Victor Oladipo Pens Heartfelt Players' Tribune Essay
Following Indiana's Game 1 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, The Players' Tribune dropped an essay by Victor Oladipo, touching on Oladipo's growth as a player and his love for Indiana.
In the first-person essay, Oladipo writes about the immediate aftermath of being traded to the Pacers and his excitement about the chance to get to play in Indiana again.
"I wasn’t going to just another team. I was coming home," writes Oladipo.
Oladipo played three years at Indiana University before turning pro. Since joining the league, Oladipo has taken note of the warm reception he received at Bankers Life Fieldhouse as a member of the visiting Magic and Thunder.
Once the initial shock of the trade gave way to excitement, Victor fired off a text to his teammate Domantas Sabonis: "I promise, if you win here in Indiana, they’ll embrace you like no other."
Read Oladipo's Full Players' Tribune Essay: They’ll Embrace You Like No Other »
That text has proven prescient for Oladipo, who just capped off the best regular season of his career averaging 23.1 points per game and making his first All-Star Game. Sabonis, in his second NBA season, was selected to the Rising Stars Game and nearly doubled his scoring and rebounding outputs from last season. The pair helped the Pacers climb to a 48-win season, surpassing nearly all preseason expectations.
Oladipo goes on to write about his collegiate experience and recalled the moment when he realized just how basketball-crazed the state of Indiana truly is.
In closing, Oladipo puts the final touches on the essay with a bold message for the state of Indiana:
And we’re gonna need you right now, Indiana. The rest of the league might have forgotten about us, but you haven’t. Forget what the standings say. Forget the MVP race. Enough with all of that. We know who we’re playing for. You know what this team’s about. We’re ready to make a run in these playoffs. Right now.