Improved Vasquez excited for next season

June 11, 2012
By: Jim Eichenhofer,, @Jim_Eichenhofer

If you talk to Greivis Vasquez about basketball for even a brief amount of time, it quickly becomes clear that he loves the game. The two-year NBA veteran point guard exudes optimism and energy while discussing his favorite sport, one of the reasons he became such a popular player among fans at the University of Maryland. Bring up his perspective on the 2012-13 season, and his eyes light up as he envisions the next hoops campaign, both individually and team-wise. (Vasquez season review)

“The NBA is all about confidence and experience,” he explained late in the 2011-12 regular season. “If I analyzed myself from last year to this year, I’ve gotten so much better. When I was in college, I was never projected to be in the league. I won the Bob Cousy Award (as the nation’s top point guard), and now all of the sudden I am a starting point guard late in the (NBA) season. When you work hard, it’s going to pay off.”

Vasquez believes more improvements are in store for he and the Hornets soon. Even before New Orleans won the lottery, the 6-foot-6, 211-pounder compared the Hornets to his former team, the Memphis Grizzlies, who rose from the bottom of the league to two consecutive playoff appearances.

“We have a young team. We put this team together in less than two weeks,” Vasquez said, detailing the hectic nature of the Hornets’ 2011 preseason. “I got traded on Christmas Eve. We’ve had a lot of injuries. And how many games have we lost by one or two or three points, or in the last two minutes? We lost a lot of games we had chances to win. That’s all part of the learning process. You have to go through that. When I was in Memphis, they weren’t that good the year before we went to the playoffs. But they continued to get better. That’s what we’re trying to build here.”