Shane Larkin out to prove he’s a starter: ‘I’ve quieted everybody so far’

When he figured out that basketball was his calling and not baseball, which had been his father’s avenue to a Hall of Fame sports career, Shane Larkin knew he’d have to overcome a lot.

Like being little.

At 5-11, he’s heard it all. And he already has heard it since being the Mavericks’ first-round acquisition last week, having been chosen 18th overall. He’s already being plugged in as a backup point guard.

And that’s fine. But it’s not what Larkin, who played at Miami (Fla.), has in mind.

“Coming out of high school, everybody said I couldn’t play D-1 [Division 1] ball and I wouldn’t be able to play in the ACC,” Larkin said Monday. “I never let that make me any less confident.

“People are saying I can’t be a starter in the NBA, but I’ve quieted everybody so far.”

Larkin, the son of baseball great Barry Larkin, said his father never pushed him toward baseball, although Shane Larkin said “deep down, he was probably a little disappointed, but his main goal was just to be a dad and be supportive.”

He did get coaxed into football “to make me tougher.” But once he figured out that he had the quickness to be a force on the basketball court, Larkin never looked back. And while he’s grateful for the comparisons to former Maverick J.J. Barea, he sees another NBA player as being more like him.

“I would say that player is Ty Lawson,” he said. “He’s the type of player who can impact the game. He’s a little bulkier than me, but we’re very similar athletically and I feel that’s the impact I can have.”

And, of course, Lawson is a starter in Denver.

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