Larkin: “Going overseas was a blessing in disguise”

2017-07-26T22:32:08+00:00 2017-07-27T03:32:02+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

26/Jul/17 22:32

Shane Larkin discussed how the European experience with Baskonia helped his game, life overseas and the large amounts of NBA-quality talent in EuroLeague.

By Eurohoops team/

Following a fine season with Baskonia during which he averaged 13.1 points and 5.7 assists per game in EuroLeague, Shane Larkin is getting back to the NBA to become a part of the Boston Celtics, carrying some certain basketball wealth from the time he spent playing in Europe.

The American point guard gave a lengthy podcast interview to Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype where he talked how the overseas experience had a beneficial impact in many aspects of his game and the competition he faced in EuroLeague and the Spanish League.

Here’s what Larkin said….

On how playing overseas helped his confidence:

“It definitely did. My NBA career thus far has been a whirlwind. Broke my ankle two weeks after I got drafted. Then I didn’t get much playing time. Then I was in the triangle offense that didn’t really fit me as a player. Then I went Brooklyn. I had a pretty good season but things were all over the places with coaching/management changes. It was crazy

Going overseas helped me as a player and definitely helped me boost my confidence. Just going over out there and play 30 minutes and play to my mistakes. Be the main man again like I was in college.

In many ways, going overseas was a blessing in disguise. I would watch my games in the NBA on my computer. I wouldn’t recognize myself on the floor. That’s not me, I said. I didn’t recognize that person as a player. Obviously in some games I played well and in other nights I didn’t even impact the game defensively or offensively. In Spain, I was given the responsibility of “We need you to play 30 or 40 minutes every night. “We need you to put everybody in place”. It definitely helped me to get my confidence back to be where I needed to be. Now, I’m getting this NBA opportunity this year. Everybody who saw me before will see how everything will be different this time.”

Overseas life:

“It was a great experience. There are times off the court when you’re like…  “Man I miss home”. But for the most part it was a great time. I was with great guys on my team (Baskonia). Very welcoming. Everybody spoke English which was definitely a blessing. My city (Vitoria) was basketball crazy. We didn’t have a huge soccer club. So the city was crazy about basketball. The fans
were unbelievable. Definitely a great time. I’m grateful for the opportunity to go there and get back in being me as a player and person.”

On the level of the competition in Europe compared to the NBA:

“Obviously the NBA… is the NBA. No better competition out there. EuroLeague has lots of talented guys who could come over and play in the NBA. From top to bottom there’s difference when it comes to the national league. When you’re overseas you play against the top premier clubs in EuroLeague and then the Spanish League.

We played against teams from Greece, Russia, Turkey… everywhere. Then we played in the Spanish league with domestic teams. There, maybe the first eight teams are very competitive but the rest aren’t that strong. But, there’s one thing ill say about Spanish league:  That all teams go out and play as hard as hell and make you work for everything you do.

When it comes to the the talent levels in the EuroLeague, I would say that they very strong and high. Many guys can make the jump to the NBA as they’ve done this summer.
Anybody who’s in the NBA and goes out there (Europe) will tell you the same. They will not tell you it’s easy. Unless you’re Lebron or something.”