Masai and GV go way back
Old 03-01-2014, 12:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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It is a mentor-pupil relationship forged over a decade and spanning two continents and four countries, one that grew and was cemented by mutual respect, the odd dinner and the hope that one day it would come full circle.

It is not by happenstance that Greivis Vasquez is a Toronto Raptor today. The coach, friend and confidant who saw such promise in a 17-year-old Venezuelan made sure it would happen.

“He’s just a very unique kid, very outgoing, very, very competitive but very respectful,” says Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri.

And Ujiri should know. He’s been tracking Vasquez since he was a prodigy growing up in Caracas.

As part of his desire to see basketball grow throughout the world, and because he wants to give deserving teens every chance to reach their goals, Ujiri was coaching at one of the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders camps in Rio de Janeiro 10 years ago and Vasquez was a promising young guard on Ujiri’s team.

They struck up a friendship. Ujiri saw unbridled enthusiasm and promise in the teen and when Vasquez was looking for a place where his game could flourish, Ujiri helped to place him at a prep school, Montrose Christian in Rockville, Md., where another friend was the head coach and three of Ujiri’s Nigerian prospects also played.

The friendship blossomed, as did Vasquez.

A prep school teammate of Kevin Durant, Vasquez went on to spend four years at Maryland. He was picked by Memphis in the first round of the 2010 NBA draft (Ujiri and then-Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo tried feverishly to add a pick to take him) and has become a solid NBA guard, now in his fourth season.
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And when the chance came for Ujiri to add him in the deal that sent Rudy Gay to the Sacramento Kings, it was a no-brainer.

“Every now and then when he was in Denver, he used to tell me, ‘I’m going to get you on my team’ and now I’m on his team,” Vasquez said. “It’s been a pleasure. I am very happy in Toronto and hopefully it is a long-term relationship. It’s always good being with someone that really cares about you and knows where you’re coming from.”
Faith in Raptor Greivis Vasquez pays off for GM | Toronto Star
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Well GV ain't goin nowhere
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Old 03-01-2014, 02:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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GV has been playin strong of late...I know some cast him off with his poor play to start...ppl getting back on GV bandwagon? I like his handles but he needs to finish some plays on his own....sometimes he passes too much. I know thats contradictory to what a PG is supposed to do but I feel he needs to keep defences honest more. Hope he keeps things up.
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Old 03-01-2014, 02:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Masai goes way back with GV, who goes way back with Kevin Durant. Hmm.

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Old 03-01-2014, 04:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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He's gonna be my number 1 wild card in the playoffs. His cocky style will serve him well in pressured situations
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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He's coming off an injury and playing on his second team while trying to regain his form. He's going to be fine.
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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GV has been playing good basketball as of late. I wouldn't mind keeping him as our backup PG going forward.
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Old 03-01-2014, 03:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think GV has taken some steps to improve his game every year. I liked the way he played in the playoffs a couple of years back when he was with the Grizz. He seemed very solid as a backup.

Aside from him chucking the ball, hes made some big shots as well. I guess we can expect GV to be with us beyond the season as MU likes to keep players hes had some past or relationship with.
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Old 03-01-2014, 03:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I think he could be some sort of insurance policy beyond this season. Who knows what's gonna happen with Lowry etc... I knew he will struggle post trade and coming off the bench but he seems like he is doing much better as of late.
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Old 03-01-2014, 04:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by finstock View Post
Masai goes way back with GV, who goes way back with Kevin Durant. Hmm.

yes, it will work just as well as when BC brought in CB's pal, Jack to convince him to stay in TO
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:15 PM   #11 (permalink)
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GV hasn't been anything special while here. However, he has improved. He was pretty brutal when he started here but has picked it recently. Now he's at a mediocre to meh range. Hopefully he can continue this upwards trajectory as the season continues to unfold, if not I'm sure there are other backup PGs out there who MU can get in the summer.
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