The story goes that getting away from Russell Westbrook has sparked Victor Oladipo's career season. The former Thunder guard is starring in a lead role for the Indiana Pacers, controlling the ball the way he never could as Westbrook's backcourt mate in Oklahoma City. And before the Pacers and Thunder played Wednesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Oladipo said Westbrook has played a big part in his breakout year. But Oladipo didn't credit his time away from Westbrook. He focused on their time together, before the Thunder traded him to the Pacers as part of a trade for Paul George. “Going there and seeing him do that, just seeing his year overall last year definitely helped me realize that I gotta put in a lot of work to get on that level,” Oladipo said. “So, he definitely helped influence my growth both on and off the court. He was an amazing resource, especially last year, to learn from him. And I apply it to everyday life today.” Oladipo entered Wednesday's game averaging career highs in points (24.5) and rebounds (5.3). He was averaging four assists, just off his career best of 4.1. “He's been doing great, being aggressive, exactly how he should be doing,” Westbrook said at the Thunder's shootaround on Wednesday. “He's playing aggressive, playing the way, obviously, I've seen him play many times, being around him working, in the summer as well. Happy for him.” Oladipo looks like a different player, and not just figuratively. He transformed his body in the offseason and entered training camp leaner and stronger than a year ago.
Oladipo credits Westbrook for his breakout season
The Oklahoman | Dec 18