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Former NBA guard Greivis Vasquez still unable to play basketball after 2015 surgery, hoping to land coaching gig

Greivis Vasquez

Greivis Vasquez’s career came to a close before many knew it happened at all. Nearly three years since playing in his final NBA game, the former Toronto Raptors and New Orleans Hornets guard still struggles with the reality his playing days are really over.

“I’m not out of the league because of my talent. I’m out of the league because of an injury,” Vasquez told The Athletic’s Ben Standig. “It’s pretty depressing, but it’s something I have to face. It’s something I have to take.”

The 2010 first-round pick last played on October 29, 2016 with the Brooklyn Nets. He was waived less than two weeks later, subsequently undergoing surgery on his right ankle. It was Vasquez’s seventh procedure on the ankle, which he played on despite ample discomfort for multiple seasons before going under the knife in 2015 as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks.

The 32-year-old has been unable to walk without a limp ever since his most recent surgery, let alone worry about the impossibility of resuming his basketball career. Either way, Vasquez certainly isn’t leaving the game behind altogether. He was an assistant coach with the Pelicans’ Summer League squad, a significant early step on his long-anticipated journey to becoming an NBA coach.

“Being an NBA player and now being on the other side, trying to coach and help young players play minutes in the NBA is something that I always wanted to,” he said.

Greivis Vasquez played six seasons in the NBA, not counting his brief appearance with the Nets. He averaged 9.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 4.8 assists in 23.7 minutes per game over his career.