your surgeon told you about this surgery, and also, have you spoken with Tony Parker yet?
A: No I haven't spoken to Tony yet, I plan on reaching out to him but obviously we're in the season right now so I was going to wait until the All-Star break to reach out to him, because obviously people are busy with their lives and the season right now so I don't want to be a burden or whatever the case may be, so I'm going to reach out to him during the break.
Also, my doctor told me that the surgery went well and he got all the unnecessary things out of my knee, so I'm looking forward to seeing my knee be stronger than it ever was, so like I said, I'm just taking it one day at a time and just embracing it. At the end of the day, like I said, I'm a positive butterfly, so not looking too far in the future or too far in the past, I'm just focused on today, trying to get better every day, that's what it's all about.
Q: Can you give us some idea of what you're able to do now, are you in bed all of the time or are you up on crutches?
A: I'm on crutches, I'm not in bed all day. if I were in bed all day I'd really drive myself crazy. I got crutches so I'm pretty mobile, might take a little longer to get there than normal, but actually, I'm a slow walker so it's about the same pace. I'm moving around getting places just fine and everything is good really. Like I said, I've just embraced it, that this is going to be a process and I've embraced that I'm going to learn a lot during this time and I'm going to grow a lot during this time. And I'm looking forward to that growth. But I'm not just laying on the bed or laying on the couch not doing anything. But I've got a lot of books now because a lot of people have sent me books and I'm going to get that done as well, still go to the gym, still got rehab, so, I might be out, but I'm definitely busy still.
Q: Can you kind of take us back to the night of the injury and what your initial emotions were. It was probably a state of shock, but can you take us back to some of those early thoughts?
A: When it happened, I originally felt like somebody pushed me. When I went down and I looked at my knee, I could tell something was wrong obviously. When I fell I originally pulled my knee pad away so I could see what was wrong. After I fell down, I don't think I was in shock, more so just disappointment. just sitting there, knowing I had to get carted off, I knew I couldn't walk. Just waiting there, just the waiting, just seeing everyone standing up and looking and in disbelief and worry. Just disappointment really, not shock at all. Luckily, my mother was there, so it was good that she was there so she could take care of me during this time. Even though it was a tough moment, for me, one of the strongest people I know in this world was there, so she was able to try to help me get through this tough time, now I'm just optimistic and looking forward to the future.
Q: What do you think of the team's play right now, and what's your message for them as they try to adjust to life without you?
A: I think the team is playing very well right now, playing at a high level, I don't really have much to say, I just think biggest thing to is to just remember that every game is going to be different and at the end of the day you just need to find a way to win. That's the biggest thing in the NBA. You can't get too high can't get too low in the NBA, but you still have to come in and do your job. Every game ain't going to be perfect or easy, there's going to be some tough games. But your approach and your mentality have to be consistent, and that's what they're doing now.
Q: What was the nature of that right knee soreness in November and December, that kept you out for 11 games?
A: The quad tendon area, very similar.
Q: What was being done for that, up until the time you were hurt.
A: Just the necessary things they felt for my knee to get stronger and heal. But it was honestly just a freak accident. at the end of the day, it just happened and I'm just focused on the process and coming back stronger than ever.
Q: How have your teammates been during this? They look to you as a leader, but have any of your teammates been leaders to you in this process?
A: I feel like my teammates have been great during this process, they've been like any teammate would be. They've checked on me during tough times, or even doing little gestures like Domas did during the pregame, doing the thing that we do all the time, even when I'm not there, just shows you that we're more than just a team, that's how these guys are. It's awesome, I'm happy for them, I'm so happy to see they are playing well now and I don't expect anything less than that. I'm just here supporting as best as I can, and like I said, if they need me I'm here. So that's what it's all about.
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Q: Have they given you any indication when you should be able to be a full-go in playing again, do you have a hope of being ready for training camp?
A: Na, not really worried about that, it's out of my control, and they haven't really given me a timetable or anything like that. But I'm just taking it one day at a time, like I said, I'm not really looking too far in the future and I'm not really looking into the past either, I'm just focused on today. They haven't really given me any timetable but I'm just taking it one day at a time.
Q: How well do you know Wesley Matthews and what do you think of the addition to the team.
A: I know Wesley pretty well and I think he's really going to help a lot. I think he's perfect for our team.
Q: Beyond reading and working out, how have you managed this time. Because we know you're a guy who constantly stays busy.
A: I mean, I got a schedule here just like I had a schedule every day when I was playing, so it's not like I'm just not doing anything. I still got to go to rehab, I still go to the gym and shoot. I'm still reading and catching up on things and I still got to watch games when we play, so it's not like I'm not doing anything. I'm still keeping myself very much so busy.
Q: Going back to the question about the knee soreness in November, do you think that is related to the season-ending injury, or was that just more of a freak thing.
A: I mean, who knows? I could sit here and say it's related, but I wouldn't really know. I could say it's not related, but I wouldn't really know that either. I'm sure it might be connected in some way, but who can tell? Who knows? Like I said, I'm not focused on the past, because I have no control over that, just like I have no control over the future. All I really worry about is today, and today I have rehab at 4:30. I'm focused on making sure I have the best rehab I have. That's my focus every day, to improve.
Q: Looking forward, not too far forward, I know you work out really hard all offseason. You really push yourself. Do you think that based on the injury that you have, that maybe tinkering with what you do offseason would give yourself (unintelligible crosstalk)?
A: Obviously now things are going to be a little different, because I think more so now I know my body better than ever. Especially going through the rehab process and everything, it's kind of like relearning my body, what to do, what not to do, know not to overdo it and stuff like that. It's a learning curve and it's a learning process, so I'm just trying to embrace it like I said.
Q: Do you plan to come back and rejoin the team at all before the season ends? Just be back in Indianapolis and be with the team?
A: Yeah, definitely. I plan on coming back and definitely coming to some games and supporting them when I'm able to. I'm looking forward to that too, being back in the arena and seeing the fans, and my teammates and the coaching staff and everybody that works for the Pacers as well. I miss it.