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INDIANAPOLIS – In the dictionary of Victor Oladipo, the word used is feathery.
Most would call it positive or optimistic.
Whatever dictionary one is using, the environment over at the facility of the Indiana Pacers is one more often than not filled with smiles and laughter.
Oladipo is a major reason for that.
“We’ve created a different type of culture here,” Oladipo says. “Positive vibes. Feathery vibes only. I think that’s unique, because I’ve never been a part of a team like that or an organization like that. I’m talking it’s positive from the bottom up. That’s the culture and that’s what you want to be a part of. Yes, it’s work. Yes, it’s our job. But before that, it was our love. It was the love of our life. We played basketball for fun. You can’t lose that joy, no matter what situation you are in.”
Part psychologist? Part NBA All-Star?
While Oladipo’s job requirements don’t include a need to keep things ‘feathery’ it’s definitely a very nice bonus for the Pacers.
It’s hard to hear Kevin Pritchard go through an interview without praising the culture of the Pacers, and that includes an acknowledgement of Oladipo.
“He’s infections, positively infectious,” Pritchard says of Oladipo.
“Victor’s positively pulls everyone up. Now we have that core player who is totally a foundational piece for our franchise.”
When the Pacers would go on losing streaks last season, there was Oladipo bouncing around the practice facility the next day reassuring people things would be alright.
“I believe if you give positive vibes, you get positive vibes out of it,” the young guard says. “That’s what it’s all about here. It’s not like that everywhere.”
And stars aren’t like Oladipo.
“To me,” Pritchard says, “it’s the hardest thing to find in this league—a guy who is an elite talent, but is also super positive.”