Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY
Victor Oladipo said following Friday's final preseason game that he had to get "too many" tickets for family and friends for his first professional game back in his college home of Indiana. There will probably be a fair sprinkling of red among the Gold Swagger Pacers fans at Banker's Life Fieldhouse.
The first regular season game for any rookie is always a big one. There has to be a sense of nervousness and excitement for this next step in a young player's career.
We will finally get to know in the next few months what kind of player Oladipo is. And in the next few days, we will get to see how Oladipo fits into the Magic's offense, defense and the rotation. It is going to be an exciting first week of the season for Magic fans. Just not as much as Oladipo.
This is a place Oladipo freely admits he never imagined he would be. Hard work and determination got him there, as well as a growing confidence in himself and his abilities. After all, Oladipo was not even a starter in high school until his senior year and never really blossomed in college until his junior year.
The legendary drive and determination that has come to define Oladipo is already the obsession of writers and profilers of Oladipo in his young career. Where did it come from?
That was the mission for Israel Gutierrez of ESPN.com as he profiled Oladipo and his path to the NBA, including his non-traditional path into basketball and his relationship with his father. That drive came from everywhere:
It's just me, really. Sometimes it has its ups and downs, but you can learn from anything. It's my love for the game that made me do what I do. I pushed myself. Basketball was kind of like my brother. It was something I could go do and just be myself.
Basketball was a major release for Oladipo and something he quickly became passionate about. It took him awhile to find his way.
Boy, did he find it.
The Magic cannot wait to see it starting Tuesday nighti n Indianapolis.