Oladipo excited to see how he plays in Heat culture, set for debut against Warriors

Houston Rockets guard Victor Oladipo (7) shoots in front of Oklahoma City Thunder guard Hamidou Diallo (6), center Al Horford (42) and forward Darius Bazley (7) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki) (Sue Ogrocki, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

MIAMI – Victor Oladipo can’t wait to make his Heat debut on Thursday night against the Golden State Warriors.

Oladipo said, “I think my name has been linked for so many years. I spend my offseasons here. The connection with D-Wade and everything like that. I think to some people’s eyes, they knew I’d be a good fit. For me personally, I thought I would definitely fit into the Heat culture, what they stood for, how they play, how they get after it and things of that nature.”

Oladipo joins a group with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo to be team leaders for the Heat.

Oladipo said, “I’ve been playing against those guys since Bam’s been in the league and Jimmy for quite some time, years now. They’re the ultimate competitors. I believe that I am too. I believe if you put that together it can be something special. I look forward to going out there and competing with those guys. I can’t wait. I know they’re looking forward to it as well. I think our mindsets are the same and that’s winning, winning at the highest level.”

Oladipo said that he’s been looking at a lot of film to get used to the offense and the defense.

The guard has also been on Zoom calls with the Heat coaching staff to bring himself up to speed.

Oladipo said he knows Goran Dragic because they had lockers next to each other at the All-Star Game.

The former Rocket and Pacer says that the Heat have been very welcoming to him.

Oladipo said, “The best is yet to know for me, I truly believe that. My better days are ahead for me. I truly believe I haven’t scratched the surface of how good I could be. There’s a lot of room for me to improve... I have lot to prove, I have a big chip on my shoulder.”

Oladipo said he first was introduced to Heat culture by Heat legend Dwyane Wade.

Oladipo said, “Me and Dwyane’s relationship goes back to before I was in college. He’s always been a great mentor, great big brother to me. That was during the years where they won back-to-back finals. He was coming up. We were working out and we were doing the workouts at IU. I got a chance to feel what Heat culture was like up close and work out with those guys... There’s nothing like it. It helped Dwyane become who he is. It helped him be the elite player who he is being in this culture, hopefully it does the same for me.”

Oladipo said the first time he spoke to Pat Riley was “defense, defense, defense. Pretty much what we talked about was coming in and defending at a high level... He wants me to come in here and he wants me to defend. That’s what I’m going to go out there and do.”

About the Author:

David Lang is executive producer of the Local 10 sports department.