Erik Spoelstra said that Houston Rockets guard Victor Oladipo — who spent three seasons playing for the Miami Heat organization — is still a member of the Heat family and revealed that the team has kept in touch with him over text and FaceTime.
“He’s had so many of these setbacks, but he has dealt with each one of them with such inspiring grace, that you really root for him,” Spoelstra said. “We still keep in touch with him. And you just want to see him get out there, be healthy, so he can contribute.”
Miami’s head coach also spoke about how tough it was when Oladipo was dealt to the Oklahoma City Thunder back in July.
“Those are tough decisions an organization has to make, particularly when you have great relationships with people,” he said. “That’s how we view Vic. He’s Heat family. We want to see him get back out there one way or another.”
Spoelstra also acknowledged that the 31-year-old is a very positive person.
“He has the fortitude and he has this incredible positive spirit that you could only understand if you’ve been around him,” he said.
Finally, he revealed how the Heat have been able to stay in touch with Oladipo.
“Texts and we all FaceTimed him earlier in the season,” he said.
Oladipo hasn’t appeared in a single game so far during the 2023-24 regular season due to a left patellar tendon injury he suffered back in April, when he was still a member of the Heat franchise.
In 42 games played with the Heat during the 2022-23 regular season, he averaged 10.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game while shooting 39.7 percent from the floor and 33.0 percent from behind the 3-point arc.
The guard’s current team hasn’t experienced the same amount of collective success that the Heat have so far this season. Miami is 20-15 while Houston is 18-16.
The Rockets have still enjoyed a productive season to this point, though. Houston has already almost reached its regular-season win total from a season ago, as the Rockets finished the 2022-23 regular season with just 22 wins.
Houston has been particularly good at home this season, as the team owns an impressive 15-6 home record. But on the road, the Rockets have really struggled to win games, as evidenced by their poor 3-10 road record.
The Rockets will hope to pick up just their fourth road victory of the season when they take on the Heat on Monday. The Heat have been solid but beatable at home so far during the 2023-24 regular season, as the team owns a 9-6 home record, which pales in comparison to Houston’s home record.