A former second-overall pick, Victor Oladipo entered the NBA as an exciting prospect poised to become one of the best in the league for the years to come. But unfortunately, he wasn't given a good hand.
The guard has dealt with constant injuries throughout his career and the last few years have been especially difficult for him. Oladipo missed a bit more than a year of action after suffering a quadriceps tendon injury in his right knee in December 2019.
Even after that, the Indiana Pacers offered him a four-year, $112 million contract, which he turned down to get traded to the Houston Rockets, who eventually sent him to the Miami Heat in the 2020-21 trade deadline. His time in South Florida didn't begin well but he is determined to turn the page.
Victor Oladipo aims to come back stronger with the Miami Heat
Only four games into his life as a Heat player, Oladipo reinjured the quadriceps tendon to undergo season-ending surgery. A few months later, he re-signed with the franchise for a one-year, veteran minimum deal worth nearly $2.4m.
The last two seasons haven't been easy for the guard, who feels like this will just make him stronger for what's ahead of him. “It’s been really tough,"· he said, per Miami Herald's Barry Jackson.
"This is another battle in the books for me. I want to show my resiliency and have one of the best comeback stories ever. I want to make the most of my situation. It’s easy to quit and say ‘woe is me,’ but that doesn’t solve the problem. I know there are a lot of eyes watching. Hopefully, I can be a vessel for them and show them they can get through anything if they really put their mind to it.”
Oladipo's optimistic perspective is a really good signal for a Heat that will also be aiming to have a comeback season following a frustrating exit in the last campaign's playoffs at the hands of the eventual champions Milwaukee Bucks.
“I don’t know what our team would have done with a healthy version of me because I wasn’t given that opportunity; I was dealt a bad hand," Oladipo said. "I feel there’s unfinished business here. I feel like I came here for a reason and there’s a purpose for me being here and I’m trying to find out what that is. I believe it’s a good one. I believe we can do something very special here for years to come and I want to be a part of it.”
He may have turned down a lucrative offer from the Indiana Pacers and ended up signing for a veteran minimum contract in Miami, but at the end of the day, Oladipo was willing to resign to loads of money just to go to a title-contending team. And that's what he expects to be part of this season once he gets back on the court.