Victor Oladipo sat in a dark room a year ago not knowing what would his future look like. On Tuesday night, Oladipo came up big for the Miami Heat in Game 5 to help his team clinch a 97-94 win and progress into the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Over the past four years, Oladipo has appeared in less than 100 games, mostly because he was hit by knee and qudriceps injuries. In Game 5, the Heat were without two starters - Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry. Oladipo got the start and scored 23 points to help his team close out the series.
"A year ago today I was expecting and waiting for my next surgery," Oladipo said, per ESPN. "I remember a year ago today, around this time last year, I was sitting in a dark room by myself and just broke down. Not because I quit, but because I was at the lowest point I could be at.
And now, God has put me in this position today, so I just made the most of it."
Oladipo: It was quit or fight
"I could have done two things. I could have stopped. Or I could have ran right through it," Oladipo said of his injuries.
"And I'm still running through it." Butler and Lowry didn't play in Game 5 but still they had a positive impact on the game, says Oladipo. "A lot of things that you all don't see, or that people don't see, is how huge Jimmy and Kyle were on the bench today," Oladipo said.
"They were like coaches. ... Jimmy helped me tremendously in the fourth quarter, and you won't see it in the box score. You won't see it unless someone tells you. So it's my job to tell you: Jimmy helped me a lot in the fourth quarter, so I appreciate him."