Victor Oladipo is the next NBA player to announce his plans to sit out the remainder of the NBA season. The Indiana Pacers guard told The Athletic, “With all the variables, from how I have to build my 5-on-5 workload back up, to the increased risk of a soft tissue injury which could delay my rehab, and the unknown exact set up of the bubble, I just can’t get my mind to being fully comfortable in playing cited as the reason for this decision.”
After winning the Most Improved Player Award in 2018, Oladipo had the looks of another solid outing in 2018-19. However, it was cut short by a ruptured quadriceps tendon. The injury sidelined him until January of this year. Oladipo averaged 13.8 points per game in 13 games before the league’s suspension.
This decision didn’t come easy for Oladipo. He stated, “I really want to play, and as a competitor and teammate this is tearing me apart…I have to be smart and this decision hasn’t been easy, but I truly believe continuing on the course I’m on and getting fully healthy for the 2020-21 season is the right decision for me.”
On one hand, Oladipo foregoing the season hurts the Pacers’ chances at a championship run. He was instrumental when Indiana took the eventual Eastern Conference champion Cavaliers to 7 games in the 2018 playoffs. Although not 100%, Oladipo would once again provide leadership. He also would have been a positive impact on both ends of the floor in this year’s postseason.
However, Oladipo’s decision makes plenty of sense, seeing that he’ll have limited time to get his body back to speed. After seeing Kevin Durant tear his Achilles after returning prematurely from an injury, players have good reason to be concerned for their health in similar situations. And if there’s anyone who knows what’s best for Oladipo, it’s Oladipo himself. All things considered, this is the best and safest choice for his future.
In the meantime, Oladipo will continue rehabbing over the coming months in hopes of returning to All-Star status for the 2020-2021 season.