Every once in a while, you come across a player so universally loved that it makes it hard to write a story about him. You want to be objective and write about his strengths and weaknesses, but the quotes just don’t hold up.
When we were in Las Vegas for Team USA workouts, we made sure to catch up with former teammates and coaches of newly acquired Kings players with the hopes of giving our readers some added insight. When it came to gathering the info on new Kings point guard Greivis Vasquez, a trend developed.
Everyone we asked raved about the 26-year old Venezuelan born player. Instead of trying to piece together a story that would look something like a fanclub letter, here are the quotes we got from a variety of sources on the highly beloved Greivis Vasquez.
- New Orleans Pelicans forward and Sacramento native Ryan Anderson: “He’s one of the best guys I’ve ever played with. He is a competitor to the extreme. He wants to win, but he’s a great guy. He really just cares and he wants to work and work and work and get better. He’s very unselfish too. You saw his ability to pass the ball last year. He had the ball so much in his hands. I think he had a lot of pressure on him. He basically carried our team and it says a lot about somebody who can maintain those statistics and maintain that head through a season like that.”
- Anderson also added that he believes the fanbase will come to embrace the Kings’ new point guard: “I think he is just going to do so many great things for Sacramento. I know 100 percent that the fans are going to love him, because he is one of those (players) that gets everybody hyped up and excited. They’re going to love him.”
- Pelicans coach Monty Williams on Vasquez: “Greivis is one of the best people I’ve been around. He’s got a really good heart. Tough as nails. Can take coaching. I was really tough on him and he improved from the day we got him from Memphis.”
- The connection between Williams and his former point guard also went beyond X’s and O’s: “It was hard to let him go. We formed a big-time bond. I’ve had him in my house for dinner. Talks in my backyard. I’ve done a lot with Greivis.”
- Pelicans forward Anthony Davis on Vasquez: “He’s just a great character guy overall. When you have a guy like that, it’s easier to adapt to him.”
- Former Memphis Grizzlies teammate Mike Conley on Vasquez: “He was a great teammate and I sing his praises every time I get a chance. He’s a hard worker, a great teammate and most of all, a winner.”
- Vasquez may not be the most talented player in the NBA, but he’s probably squeezed out every ounce of his potential to become the player he is today. Conley would agree: “I think all of his teammates, on his past teams and on his present team, they realize what he’s putting into his game. He’s not the most athletic, fast guy out there, but he uses every bit of his size, every bit of his strength, his court vision, his ability to score in a variety of a different ways. He doesn’t let anything limit him. That’s what makes him a very good player.”
Vasquez has made a lasting impression on teammates and coaches in his previous two NBA stops. The Kings are hoping that he continues to improve and makes an instant impact on their passing, one of their most pressing needs. If you aren’t convinced he is the real deal, he has plenty of character references to back him up.