Last offseason when the Indiana Pacers traded away Paul George to Oklahoma City Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis, Dan Gilbert gave his two cents on what he thought of the trade. It was a shot at Oladipo and Sabonis:
“I will say that Indiana could’ve done better than that.”
Though months have passed and it may have gone under the radar to most, Vic took those comments and kept them to himself to help fuel his play for the season to prove everyone wrong. And when he had the chance to stick it to the Cleveland Cavaliers (like yesterday for the playoffs), he did.
Oladipo willed the Pacers to victory with a solid 32 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists.
After the game, he responded to the Gilbert comments:
“You could say it added fuel to the fire, I guess you could say. But that was so long ago. It came up recently, obviously, because we were playing the Cavs in the series, but I’m aware of what he said. Can’t control his opinion. All I’m focused on is myself and becoming the best Victor Oladipo possible.”
One could argue that Indiana is actually better without PG13 and they have a better future in Oladipo and Sabonis. It has been reported that Vic’s offseason workouts have helped him this season tremendously and is a huge part as to why he’s been having an All-Star year.
Oladipo is actually averaging better numbers than George this season in points, assists and steals, plus other analytics like box plus/minus numbers while playing less minutes than PG13. So who really won the trade so far?
That matchup in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs just got real for LeBron James and company and those comments by Gilbert might come back to haunt them.