Following the Houston Rockets 104-101 victory over the Portland Trailblazers on Thursday night (January 28, 2021), Victor Oladipo was fielding questions in a court-side interview. The Orlando Magic-to-Oklahoma City Thunder-to-Indiana Pacers-to-Houston Rockets transfer had just netted 25 points, seven rebounds, and five assists to help his latest team. (Granted, Mr. Oladipo went 11 for 23 in arriving at those 25 points to include going 2 for 10 from beyond the three-point arc).
The response to the question concerning his role in Houston and arrival in the Space City was puzzling – particularly for die-hard Pacer fans. Oladipo said, "Going through my career, it just feels like people keep kinda quitting on me. But it's a part of life and I embrace it."
Uh, hold up a second. Indiana did not give up on Victor Oladipo. Not even close. The Indiana Pacers front office and entire fan base embraced Victor Oladipo. If the winds in the corn rows changed direction, it was because Victor Oladipo himself turned on the fans (see what I did there?)
First, Victor Oladipo got wishy washy about playing in the bubble. Then, word got out that Victor Oladipo was openly stating (joking?) with opposing players that he could not wait to join their squad(s). Then, Victor Oladipo would not commit to being a Pacer long term. Then, Victor Oladipo declined the Pacers max extension offer in the 2020 offseason. These omissions and overtures left the Pacers brass with Paul George Simplex II – a potential disgruntled star bad mouthing the small market and forcing his way out or walking at the end of a contract with no chance to resign leaving the Blue and Gold in a dire predicament. So, the Pacers did what they had to do by jumping in the Houston-Brooklyn-Cleveland trade train and now we hope that Caris Levert recovers fully and blossoms into an NBA star.
The point is: Indiana did not quit on Victor Oladipo. Instead, Victor Oladipo forced Indiana’s hand by not committing to the town and the team for financial and marketing reasons. So again, Mr. Oladipo….who quit on who exactly?