Sports Out West

Greivis Vasquez prepares for his Sacramento Kings regular season debut

Greivis Vasquez

Sacramento, Calif. — He’s the hero Sacramento deserves.

Greivis Vasquez will start the Sacramento Kings’ regular season opener versus the Denver Nuggets at Sleep Train Arena on October 30. The 26-year-old point guard is excited to write a new chapter in his NBA narrative.

Vasquez was acquired from the New Orleans Pelicans in a three-team trade in July that saw the Kings depart with former cornerstone Tyreke Evans. Unlike his predecessor, the third-year pro is an outstanding facilitator. Vasquez led the league last season in total assists (704) and placed third in assists-per-game (9.0).

The native Venezuelan is also coming off May ankle surgery and wasn’t able to resume basketball activities until the beginning of training camp. His health will be closely monitored the next few weeks.

“I wouldn’t say I’m 100%, but I just (have to) get my game ready,” admitted Vasquez on Tuesday. “Five months without playing, it’s hard to come out here and get 20 and 10, you just have to go in slow.”

Vasquez has had to quickly acclimate himself with teammates. But in the short time they’ve shared, he’s been encouraged by their steady progress. However, he holds qualms from the preseason.

“One thing we (have to) do better, I have to do better, we (have to) come out from the get-go, with energy, intensity. That’s why I was brought up here.”

The ball handler is taking a realistic approach to the season, but he is certain the current roster has enough fight to compete for the playoffs.

“We can’t guarantee wins, but I can tell you right now no one’s (going to) play harder than us.”

Sacramento opens the year facing four playoff clubs from last spring, so full effort will be mandatory.

Photo Credit: Rocky Widner / Getty Images

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Rui Thomas

Rui Thomas is an NFL and NBA aficionado whose credits include Yahoo! Sports, FanNation, GoldenGateSports and Radiosurvivor.com. He also owns the Theruination.net. Rui grew up an obsessive fan of the Sacramento Kings and Oakland Raiders, but he sympathizes with every West Coast team.