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The Toughest Players of the Euroleague

By now I hope you all get that I really do not write the usual type of insight or report on games like others do.

I am trying to bring you some different flavor in terms of basketball insight.

Yes like you all I have a finger on the pulse of the league and I saw the recent news below:

To a point, as unrelated as it might seem. Players need to blow off steam when playing overseas.

Sure the clubs should have the right and rightful have taken disciplinary action however do not forget you are dealing with human beings!

I got very ticked off but it also got me thinking.

I wanted to dig in on some of the great players on and off the court that have had to face the hardest paths that have been playing around the league.

Here is what I wanted to share with you all.

The Toughest players in recent Euroleague history

In no specific order,

Shane Larkin (Anadolu Efes):

Shane Larkin has been recognized for his mental toughness and resilience throughout his career. Despite being undersized for a guard, Larkin has consistently demonstrated an ability to perform well under pressure and step up in crucial moments in the Euroleague. His leadership and determination have been valuable assets to his team. While he even tried to make the step over to the NBA he was scrutinized but eventually understood the international game / overseas was his forte. This season alone the injuries and adversities he has gone through and how he is coping with the team overall is amazing. One thing that had been made public over the last years was how he has been dealing with mental health issues that have stemmed from his childhood and how he has turned that into a strength for himself and now thrives upon having built up his own coping mechanism.

Mike James (AS Monaco):

Mike James an outspoken guard who has played for multiple Euroleague teams, including CSKA Moscow and AX Armani Exchange Milan and this season for AS Monaco. He is known for his scoring ability and clutch performances in big games. James has shown tremendous resilience, as he was released by the Phoenix Suns in 2018 but refused to give up on his NBA dreams. He continued to work hard and eventually earned another shot with the Brooklyn Nets in 2020. He has never faltered on his dreams and he still also voices his opinions in what he believes in regularly. By far out of all players around the Euroleague Mike James is a player that many admire but even more hate simply due to the fact that he does not back down.

Kyle Hines (Olimpia Milano):

Kyle Hines, THE forward/center who has played for CSKA Moscow since 2013 and recently signed with Olimpia Milano. He is a four-time Euroleague champion and has been named to the All-Euroleague First Team twice. Hines is known for his physicality, defensive prowess, and leadership on and off the court. He has been described as a “glue guy” who brings his team together and sets the tone with his toughness and work ethic. I have been a direct witness of how hard work can beat talent and how being consistent can make a career the way he has played on court but its the actual things he does off the court that really impress me even more. As a well-spoken and thinking human-being that makes a point to show compassion as been a point of focus across his career.

Will Clyburn (Anadolu Efes):

Will Clyburn a small forward who currently plays for Anadolu Efes. He was named the EuroLeague Final Four MVP in 2019 and has been a key contributor to CSKA’s success in recent years. Clyburn is a versatile player who can score, rebound, and defend at a high level. He has shown great mental toughness throughout his career, as he had to overcome multiple injuries early on and has faced adversity in various forms.

All the players listed above, I recognize that also have a common point are amazing decision-makers and have seen glimpses on court and during practice use the concept of reframing.

For more about that check these two insights out:

Player Talk - Ep.9|Reframing and Reframing Failure|

As well as this:

How to cope with bad decision making

Thanks for checking out this piece.

more to come in the next few days!

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