It seems being traded away from Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder has helped out Victor Oladipo, he's even said it himself.
Oladipo was involved in the trade that sent All-Star swingman Paul George to the Thunder, being packaged along with forward Domantas Sabonis and being sent to the Indiana Pacers, the place where he played college ball for Indiana University.
The second pick in the 2013 draft has been having a stellar year as the main option in Indy, as Oladipo is averaging 24.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists, and is shooting a career-high from the field while doing so.
Victor is well into the conversation for Most Improved Player, and could very well be an All-Star reserve this year, and according to The Oklahoman, he has Russell Westbrook to thank for it all, but not in the way you're thinking:
“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.”
Unlike what many people are suggesting -- the fact that getting away from Westbrook has improved Oladipo's game dramatically -- Victor actually credits Russell's stellar MVP year last season as one of the reasons for his insane play this season.
Victor also had words for those people who are suggesting Westbrook was a hindrance to his game:
“People gonna say what they wanna say, just like the whole PG comparison,” said Oladipo, who said this week he's tired of being compared to George. “People gonna have their opinion. People gonna say what they wanna say. I can't control that. I believe you can't listen to or control what people say or what their opinions are when you play well or when you don't play well.”