Victor Oladipo calls it his Revenge Tour, the Miami Heat guard frequently filling his social media with posts about his grueling offseason exercise schedule, together with current classes with Russell Westbrook in Los Angeles.
As he defined on Vince Carter’s VC Show podcast, it has been work with the singular purpose of getting again to the All-Star degree beforehand reached earlier than a string of knee and quadriceps points.
“That’s something that I came up with, just because I felt like the last couple of years have been really tough on me,” Oladipo stated, “and I’ve obviously gone through a lot individually and my team, my family have gone through a lot with me collectively.”
Last yr, that meant Oladipo taking part in on an NBA-minimum wage, spending greater than half the schedule rehabbing earlier than a late-season debut.
But, from there, there have been breakout moments throughout the Heat’s playoff run inside one victory of the NBA Finals, after which a two-year, $18 million free-agency contract to return.
Now, the main focus is singular, the intent of his summer time of sweat geared towards one actuality.
“That I’m one of the best players in the world. Period,” the 30-year-old veteran stated. “I think that my injury has kind of built a misconception of who I am as a player.”
Even with the wage improve, free-agency curiosity was tepid, leaving Oladipo with additional gas.
“Why can’t I come back from this injury and what I’ve been through and have an even greater career than I thought I could have prior to it? Why can’t I?” Oladipo stated in a passionate second throughout the interview with Carter. “And I don’t see no cause why I can’t.
“So I truly believe that I can, and that’s what I’m trying to prove to myself, first and foremost, is that I’m capable of great things even now, it’s never too late, no matter what anyone says or what the world may think or what people tell you.”
In some ways, Oladipo finds himself in the same place as Westbrook, who, at 33, more and more finds himself amongst those that doubt his means to reclaim prior All-Star kind.
Oladipo and Westbrook had been teammates with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016-17.
“Me and Russ go way back,” Oladipo stated. “We performed collectively when he gained MVP. So he ready me for the next yr to have the yr I had after I left OKC. And I felt like I ready himself for his MVP season earlier than he grew to become MVP. And proper now, we’re on the identical wavelength.
“We’re not going to let each other fail.”
Amid his rehab work after he was acquired by the Heat from the Houston Rockets on the 2021 NBA buying and selling deadline for Kelly Olynyk and Avery Bradley, Oladipo insisted a greater model would emerge, even whereas restricted to 4 regular-season appearances with the Heat in 2020-21 and eight this previous season.
Now, for the primary time since 2018, there was the flexibility to problem himself throughout an offseason.
“I’m itching just thinking about it. It’s so crazy. It’s like a rebirth,” the No. 2 choose within the 2013 NBA draft stated. “And being in my tenth yr, it seems like I’m in Year One yet again. But it’s like a Year One with somewhat little bit of expertise.
“I’m going to prepare myself for any and everything this summer. So whatever happens next year, it’s no shock to me.”
All whereas planning to reach at coaching camp the ultimate week of September as each a brand new man in addition to his former All-Star self.
“I make sure people know that I’m coming for everybody,” he stated of his Revenge Tour. “At the end of the day, it really don’t matter who it is. I just want to prove that I’m Victor Oladipo and I stand for who I am.”