6-foot-6 Vasquez thinks Bucks, J-Kidd are a great fit

ST. FRANCIS, Wis. -- Greivis Vasquez does not think he is Jason Kidd. The new Milwaukee Bucks guard does see some similarities, however. Now that the 6-foot-6 Venezuelan is joining the Bucks and playing under the future Hall of Fame point guard, ...

Greivis Vasquez
The Miami Heat’s Goran Dragic (right) drives against Greivis Vasquez, then of the Toronto Raptors, in Miami on April 11. (David Santiago / El Nuevo Herald)

ST. FRANCIS, Wis. - Greivis Vasquez does not think he is Jason Kidd.
The new Milwaukee Bucks guard does see some similarities, however.
Now that the 6-foot-6 Venezuelan is joining the Bucks and playing under the future Hall of Fame point guard, Vasquez wants to take full advantage.
“I feel like I play like him, in a way; I’m a 6-5, 6-6 point guard,” Vasquez said. “I’ve got to rebound better.
“Being under him I think is going to help me overall in my game. This guy is a Hall of Famer. He’s proven he can coach in this league. He went to the playoffs his first two years in the league.
“He took Milwaukee from 15 wins to 41 wins. So you’ve got to give him a lot of credit on that, and the whole front office. I feel like J-Kidd is really going to help me regardless.”
The Bucks acquired Vasquez knowing he is a reliable performer, a player who can start if needed and come off the bench to run the offense or play off the ball.
Last season in Toronto, he played in all 82 games and made 29 starts while averaging 9.5 points and 3.7 assists in 24.3 minutes per game.
Vasquez believes he can improve his assist numbers with a Bucks team that now has a primary inside scoring option in Greg Monroe and athletic wing players Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jabari Parker.
“I’ve got shooters; I’ve got everything I need for a point guard,” Vasquez said. “I’ve got big guys, fast (guys). I can get back to my New Orleans days. Obviously my shot is a lot better.
“To me the NBA is all about a fit. Honestly, this is a perfect fit for my game with the perfect coach. We’ll see what happens. I can’t really say too much; I’ve just to go out there and get it done.
“But I’m excited whatever my role is going to be. I’m a hard worker. Whatever they ask me to do, I’m going to do it. Winning to me is the most important thing.”
Vasquez averaged career highs of 13.9 points and 9.0 assists during the 2012-13 season when he started 78 games with New Orleans.
The Bucks are his fifth team and he will be starting his sixth NBA season this fall. Vasquez was a first-round pick of Memphis in the 2010 draft (28th overall) and also has played for New Orleans, Sacramento and Toronto.
He is in the final year of his contract and will earn $6.6 million next season. But he said he doesn’t consider the Bucks a one-year assignment.
“I’m one of the most loyal kids you will meet,” Vasquez said. “I’m not just here to play this year and be gone.
“I feel like this is going to be special. I can’t guarantee you anything because at the end of the day it’s a business. But I’m here to stay. I don’t want to leave.
“I really don’t want to be moving around no more. If they brought me here and they gave up what they gave up, it’s reciprocal. We’re looking at a long-term relationship. Plus, this roster is very, very attractive. Why leave when we can do great things over here?”
Vasquez said he hopes to get together with fellow Venezuelan Francisco Rodriguez of the Milwaukee Brewers at some point this summer.
The former Maryland player is proud of his country and is the only NBA player from Venezuela, so his exploits are followed closely at home.
“I have a different mission,” Vasquez said. “Obviously at this point in my career, I’m more business-oriented.
“Coming from Venezuela, the connections are really high-profile and the support of the whole country is unbelievable. That just gives you a different vision. I don’t want to come here ‘friendly Greivis.’ I come here to do my job.”
Vasquez said he is eager to get a place in Milwaukee so when he returns in early September he can focus on getting ready for training camp.
He has a busy summer ahead, including serving as an ambassador for the Pan American Games in Toronto, a commitment he made long before being traded. He said he was uncertain if he would play for his national team this summer.
“This is a big year for me, so I want to stay healthy and I want to work on my body,” Vasquez said. “I want to come to training camp in the best shape.
“I’m going back to my house in Orlando and will continue to work. I’ll be in Toronto and then I’ll go back home (to Venezuela) for two weeks before I come back to the U.S.
“My plan is to be here early just to acclimate myself. This is a place where people wanted me here, especially the coaches and the front office, and that’s important to me. I want to feel wanted. When you’ve got that feeling, you can go out there and do your job easier.”

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