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Morning Commute: Why I'm Happy For Greivis Vasquez

Stuck in D.C. traffic? Here's your daily morning roundup.   

 

Video via Mike Prada/SB Nation DC

There were so many great moments that I witnessed firsthand at last night's NBA Draft, but none of them top what happened late in the first round, when Memphis was on the clock for the No. 28 pick. As the clock ticked down, a bunch of cameras suddenly started moving to one place in the crowd. Two Venezuelan flags hung in the air, which only could mean one thing. Greivis Vasquez, after a long, long college journey, was finally a first-round pick in the NBA Draft.

It's impossible to underscore just how far he's come to get to this point. When he first got to Maryland, he clashed with Gary Williams and earned a reputation for being a hothead. By his junior year, he was clearly a good player, but was also seen as a ball hog that took his team out of games as much as he got them back in them. He declared for the NBA Draft as a junior, only to test as arguably the worst athlete of all time at the 2009 NBA Draft combine. 

But this year has been a renaissance for Vasquez. He finally figured out how to manage games, and won ACC Player of the Year because of it. He became beloved for his demeanor and led a team without a ton of talent to the top of the ACC. He went out in style too, hitting the big shot before Corey Lucious' even bigger shot. And now, finally, he's an NBA first-round pick, on a team that could use a versatile point guard no less.

The evolution of Greivis Vasquez was on display last night at MSG. No player other than John Wall had more fans there. No player was happier for being picked. And, fittingly, no player interacted with his fans after being picked like Vasquez did. For all he's done to change his reputation in the past year, he deserved it.

Here's what to read around the SB Nation network:

  • Bullets Forever's measured take on an interesting draft night for the Wizards.
  • Bulls fans at our Bulls blog Blog a Bull are thrilled to be rid of Kirk Hinrich.
  • Casual Hoya's take on Greg Monroe going to the Pistons. They think Detroit's going to be very, very happy.
  • Japers Rink's morning links remind us that there's also an NHL Draft coming up.
  • Hogs Haven's prediction about the Redskins' pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Yup, you read that right. It's never too early to think about this.
  • Federal Baseball's breakdown of the last 25 days of offensive futility for the Nationals.
On tap at SBNDC: NBA Draft reaction, and lots of it.