Four Spanish players throughout history have been choosing among the top 15 of the NBA draft. Pau Gasol (number 3), Ricky Rubio (number 5), Fran Vazquez (number 11), and Juancho Hernangómez (position 15 ). All of them landed in the NBA, Vazquez, one of our most outstanding pivots in recent years, no. The Galician wasted the opportunity because he wanted to and the reasons, despite the elapsed time, have not yet been clarified. It wouldn’t be the first strange decision he would make in his career. Then came the resignations to play with the Spanish team in numerous tournaments or the decision to leave Barça in 2012 is a key piece.
19 courses after becoming a professional, the player announced this Thursday his withdrawal from the courts. Only the return of the ACB to its final phase, whenever the Ministry of Health deems it appropriate, will allow fans to enjoy it for the last time. Not even in my best dreams could I imagine such a trajectory of achievements, milestones, and experiences, said the basketball player, now in the ranks of Zaragoza, to the official channels of the ACB.
Fran Vazquez leaves in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, but with the honor of being the highest historical capper of the Endesa League and the Euroleague, something greater, in addition to leaving an indelible mark on the ranks of many teams, especially those of the Barcelona, where he won everything, and in those of his beloved Unicaja, where he trained and returned several times.
A player with long arms rather than centimeters, with great leg speed and aggressive under the hoop, the one from Chantada (Lugo) chose to make a career in Spain over the siren songs that predicted a worthy future on the other side of the Atlantic. Vazquez chose in the eleventh position in the 2005 draft by the Orlando Magic. If in America the experts saw him as the ideal substitute for Dwight Howard, in Spain he seemed to be the perfect complement for Pau Gasol.
ACB highest-paid player:
At 22 years old, the new golden boy of national basketball was called to the door by the league of the stars. The story started well, with the player looking forward: “I am very proud to have been selected by the Magic, a team that as far as I know has a perfect mix of talent, experience, and promising youngsters. What I am sure of is that I am going to work very hard to do things well, “he said after the corresponding handshake with the ill-fated David Stern, commissioner. However, that night would be the beginning and end of his time in the NBA.
As soon as the Madison Square Garden lights went out, Vazquez vanished in a strange decision that never reversed. Countless meetings between its representatives and the Magic were blown up when the player landed on the pharaonic project of Akasvayu Girona, where he would share a team with Raúl López, recently arrived from Utah Jazz.
I have resigned from the NBA because I was afraid of not adapting and not giving the level, he explained. The project seemed serious but ended up plunging into space. The gallegó signed for four years seduced by the figures (he became the best paid in the ACB, with two million euros net), but he only completed one before signing for Barcelona, where in the end he triumphed.
His flimsy physique:
His flimsy physique despite the fact that over the years he managed to gain a little more muscle, it may have definitively cut him off from the idea of prospering outside our borders. While the franchise tried, by all means, to convince him otherwise, Vázquez continued to stand out in our championship and Europe as Blaugrana. Given his great work as a ‘center’, he was called up by the different Spanish managers, but he was rarely predisposed. Discrepancies with the Federation and personal reasons, made him miss many summers of titles that would have further expanded his record.
The Magic did not give up on their efforts, over and over again. “I apologize if my decision has affected some people in a bad way. All I ask for is more time to improve, so when I go to Orlando the fans will be able to say that I am a great player, he said in 2009. “We have done a good job. I work with him making him see how important he can be to us, but I don’t think there is a 2% chance that he will come snapped Otis Smith, general manager of the franchise.
Indeed, it is 2020, and Vázquez has announced his retirement without actually wearing the Florida shirt. The fear of not fitting in, the endless trips, the uncertainty that surrounds the players in each transfer window, the great physical workloads, or the comfort of living in Spain, possible keys to understanding their failure to jump into the great basketball competition. Sergio Llull, still wanted by the Rockets, is another of those who also refuses, although his case is different. Mirotic, for example, is one of those who went and eventually returned (not for lack of talent).
Since 1973, only two players chosen from the Draft’s top eleven have not contested a single minute in the league. The first, the late Len Bias (number 2 by the Celtics in 1986), who died of cocaine use. The second, him. Despite the continuous reluctance, the Chantada defended the elastic of the absolute team up to 41 times, playing the Eurobasket in 2005 and the 2010 World Cup as main events.
In recent years, yes, he had become the captain of Sergio Scariolo’s team for the so-called ‘windows’ that allowed him to stamp his passport for the 2019 China World Cup. Where the national team would proclaim itself world champion, although without his presence. This Thursday, after almost two decades on the court. He put the end to a successful career where the NBA was always pending. What would he have managed to do there? The question that will always remain pending among fans. ( Source )