Every kid playing basketball dreams of making the NBA one day, but some don’t know what to expect once they reach that level. For rookies Victor Oladipo and Michael Carter-Williams, it’s meant position switches, quickly being a team’s top option, dealing with the stress and rigors of a long season and being in situations they had never encountered or even envisioned before.
Both 2013 lottery picks played in New York City arenas this week and spoke with SheridanHoops about their experiences as we’ve reached the regular season’s halfway mark.
“I didn’t really know what to expect going into the whole thing. I just knew I was going to be in the NBA,” Oladipo said on a snowy evening in Brooklyn. Oladipo was drafted second overall by the Orlando Magic and immediately had expectations heaped on him as the player who could be the most talented player in the rookie class.
Then he found out he would transition from shooting guard to point guard. “The ball’s been in his hands, which is a tough task at this level,” Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn said. It’s an even tougher task when you realize he played shooting guard at Indiana University and was then told he would have to learn a totally new position in his first NBA season.
Oladipo’s been getting some one-on-one time with coaches and help from teammates like veteran point guard Jameer Nelson to get him acclimated to the league’s most demanding position. “I’m just trying to learn and keep growing as a player,” Oladipo said.