Indiana Pacers’ Nigerian-born basketball guard, Victor Oladipo has changed his mind about staying away from the club’s season-ending competition in Orlando Florida, USA, as he is now ready to feature in the contest starting at the end of this month.
In contrast with his initial decision to stay away from ‘The Bubble,’ where all players will be camped for the first-of-its-kind competition in National Basketball Association (NBA) history, megasportsarena.com gathered that Oladipo has now tentatively agreed to turn up.
The turn-around comes several days after the 28-year-old Oladipo declared that he would sit out of the 2020 NBA restart, but The Pacers’ Nigerian-born baby-faced lad has now reversed course and declared that he wants to play once the season resumes.
Oladipo, who initially said he would opt out in order to get more time in achieving full recovery from a quad injury that kept him out of action for a year, however, apparently made the u-turn because he is aware that the NBA did not agree with his reasoning.
Despite the youngster’s long absence, the officials considered Oladipo a healthy player, meaning he would not be paid if he opted out of the competition in Orlando, even as ESPN writer, Brian Windhorst reported that league and union top brass were going back and forth over the issue.
The player went on to declare that he has not talked to anyone about the issue, even as he only wants to stay focused on ensuring that he becomes truly healthy and kept mum on discussions with NBA officials about him getting paid if he does not play in Orlando.
Dramatically, though he intended to opt out, Oladipo traveled to Orlando with The Pacers’ squad and has been training with his teammates, which the NBA crew viewed as an indication that the player was good to go.
After getting in a few practices, Oladipo, who suffered the injury last season and only returned for the first 13 games of this year, before coronavirus put the season on hold, cited uncertainty surrounding the NBA’s bubble plan when he opted out.
However, he has now agreed that he is in a good spot and that his body is trending in the right direction, but did not fully commit himself to playing, as he will still watch how his knee holds up before coming out with a verdict on whether he will give the bubble his best shot.
At 39-26, The Pacers sit as fifth seed in the Eastern Conference but, considering how Oladipo struggled when he returned, his team went just 1-5 in his first six games back, then improved to 6-1 in the next seven games in which he played.
Should he now be in better shape for the upcoming historic competition in Orlando, after a few months off, courtesy COVID-19, the Pacers could be primed for a nice run once the post-season begins; ahead of which assured Pacers’ fans and other NBA followers that he is ready to play.
Oladipo said: “I’m definitely here trying to play. I haven’t talked to them. I don’t have any control of that. I’m just focused on my knee (but) there’s a strong possibility I might play.”