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Victor Oladipo says he values rings over being team’s main star

Pacers guard Victor Oladipo

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - AUGUST 01: Victor Oladipo #4 of the Indiana Pacers reacts after a play during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Visa Athletic Center in the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 1, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kim Klement - Pool/Getty Images)

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Victor Oladipo said, “I’m a Pacer.” Technically correct. He is under contract with the Pacers. Oladipo never directly denied rumors he was looking to leave Indiana. He merely downplayed them.

Oladipo sounded a lot like Paul George, who declared “I’m a Pacer"… around the same time he was telling Indiana he’d leave in 2018 free agency.

In an interview with Fat Joe on Instagram, Oladipo also sounded like George in discussing his championship ambition.

Fat Joe:
When it comes to you, would you make a choice to stay or go to a team where you’re just the star, or do you want that hardware, Victor?


I don’t know, man. That’s where it gets tough, you know? It’s like picking your poison. Sometimes, you can have the best of both worlds. But sometimes, you can’t.

Anybody who knows me, I’m all about winning. And I feel like that’s what you’re defined as in this game. A lot of people say they don’t play for the money. But that’s what I live and breathe by. I just want to be the greatest. I want people to talk, to have my name amongst the greats. And in order to that, you’ve got to get rings. You’ve got to have trophies. Not saying Charles Barkley ain’t a great player. But at the end of the day, I want to be able to show my kids, when I have them, how great of a player I was. And in order to do that, you got to show them some hardware. So, that’s what I’m locked in on doing, man. I want some hardware, and I want a lot of hardware.

How could Oladipo believe the Pacers – who’ve lost in the first round five straight years and have a history of frugality – share his stated ambitions?

A coaching change could mean a shakeup. But Indiana has Malcolm Brogdon, Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner on expensive long-term contracts. That group is way, way, way too good to land a prime draft pick. It’s also unlikely to grow into a title contender.

Of course, players talk about full devotion to winning championships more than they actually show ful devoted to winning championships. If the Pacers offer Oladipo the biggest contract, we’ll see what he does. He has had it pretty good in Indiana.

But he sounds very passionate here, and I believe in his competitiveness.

He’ll have a chance to prove his priorities in 2021 free agency.