Victor Oladipo again dispels ‘nonsense’ rumors about wanting to leave Pacers
Victor Oladipo has again pushed back at speculation that he wants out of the Indiana Pacers organization despite rumors in recent months suggesting otherwise.
Oladipo has been at the center of trade talks in recent months, and a report last month even suggested the star openly asked opponents during games if he could join their team. Reacting this week to the ongoing speculation, Oladipo reaffirmed his commitment to the Pacers for the long haul.
“Growing up, I was always taught not to engage in nonsense,” Oladipo said, per Eric Woodyard of ESPN. “I never have. I never came out and said that I didn’t want to play for the Pacers or be in this organization but, yeah, I’m focused on now. Here and now.”
This marks the second time in recent weeks that Oladipo has rebuffed allegations that he wants to move on from the Pacers. The superstar told Shams Charania of The Athletic earlier this month that he’s solely “focused on leading this franchise to a title,” not trade rumors. He also denied that he ever asked to join opponents’ teams.
Further, Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard indicated last week that Oladipo and his agent assured him of the star’s commitment to the team.
Oladipo admitted this week that the past few months have been “very difficult” given how he’s been so negatively portrayed. This has left the two-time All-Star motivated, however, not dejected.
“It stopped being a chip a long time ago. It more so feel like the world on my back and I gotta make sure I hold it up,” Oladipo said. “So, if you wanna call me Atlas from now on that’s fine, but it’s no longer a chip. It’s bigger than a chip now, so I’m just looking forward to competing at the highest level.”