There were plenty of rumors about Shane Larkin since the New York Knicks acquired the young point guard from the Dallas Mavericks. After a disappointing rookie season due to a bad ankle injury suffered prior to Summer League last off-season, his value is in question. Should he still be looked at as the skilled first round talent he was coming out of Miami or should he be looked at as a bust, project or roster filler? That's for Phil Jackson to decide. Given the chance, Larkin may prove to everybody he has a future with the Knicks.
Shane Larkin is the son of Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin. Like his Dad, Shane believes in himself and knows he can play at a high level given the chance. He's hoping the New York Knicks give him that chance and he can call Madison Square Garden home.
“I had a lot of steam coming off the ACC Tournament, playing well, confident in myself. The injury really set me back,” said Larkin, 21. “I was out 4 ½ months, put me behind the 8-ball. My first NBA game I was just thrown in there. A fresh start in New York offers me a new opportunity and go in there and create a different first impression and play the same game I played in college.’’
“I’m a change-of-pace guard,’’ Larkin said. “With Jose coming in, I think I offer a different type of game from him. He’s more of a floor leader, always composed, takes control of the game. I’m a guy who can bring a different energy and pace and try to speed it up.”
Larkin was a beast in college. It's hard to believe that most of his troubles last season didn't stem form his ankle pain. A healthy Larkin could look a lot different than he did with Dallas.
After all, even though Larkin is not a tall man he uses his speed very well and impresses coaches every time they see him on the court.
“He’s an athletic guard who was really running the team. He did a great job of getting them into their stuff,” Los Angeles D-Fenders head coach Bob MacKinnon told The Knicks Blog and SNY.tv. “After we played him, I saw Shane as a guy with, in my mind, a ten to twelve year future in the NBA.”
Coach MacKinnon added, “This was just from him being on assignment. He didn’t even have a lot of time to play with that team, but still did a great job of running their [offense]. He scored when he had opportunities, but didn’t dominate the shots. I thought he was a very efficient point guard."
Putting it simply, Coach MacKinnon asserted, “I think what the Knicks did there is acquire a first-round talent.”
It will be interesting to see if Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher will be as impressed. Larkin will get his chance to make a statement during the Summer League when he'll be introduced into the triangle offense for the first time.
The Knicks tried to get a first round pick in the draft by dangling Larkin. In the end, the Knicks didn't make a first round pick add Larkin remained one of the newest members of the roster.
If Larkin is not traded between now and the Summer League he may be able to prove that he belongs on the roster as a backup behind Jose Calderon. If he makes the roster, Larkin will not only be able to learn under Calderon but also veteran point guard Pablo Prigioni. However, his presence could make it tougher for fan-favorite Toure Murry to remain with the Knicks.