Victory Oladipo had himself quite a season for the Indiana Pacers. As a player who was the centerpiece surrounding a trade that brought Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Oladipo wasn’t thought to be a player that can lead a team.
Furthermore, the Pacers were supposed to be one of the teams that was most likely going to tank the season. They were supposed to be bad. But Oladipo didn’t let that happen.
Oladipo averaged career highs across the board this season, and had a stellar showing in the playoffs. Many times, it was Oladipo either winning games for the Pacers or getting them back into games when the Cleveland Cavaliers had a big lead.
Now that the season is over after the Pacers lost in seven games to the Cavaliers, the organization is wondering whether or not this season was just a fluke for Oladipo, or if it will be the norm moving forward. During exit interviews, Pacers general manager Kevin Pritchard did something rather unique to find that answer, per Wheat Hitchkiss of Pacers.com.
Pritchard said he challenged Oladipo in exit interview. Had Chad Buchanan play Milli Vanilli as he walked in then said, "That's the biggest one-hit wonder. Are you a one-hit wonder?"
Oladipo's response: "No, I'm Michael Jackson."
— Wheat Hotchkiss (@Wheat_Hotchkiss) May 1, 2018
What a clever way to see the kind of headspace a player is in. And Oladipo answered in a way that a team would want their best player to answer.
But is Oladipo really Michael Jackson, though? Well, so far, he has been. He did for a year. He proved that he could take a team that on paper was not supposed to be very good, and prove everyone wrong. Isn’t that basically what Jackson did as a leader of the Jackson 5?
Of course it is.