Putting in the work is, more often than not, rewarded. The NBA obviously believes this as it gave out awards on Monday night to deserving players, including American-born Nigerian Victor Oladipo.
Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo was named the NBA’s 2017/18 KIA Most Improved Player during the NBA Awards Show in Los Angeles.
“I first would like to thank the voters,” said Oladipo. “They follow the NBA closely, they have difficult choices to make and I appreciate that they recognized me for this. I want to thank the Indiana Pacers’ organization for believing in me and what we could accomplish this past season. My teammates, coaches, training staff, I can’t thank enough for making me a better player from the first day I arrived. We had a special group that I was proud to be a part of every day.
“I share this with the Pacers, the City of Indianapolis and the State of Indiana. The support I received from everyone last season meant so much to myself and my family. An individual may win an award, but it is shared with many because they all had a part. This is only the beginning for us. The best is yet to come.”
This season, he set new career-highs in every major statistical category in the NBA – talk about points per game, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals. Oladipo also who led the Indiana Pacers to the playoffs, giving LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers a hard time before losing in Game 7.
Oladipo was traded to Pacers for Paul George. He was not in a great place but he made up his mind to work hard. To make the best of things.
“I’d been through a trade less than a year before that, from Orlando, and so in that moment it was hard not to take it personal — two teams for whatever reasons seemed like they’d given up on me. That’ll hurt your feelings, doesn’t matter who you are or how much you believe in yourself. So when my mom was wondering why teams kept moving me,” he said of the period.
Congratulations Oladipo, we are proud of you.