Shane Larkin moving to the town his dad turned down

It’s not exactly like father, like son with Shane Larkin, who can’t wait to become a Knick and play in New York.

The young point guard’s father is Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin, who famously nixed a trade from the Cincinnati Reds to the Mets in 2000, claiming he didn’t want to be a hired gun to help a playoff push. Larkin was then in the final year of his contract and was looking for an extension.

Father and son had a good laugh over the irony the other night after the younger Larkin was dealt from Dallas to the Knicks as part of a six-player trade. Larkin could assume backup point-guard duties to newcomer Jose Calderon despite his disappointing rookie season out of the University of Miami.

“I was actually talking to my father about it the other day,’’ Larkin said Friday. “I remember being at the press conference when he was stuck in a bind and didn’t know where he’d be — Cincinnati or New York. I’ve always liked New York, always liked the city. I was joking with him the other day, saying one of us finally has the opportunity to play for New York. It’s such a great sports city. I’m glad I’m the one who actually gets to play there.’’

The Knicks may not have been in this position had Shane Larkin not broken his foot during summer-league practice last July after being selected as the 18th pick. His rookie year became something of a wash, seeing limited action in 48 games, and the Mavs were willing to include him in the deal to get back center Tyson Chandler.

“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.’’

Larkin is a 5-foot-11 speedster.

“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 will get his first crack at learning a new system when he plays in the Las Vegas summer league. The Knicks squad faces the Mavericks in the opener July 11.

“I think I can bring a lot to the triangle offense,’’ Larkin said. “Derek Fisher wasn’t the tallest guard, but what he did is succeed and have a great career. I’m looking forward to learning from him. I’ve never played in the system, so I want to get there early.’’

Larkin said he’s worked a lot in the offseason on his 3-point shot, noting he made 41 percent from beyond the arc in college but just 31 percent from NBA distance as a rookie.

Working hard is something he got from his father.

“I’ve just seen how professional athletes prepare and how fierce they take their job,” he said. “[Fans] don’t see the work behind the scenes, the extra work my father always got in. I’ve always had that advantage.’’

Bookmark and Share
blog comments powered by Disqus