Visits from Paul George, Brad Stevens and Gordon Hayward and LeBron James highlight the schedule for the revamped Indiana Pacers.
Remember when Victor Oladipo was quiet, unassuming, almost shunning attention?
If a Thursday radio appearance is any indication, those days are long over.
He spent a half-hour on WQHT — better known as Hot 97 — in New York, promoting his new single, ‘Song For You,’ discussing basketball issues, and a little more.
Oladipo, the former Indiana University All-American who came to the Indiana Pacers in a summertime trade that sent Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder, said he’s now an “alpha dog” and sees himself as the Pacers’ leader.
“Definitely,” he said. “I see myself as an alpha. I’m prepared to act like one. … I’m looking forward to the opportunity.”
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He’s entering his fifth season in the NBA. Myles Turner is the Pacers’ longest-tenured player, entering his third season.
Oladipo expressed frustration with his NBA journey, and that he doesn’t want to be “Mr. Nice Guy” anymore.
“I really don’t care anymore. That’s just my mentality,” he said. “I’m not worried about nothing else but dominating and winning basketball games.
“They’re going to have to tie me down and tell me to calm down, because I’m on 1,000, every day.”
He added: “You have no control over anything, and you wan’t to be the nice guy … I’m just tired of being Mr. Nice Guy. I’m ready to make stuff happen.
“We plan on going after people, and I plan on leading the way.”
• Oladipo also discussed Kevin Durant’s recent trouble on social media, in which Durant criticized former teammates and coaches on alternate accounts. Durant had specifically addressed the 2015-16 season, his last in Oklahoma City, when the Thunder lost a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference finals to Golden State.
Oladipo: “I love Kevin to death, but they were up 3-1. … They should’ve won the series. You should just take responsibility for that and move on.”
• Oladipo said he doesn’t understand why quarterback Colin Kaepernick doesn’t have an NFL job, adding with a chuckle: “The Colts need him.”
He noted the NBA has given players more leeway than the NFL in expressing opinions on social issues.