Barry Larkin, baseball legend, impressed by his NBA-playing son
By: Cameron LaBree – May 11, 2018
Barry Larkin did not not push his son to play basketball. Instead, Shane found himself on a freshman football team at Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, Florida, a running back blocking for a receiver when the pile collapsed on his right leg and snapped his ankle. Larkin spent a full two months in a full leg cast and missed half of his basketball season.
He then went out for the football team as a sophomore. In the middle of practice one day, Larkin had an epiphany; he no longer loved football as much as he loved basketball. Additionally, the risk of a serious injury that could possibly jeopardize another season was too great for Larkin.
He quit basketball, and immediately became a basketball star at Dr. Phillips, with his father, who had wrapped up a Hall of Fame baseball year just a few years prior, being more of a supporter of Larkin than a critical father. The relationship between Hall of Fame baseball player and his NBA son has always been unique.
Barry can be seen attending occasional games, offers his son more career advice than tips about basketball and is euphoric to watch Shane’s journey deep into the NBA playoffs after a forgettable first three seasons in the league. Larkin, who is listed at only 5-foot-11-inches, has become a solid backup point guard for the Boston Celtics. This will likely ensure that he will receive a contract offer this summer after spending the previous year playing overseas.
Barry Larkin remains in the background. He recently attended a playoff game at TD Garden, and sported a Boston Celtics cap. The NBA dad is not readily recognizable among most fans in the NBA, but his MLB career was legendary. He played in twelve All-Star games, won an MVP award in 1995, received three Gold Gloves, and was a nine-time Silver Slugger through 19 seasons with the Cincinnati Reds.
Despite this, Barry is simply a proud father. He described his son’s ascension as well as the team’s ascension this season as, “Just amazing, it’s absolutely amazing. I’m proud of the team, how the team has played and how they’ve gone through all the adversity in losing all the players they’ve lost. Brad Stevens coming in and doing the job he’s done. Terry Rozier stepping up in the way he’s stepped up.”
He went on to say, “And to have my son be part of it, I’m proud of him for doing what he’s been able to accomplish, especially with the vertical challenges that he has with all these monsters. To see Brad give him a chance to pressure the ball and for him to fit into his role has been fantastic.”
Barry watched his son develop into one of the NCAA’s top point guards at the University of Miami, and become a first-round draft pick in 2013. He then played for three NBA teams in three seasons, along with some time in Spain, before the Celtics called his name.
Now, Shane Larkin is averaging about fifteen minutes per game during the playoffs. He would like to have a more expanded role. However, with the presence of Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier, he is the third point guard. One thing is for certain; he has gained the trust of coach Brad Stevens.