Victor Oladipo nearly unanimous winner of NBA’s Most Improved Player award

Victor Oladipo, Pacers, NBA Awards

In his first season with the Indiana Pacers, guard Victor Oladipo was the recipient of the Most Improved Player award for the 2017-18 season, which he accepted Monday night at the second annual awards show held in Santa Monica, California.

It was clear that he would win the award, but how about this: Oladipo was two first-place votes shy from being the unanimous winner. He received 99 of a possible 101 first-place votes while Houston’s Clint Cappela and Brooklyn’s Spencer Dinwiddie each received one first-place vote. Oladipo won in a landslide, 499 points to second-place Capela’s 99 points.

Voters consisted of select media from across the globe. Thales Soares of and Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press voted Victor second and third, respectively.

“Shout out to the Pacers organization for believing in me. It’s only the beginning for us. We’re just getting started,” Oladipo said during his short, 57-second acceptance speech.

“Stay Feathery, too,” he added before turning around and walking off stage.

The President of Pacers Sports & Entertainment, Rick Fuson, and President of Basketball Operations, Kevin Pritchard, flew to California to be there to support Oladipo Monday night.

“I would like to congratulate Victor on winning the Most Improved Player Award,” Pritchard said in a statement. “It’s an honor that is well-deserved and well-earned. The saying, ‘hard work pays off’ is epitomized by what Victor accomplished in winning this award. He set a tone for this team last summer that carried over into the regular season and this not only recognizes his personal achievement but what he did to help our team win.”

Oladipo, who just completed his fifth season as a pro, saw his numbers surge thanks to an increase in usage, efficiency, and hard work, of course. He averaged 23.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 2.4 steals, and he shot 47.7 percent from the field — all career highs.

This latest honor concludes award season for Oladipo. This year, for the first time, he added the following to his collection:
All-Defensive First Team
Third Team All-NBA
NBPA Backbone Award (Teammate of the Year)
✅ Most Improved Player

Watch Oladipo’s acceptable speech below:

Ballot totals:

Victor Oladipo, NBA, Pacers, Most Improved Player

Ballot totals for the NBA’s 2018 Most Improved Player award.

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