Discussing various aspects related to Anadolu Efes and the offseason, Shane Larkin’s primary emphasis is on securing victories. Larkin provided an exclusive interview to Eurohoops regarding the 2023-24 season, marking his sixth season with the Istanbul team. The most significant change from previous seasons is the absence of both Ergin Ataman and Vasilije Micic.
Q: Speaking of Vasa, do you think that Thunder was the right fit for him?
A: I think there were better fits for him, but it is difficult about how the NBA brings those situations. You get drafted, he was drafted in 2016 if I’m not mistaken, and the NBA team gets to hold his rights forever. He is a great player and I think he can find a way to get minutes in OKC. Once he gets on the floor, he will be able to show his ability, talent, and the ways he can help that team. But I just think it would have been a better fit for him to go and be on a team that is chasing the playoffs, and championships because he is that kind of guy. At the end of the day, he is about the be 30 years old, OKC has a young roster.
He is not anywhere close to the end of the road but to be the 30-year-old guy going over to the NBA on your first try, I think he would have been better off if all the handcuffs were off about where and how he could go. He would have been better on a playoff team which is for sure chasing a championship because I think he has that kind of pedigree, basketball knowledge, and ability to help teams chase championships. Who knows? OKC may turn into a team like that this year, but they have a team of 21-24-year-old guys. Vasa coming over at 30 as a rookie is a little bit different. At the end of the day, I think he will make it work.
He is a great player, he will be able to figure it out. I just think that if I were his age and I was able to put him anywhere he wanted to go, which is not possible by the way, so don’t try to take my words and make it seem like his agent didn’t work (laughs), I’m not saying that. I’m just saying that if the handcuffs were completely off and he could’ve gone anywhere, it would have been nice to see him in a place like Sacramento who had a great run last year. Third seed in the west, can they take that next step and get to the second round? Something like that. Or somebody like…