Thaddeus Young to teammates after Victor Oladipo freak injury: ‘Let’s get this one for him’
Indiana Pacers star Victor Oladipo had only seen 10 minutes of action in a bar-measuring game against the East-leading Toronto Raptors before suffering a freak injury that saw him leave the court stretchered, helped by the medical staff on his way out of Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
To the horror of fans in the stands and the rest of his teammates, Oladipo was destined for a long-term absence, at which point fellow captain Thaddeus Young addressed the team with a simple message.
“Let’s get this one for him,” he said to a group of players shaken by the fragility of an NBA career flashing just before their eyes, according to Scott Agness of The Athletic.
Holding an eight-point lead at the time of his exit, the Pacers, led by Young’s inspiring second-half performance, managed to ward off the Raptors, taking a 110-106 statement win without their best player.
Young posted a team-high 23 points, 15 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks to navigate a win over the Raptors, doing so mostly in angst and adrenaline after his teammate exited.
“You try not to think about (the injury),” Young said while seated at his locker. “You try to get through the task at hand and then try to worry about it after because it’s out of our hands. It is tough.
“We rallied around what happened to Victor and tried to make the best out of the situation. You don’t like to see guys go down at any point in the season, especially with it being our star player.”
Oladipo received plenty of encouragement from players around the league, but the most important message for that locker room were the words of head coach Nate McMillan after the game.
“That kid has a beautiful spirit about him,” McMillan said. “He has always been one that tries to lift his team, tries to lift us. We got to lift him now.”