Victor Oladipo has officially found his new professional basketball team.
No, he didn’t leave the Indiana Pacers — at least not yet.
Oladipo and his business manager, Jay Henderson, joined an ownership group that is purchasing the New Zealand Breakers, a pro team part of the Australian National Basketball League, according to the Associated Press.
“I was always interested in being part of team ownership, having input with a team and helping a team be successful on the business side of things,” Oladipo said, via the Associated Press. “To work with a team from this perspective, I’m sure I’ll have newfound respect for the guys who have been in that position.”
There are nine teams in the NBL. The Breakers, located in Auckland, are the only team not based in Australia. It’s not clear how many people are in the ownership group or how much they are paying for the franchise.
Oladipo, 28, has never been to Australia himself but plans to go in the near future to check out his new team — which has only had two losing seasons and claimed four league titles in the past 14 years.
Oladipo’s future with Pacers uncertain
Oladipo played in just 19 games for Indiana last season and didn’t return to the floor until 13 games before the NBA’s COVID-19 hiatus while recovering from a quad injury he suffered the year prior. He averaged 14.5 points and 3.9 rebounds per game.
Oladipo nearly didn’t go with the team to the bubble at Walt Disney World, either, though changed his mind at the last minute. He has one year left on his four-year, $85 million deal.
It sounds as if, however, that Oladipo really, really wanted out of Indiana last season. He reportedly would repeatedly ask other prominent players in the league during games if he could “come play with y’all instead.” He later denied that allegation and said he’s looking forward to playing with new Pacers coach Nate Bjorkgren.
“I know there have been people saying that I have asked players to trade for me. That’s just not true, period,” Oladipo said. “I love my teammates, I cherish the state of Indiana and I’m focused on leading this franchise to a title.”
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