The news had been in the air for a few weeks, and had already been made to guess by the same player a few days ago, but now the official confirmation has arrived: Victor Oladipo has decided not to play at the restart of the season at Disney World in Orlando, in Florida, with his team, the Indiana Pacers.
It was the shooting guard himself who announced his decision: "The decision destroys me. I feel I am at a very good point with my rehabilitation, getting closer and closer to 100%. But with all the variables that are there, from how I will manage to rebuilding the workload to play five against five, at the risk of muscle injuries that could delay my rehabilitation.
As well as the insecurity of the situation in the bubble, I cannot mentally feel comfortable playing. my decision was not an easy one, but I really think the right choice is to continue working on the path I am taking, and to find myself completely and healthy for 2020-21."
Oladipo, who will travel with his tam anyway, came back at the end of January after a whole year missed due to the rupture of the quadriceps tendon, disputing only 13 matches, 10 of which as the starter, before the suspension of the season for the global pandemic, without coming back immediately the All-Star they saw on the court in Indianapolis.
His contract with the Pacers will expire at the end of the 2020-21 season.
The other stars who wil not play in Orlando
Oladipo is not the only one who will miss the season in Orlando. Gordon Hayward of the Boston Celtics has already announced that in September he will leave the Disney World bubble in Orlando, Florida, to stay close to his wife Robyn, on the occasion of the birth of the fourth child: "The decision is simple: I was present at the birth of all my daughters, there are more important things in life.
I know that the NBA has a protocol for events like this, so I hope to be able to observe the quarantine and the tests in the right times, to be able to get back on time with my teammates. In this stressful period she was incredible.
Robyn took care of our daughters and same time as I was trying to stay fit for the season. All while pregnant. Leaving my girls is going to be really hard and sad for me. By now they're big enough to figure out what's going on and that I'm going to have to stay away for a while.
But the opportunity to play for the title is something every player wants to do: we want to go to Orlando and finish what we've worked for all year," he said. Utah Jazz's Mike Conley is also in a similar situation, whose son is expected to be born on August 27th.
The schedule calls for the playoffs to begin on August 17th for the first round, so it's possible that Conley may miss the final games of the series, in which the Utah Jazz will be engaged.