Greivis Vasquez has appeared in just 26 games since the start of the 2015-16 NBA season - and zero over the past two campaigns. After two surgeries on his right ankle, he still has unstable bone structure that prevents him from walking properly, let alone running, the 32-year-old revealed to The Athletic's Ben Standig.
"It's pretty bad. I'm not out of the league because of my talent. I'm out of the league because of an injury," Vasquez said. "It's pretty depressing, but it's something I have to face."
In 401 regular-season appearances, the Venezuelan combo guard averaged nine points and 4.8 assists per game - including career highs of 13.9 points and nine assists per outing with the then-New Orleans Hornets during the 2012-13 season.
Though he hasn't officially retired from the NBA and continues to rehab in hopes of a potential return as a player, Vasquez spent Summer League as part of the New Orleans Pelicans' coaching staff. He's optimistic that his time on the summer circuit will lead to a position with the team's G League affiliate, the Erie BayHawks.
"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 (do)," said Vasquez.
Further down the line, Vasquez envisions a return to his alma mater, Maryland. But regardless of where he plies his new trade, Vasquez wants to use his personal experience to help young athletes stay grounded.
“I want players to understand when you have a chance to play the game of basketball you can't just be messing around," said Vasquez. "It goes by fast, and you don't ever know when it's taken away. You can be happy on the floor. I went to college, played in the NBA, and now all of a sudden, I'm here coaching. Wow, how fast this goes.
"Maybe it's because I'm from another country, but I don't take anything for granted."