Talk about burying one’s past. Houston Rockets guard Victor Oladipo really held a “funeral” for his injured knee.
Oladipo was one of the best guards in the NBA beginning 2018 when he earned his first All-Star selection and was named as the NBA’s Most Improved Player. The 2nd overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic continued his ascent during the 2019 campaign but his season was cut short when he ruptured a quad tendon in his right knee.
Oladipo would miss the start of the 2019-20 season rehabbing the injury and he ended up playing just 19 regular season games last campaign while averaging 14.5 points per game, his lowest since his rookie season in 2014.
Extreme Execution Flight Program
STORY: Victor Oladipo held a funeral for his injured knee. The Rockets guard wrote a letter titled “Saying Goodbye” to move forward from the ruptured quad he suffered in 2019.
‘I’m letting go of all the negativity’
Here’s how @Ericthomasbtc has helped.https://t.co/R0vdraL7nT
— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) January 26, 2021
Because of his struggles, Oladipo decided to connect with motivational speaker Eric Thomas and hire the pastor and his team as his psychologists entering the 2020-21 NBA season. With the help of Thomas, Oladipo scheduled a “funeral” for his injured knee. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony was held via Zoom call with Thomas and Mostafa Ghonim, Thomas’ business development and managing partner.
During the funeral, Oladipo penned a letter entitled “Saying Goodbye” before listening to a prayer by Thomas. The two-time NBA All-Star then went outside his Indiana home and burned the letter, ready to put the injury behind him.
The funeral was just part of Oladipo’s ongoing Extreme Execution Flight Program under Thomas. Aside from helping him move on from his quad injury, Oladipo’s meetings with Thomas also helped him get through the James Harden trade where Oladipo was the main figure of the four-team trade.
Since being traded to the Rockets, Oladipo has averaged 21.75 points per game in four games. After losing his first two games in a Houston uniform by an aggregate of 11 points, Oladipo’s last two outings have produced wins for the Rockets who won two in a row for only the third time this season.
Dallas Mavericks -160
San Antonio Spurs +475
Memphis Grizzlies +600
New Orleans Pelicans +800
Houston Rockets +1100
— BetOnline.ag (@betonline_ag) January 26, 2021
Houston lost coach Mike D’Antoni and longtime GM Daryl Morey during the offseason. Russell Westbrook and James Harden demanded to be traded. Westbrook was the first to go as he was sent to the Washington Wizards for John Wall. Harden meanwhile, became a drama before he was eventually dealt to the Nets. The Rockets got Oladipo plus a boatload of draft picks in the trade.
Oladipo will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and could leave Houston if he wants to. But right now, he’s a Rocket and he’s playing like he never suffered a major injury two seasons ago. Oladipo is averaging 20.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.6 steals per game this season.
The Rockets though are another story. Houston is 7-9 on the season and in 4th place in the Southwest Division where they NBA betting sites predict they will finish last with the worst odds at +1100. Houston is currently in 10th place in the Western Conference team standings but they are just two games off 5th place.
Coach Stephen Silas has a talented team led by three former All-Star players who missed all or a large part of last season with a serious injury Like Oladipo, John Wall an DeMarcus Cousins are also coming off major injuries. Wall and Boogie may not have held their own “funerals” but just like ‘Dipo, both are trying to prove they can still play at an All-Star level. With teams from 4th to 8th not too far from them, don’t count out these Rockets yet.