Greivis Vasquez, the Nets back-up point guard, will not participate as planned in the Rio Olympics, according to statements released early Friday morning by Sean Marks and Vasquez. The reasoning is that Vasquez, recovering from bone spur surgery last December while will the Bucks, will need "time to get back to full strength."
The statements were released on the Nets twitter account.
Vasquez also put out a statement in Spanish to his Venezuelan fans...
None of the statements indicated how the decision would affect Vasquez's readiness for the start of training camp, now two months away. At the time of his surgery in December, conducted by Dr. Martin O'Malley, the Nets foot and ankle specialist, the Bucks said that Vasquez would be back in three to four months.
Reports on Vasquez's status with the Venezuelan national team were at best murky and sometimes contradictory over the past few weeks. He had traveled to Europe to train with the national team, which had a full schedule of friendly games. He played limited minutes in one game vs. Lithuania, then took two games off to negotiate his Nets deal and travel to New York to sign his $5 million contract.
On return, he didn't play in two games vs. Spain, with differing explanations for his absence. In explaining why he was absent for the first game, the national team coach Nestor Garcia said Vasquez has been "concentrating on getting in shape physically." The second absence, according to press reports, was because of an issue over insurance. Then, Thursday, the Venezuelan Basketball Federation put out a statement saying the insurance issue had been resolved and he would play Friday night vs. Team USA. The timing of Friday's announcement may have had to do with a FIBA requirement that national teams get down to 12 players by Monday.
The Nets will now have two representatives in Olympic competition: Bojan Bogdanovic (Croatia) and Luis Scola (Argentina). The two will play against each other Friday night in Cordoba, Argentina. In addition, Nets medical director Dr. Riley J. Williams III is the Team USA doctor and Will Weaver, an assistant to Kenny Atkinson, is an assistant coach for Australia.